At 10 Downing Street in London, Larry the cat is an institution, charged with chasing away mice and offering pet therapy to any willing caressers. Meanwhile, at the Foreign Office, Palmerston the cat serves the same purpose. But Larry and Palmerston have a long-running feud, and on Feb. 16, they went at it again. Fur was ripped and a collar torn off as the two cats duked it out in the street. Nick Dixon of Good Morning Britain said it appeared that Palmerston won the round: “Palmerston seemed to strut out of Downing Street. Larry seemed a bit dazed and confused after the fight.”
The Continuing Crisis
Donna Walker of Linthwaite, England, just wanted a nice night out to celebrate her 50th birthday. Walker, her husband Carlton and their two sons, were waiting for takeout food at the Atlantis restaurant in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, when a brawl broke out. The Walkers don’t know what started the fight, but Carlton told Metro News: “When the fight spilled out of the takeaway, I said to Donna to stay inside. When I turned round, my wife was at the doorway being attacked and was covered in blood. My son was being strangled.” Donna sustained a 2-inch gash on her forehead and was bitten on the arm by the young woman who attacked her. “I wiped my eye and saw all the blood,” Donna said. “I had no idea I had been struck.” Police were still looking for the attackers at press time.
Head Tattoos A Poor Choice For Thieves
Ruan Rocha da Silva, 18, was caught trying to steal five cans of deodorant from a supermarket in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His prominent tattoo might have given him away. A year ago, after Silva tried to steal a bike from Maycon Wesley Carvalho, 27, and Ronildo Moreira de Araujo, 29, the two men forcibly tattooed Silva’s forehead with the words “I am a thief and an idiot.” The Daily Mail reported that Carvalho and Araujo were caught after filming themselves inking Silva’s forehead and sending the video to friends; both were sentenced to jail time. Silva is out on bail, awaiting trial for shoplifting.
Do As My T-Shirt Says
As the 2018 Winter Olympics got underway, and athletes from Russia were forced to compete under the Olympic flag and be designated as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” (OAR) as punishment for systemic doping at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russian bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva proudly wore a T-shirt that read “I Don’t Do Doping.” But on Feb. 23, Sergeeva became the second Russian athlete to fail a doping test. Sergeeva was a vocal critic of the Olympic policy toward Russian athletes, telling Yahoo Sports, “If we are here, and we are clean, we should be able to walk under our flag.”
Yes, I Hit My Boyfriend … With My Car
Maghan LeGlue, 25, of Bridge City, La., used her 2004 Ford Expedition to pin her 27-year-old boyfriend up against his Ford Crown Victoria, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The Times-Picayune reported that the couple, who have three children together, had been arguing when LeGlue hit her boyfriend, shattering his leg. Doctors performed emergency surgery on the victim. LeGlue was taken into custody and was held without bond.
Florida Woman Marries 100-Year Old Ficus Tree
On March 24, Karen Cooper and others tried to save the Snell Family Park ficus tree — a sprawling giant that has shaded the park in Fort Myers, Fla., for more than a century — from being cut down. The News-Press reported that while the tree’s roots are on the park property, some of the limbs in the tree’s 8,000-square-foot canopy extend to an adjacent property that’s for sale. Potential buyer Jeff Romer was concerned about his liability for the tree’s upkeep. In December, Fort Myers’ public works officials approved the removal of the tree, prompting protests from Cooper and others. She got the idea of marrying the tree from women in Mexico who have been protesting deforestation. “I thought, ‘Oh, we should marry the ficus tree’ — kind of giggle, giggle.” A city spokeswoman said the city is moving ahead to save the newlywed tree, but Cooper is worried that the decision is not final. “If they cut down this tree, I’m going to be a widow.”
Italian chef Fabio Picchi offered three American exchange students in Florence a four-hour cooking lesson after the women tried to cook pasta in a pot without water on March 18. The pasta burst into flames within minutes, and firefighters were summoned to put out the fire. “We thought it was cooked like that,” one of the students told La Nazione. “They will have lunch in our restaurant with two of my extraordinary cooks,” Picchi said. “I think this can be useful to them, but also to us. Understanding is always … what is beautiful and necessary.”
