Death Wish Coffee is a cold-brewed, canned coffee its maker touts as “fiercely caffeinated.” (It has as much as 4 1/2 times more caffeine per ounce than regular coffee.) The company recalled its 11-ounce cans on Sept. 20 because they could contain the deadly toxin botulin. Company founder Mike Brown, 37, said no incidents have been reported, but he is very serious about the safety of his product. “I know our logo and name might not seem like it reflects that,” Brown told The Washington Post. Production has been halted, and customers can request refunds from Death Wish’s website.
Mother Of The Year
Ebony Woody, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, was nothing if not thorough on the morning of Sept. 18 when, following an argument with her daughter, she purposely drove her car onto the sidewalk and struck the 17-year-old, who was walking to school. After knocking the girl down and running over her leg, Woody stopped and backed up, driving over the leg a second time. QFM96 reported Woody generously gave the girl a ride to her father’s house, where she dropped her off without reporting the incident. Woody later turned herself in at police headquarters and faces charges of felonious assault, aggravated vehicular assault and endangering children. The daughter was treated for two fractures to her left leg.
Underwear Lacks Superpowers
Even Superman underwear couldn’t protect Nathan French, 19, from Halewood, Merseyside, England, as he climbed to the top of the highest mountain in Wales, 3,600-foot Snowdon. French managed to hike to the summit on Sept. 9, but he quickly succumbed to the elements — perhaps because he was wearing ONLY Superman underwear, shoes and gloves. French, who is studying sport, nutrition and health in college, told The Guardian, “It was when I was at the top I was shaking uncontrollably.” He rode the Snowdon mountain railway back down, but fell ill on the train. “I started to go deaf and my sight started to go funny.” Paramedics said his blood sugar had dropped and he was showing signs of hypothermia. Miles Hill of the Llanberis mountain rescue team noted, “We hope Mr. French is back in the mountains soon, perhaps in the full suit (cape optional), rather than just the underwear.”
Please Don’t Pee On The White House
Timothy Bates, 37, of Collierville, Tenn., was arrested by the Secret Service after he urinated at the corner of 17th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, near the White House in Washington, D.C. WTOP-FM reported that Bates explained to the officers that he was headed to the White House, where he hoped to meet with National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis to find out “how to get the dog chip out of my head.” He explained that he is part of the MK Ultra project, which, he said, is managed by the CIA, and that he had chips implanted in his head that cause headaches, shaking and convulsions. Bates also told officers he had weapons in his car; these amounted to nine firearms, brass knuckles, a black jack and three knives. A former Memphis police officer, Bates has been involuntarily committed twice this year for mental health reasons.
Wait. The World HASN’T Ended?
Cable television viewers in Orange County, Calif., were stunned on the morning of Sept. 21 when an ominous message accompanied by an “Emergency Alert” banner flashed on the screen. At increased volume, a man’s voice boomed: “Realize this, extremely violent times will come,” said viewer Stacy Laflamme of Lake Forest, who was watching HGTV on the Cox Communications cable system. Spectrum customers also received the alert. The warning seemed especially timely given that doomsday writer David Meade had predicted the end of the world “as we know it” to occur two days later. Laflamme told the Orange County Register the message “sounded like a radio broadcast coming through the television.” Dennis Johnson, a spokesman for Spectrum, said: “We have confirmed that we were fed an incorrect audio file,” but neither company could determine where the audio had come from.
This Is Not A Real Body!
The Greene County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Department alerted drivers along Chuckey Pike on Sept. 20 not to be alarmed by a body that appeared to have been crushed by a house’s garage door. “THIS IS A HALLOWEEN DECORATION!” the department’s Facebook page warned. “Do NOT call 911 reporting a dead body.” Officers had rushed to the scene with sirens blaring after a caller reported the body. They then discovered the clever (but really early) holiday tableau.
Animals On The Lam
— Auburn, Mass., police received a number of calls over the weekend of Sept. 15-17 about a wayward goat. But it wasn’t until the wee hours of Monday, Sept. 18, that No. 448 was finally corralled at the La Quinta Inn in Auburn. The mischievous runaway was seen on surveillance video entering the lobby of the hotel and wandering the halls, “presumably to rest a bit,” said police. Peter Blash, No. 448’s owner, said the goat jumped a 5-foot-high fence and “took off like a criminal.” However, Blash said, “I had one that made it all the way to Sturbridge.”
— Just north of Benton, Kan., a rancher posted signs promising a reward to anyone who could help him find his missing longhorn cow, Mercedes. The Wichita Eagle reported the 3-year-old black-and-white bovine went missing on Sept. 11 during Cross Trails, a weekly cowboy church service at Greg Johnson’s Prairie Rose Ranch. Friends, neighbors and family have searched high and low for Mercedes, who is recognizable by her 5-foot-wide horns. But the only sighting of her has been near the El Dorado, Kan., Walmart, about 10 miles away. Johnson says this isn’t the first time she’s run off: “She is more of a loner.”
Coolidge, Ariz., resident Victor Pratt boasts that he’s played with snakes his whole life. So when a rattlesnake slithered by during a family party at a nearby lake on Sept. 7, Pratt grabbed the snake and showed the kids “how to catch it. I was playing with it like little kids do. I wasn’t thinking. I was showing off,” he told FOX 10 News. The rattler bit Pratt on his face and neck. Pratt’s sons quickly drove him to a nearby emergency room, and he was later airlifted to Banner-University Medical Center Phoenix, where Dr. Steven Curry treated him. “There is a 100-percent chance he would have died if he’d not made it to the hospital within minutes,” Curry said. Pratt remained unconscious for several days. He told reporters he had learned his lesson and would not play with rattlesnakes again.
Government In Action
Texas state Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ corruption trial is scheduled for Oct. 16. She will face charges of giving a taxpayer-funded raise to a legislative aide as compensation for ferrying Dukes’ daughter between school and home. The Austin American-Statesman reports that prosecutors in Travis County also plan to present evidence of 19 additional “extraneous acts,” including accusations that Dukes spent $51,000 in taxpayer money on an online psychic; was absent for roll call 65 percent of the time; and appeared impaired at a House committee meeting when she showed up late, explaining: “I know I’m talking a lot. I’m full of morphine and will be headed out of here soon.”
— Kevin Michael Cook, 24, of New Castle, Penn., was too drunk to drive, so he enlisted the help of an 8-year-old girl. WPXI News reported the girl told Darlington Township police that Cook, a family friend, ordered her into a car at her grandmother’s house and forced her to drive him toward East Palestine, Ohio. The car stopped after nearly wrecking twice. Bystanders called 911. Police tried to give Cook a sobriety test, but he was too impaired to finish it. He was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, driving under the influence and driving without a license.
— Prosecutors in Geneva, Switzerland, are looking for the culprits who flushed $100,000 in 500-euro notes down four toilets in the city in May. One of the tiolets was in the vault area of the UBS Bank, and the other three in nearby bistros. While neither throwing money away nor blocking a toilet is a crime, Vincent Derouand of the Geneva Prosecutor’s Office told the Tribune de Geneve, “we want to be sure of the origin of the money.” The cash was confiscated during the investigation. Derouand said there was no immediate reason to think it was dirty money.