In Didcot, England, which is known as the country’s “most normal town,” one resident made quirky additions to road signs along local highway A4130. The prankster added destinations such as Narnia, Gotham City, Middle Earth, Emerald City and Neverland to roundabout signs. He told the BBC (on condition of anonymity): “To me, there’s nowhere that is normal; there’s no such thing.” He said he’s been making “creative interventions” all over the country for about 20 years. The Oxfordshire County Council responded that while the additions were “amusing,” they’ll be removed as soon as the county’s potholes are fixed.
It was lucky 13 for Hot Springs, Ark., resident Patricia Ann Clanton, 55, as she was charged with her 13th felony DWI on March 26. Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy Richard Garrett stopped to check on a Chevrolet Monte Carlo parked in the lot of Buddy Bean Lumber Co. around 1 am. An assisting officer noticed a strong smell of intoxicants, and asked Clanton and her passenger to get out of the car. Clanton refused a field sobriety test but agreed to a Breathalyzer, which registered her blood alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit. Nevertheless, she entered an innocent plea in Garland County District Court.
At the beginning of February, several residents along a block in Marina, Calif., were hit by mail thieves. But the criminals probably didn’t know what hit them when they stole Rosalinda Vizina’s package. SFGate.com reported that Vizina, an entomologist, had ordered 500 live cockroaches for a study she’s working on. “I feel a little bad for the roaches in case they got smushed or tossed or something like that,” Vizina told KSBW. “For the thieves, I hope they went everywhere,” she added.
Never Stop The Show
On Feb. 20, a radio audience listened in as Jameson Proctor was born in St. Louis. Cassiday Proctor, co-host of the “Spencer’s Neighborhood” show from The Arch in St. Louis, scheduled her C-section right in the middle of drive time, and then invited listeners to share the moment when Jameson was born, at 7:45 am. “Our radio show is all about sharing our personal lives,” Proctor, 33, told The Telegraph. She also solicited ideas for names from her fans and received more than 400 submissions. “It was not something I wanted to keep private,” Proctor said.
Eastern Michigan University student Andrew (whose last name wasn’t given) filled a pothole in Trenton with a whole box of Lucky Charms and a gallon of milk. Andrew then lay on the road with a spoon and ate the cereal out of the pothole. “I don’t know where the inspiration came from, but when it hit me, I knew it was a good idea,” Andrew told MLive.com. “It tasted great. If I was blindfolded, I wouldn’t know if it was a pothole or a bowl.”
Can’t Possibly Be True
A designer pop-up store in Seattle made news for one particular item: a clear plastic, drawstring shopping bag that sells for $590. United Press International reported the bag was first seen on Paris runways in January and sports the Celine Paris label, along with warnings in several languages about the suffocation risk posed to babies.
Flemington, N.J., cemetery worker Peter Ferencze, 59, was digging a grave at Hanover Cemetery when the 800-pound lid of a concrete burial vault fell on top of him, pinning him in the grave. Ferencze was treated and released from Morristown Medical Center after police and other first responders managed to lift the cover with straps, giving Ferencze enough space to squeeze out, the Morristown Daily Record reported.
Mullets Are Alive And Well
The mining town of Kurri Kurri, Australia, cut loose on Feb. 24 with a new event: Mullet Fest. Local hairdresser Laura Johnson came up with the idea, which included contests (Junior Mullet and Ladies’ Mullet categories) and bands (the Stunned Mullets from Karuah). Winner of the junior division prize, Alex Keavy, 12, told The Guardian: “It’s not a hairstyle, it’s a lifestyle.” He pledged to use his $50 prize to buy his girlfriend a pie. More than 180 contestants competed for Best Mullet of Them All. Meryl Swanson, the local Labor MP and a contest judge, said she was “looking for pride, people embracing the mullet, finding self-worth in it.”