When Alexandria Miller of Chicago won a two-inch goldfish at a carnival, she assumed he would stay the same size. But since then, Gerald the goldfish has grown to be 12 inches long, and Miller has spent $1,300 upgrading his tanks to accommodate him. Gerald is not shy about getting his needs met. “He does lay around a lot, but it seems when he’s bored or hungry, he jumps out of the water and likes to grab the thermometer inside his tank,” Miller said. “He’ll click it against the glass till he’s got our attention.” But, she went on, “If I put a smaller fish in there with him, he will eat them.”
Got More Beer
Olive Veronesi, 93, of Seminole, Pa., wasn’t shy about letting loved ones know what she needed during the lockdown. “I need more beer!” read a sign she held up, along with a can of Coors Light. A relative posted Veronesi’s photo to social media and her predicament went viral. “I have a beer every night … I was on my last 12 cans. You know what, beer has vitamins in it. It’s good for you, only don’t overdo it,” Veronesi said. She got her wish: Molson Coors delivered 10 cases of her favorite brew to her front door. Her new sign reads, “Got more beer!”
The Corona Car
Civic-minded car designer Kanyaboyina Sudhakar of the Sudha Cars Museum in Bahadurpura, India, built a one-seat vehicle in the shape of the coronavirus “so that awareness can be spread on social distancing.” The six-wheeled Corona Car can go about 25 mph. It took Sudhakar 10 days to build. “I have always made cars to give back to the society in my own way,” Sudhakar said. “It is important to tell people to stay home and stay safe, and the coronavirus car is meant to convey the message.”
Alberto Tito Alejandro, 51, was arrested following a high-speed chase after Washington state troopers received multiple calls about a car hitting two other vehicles south of Seattle and then racing away at speeds up to 100 mph. Trooper Heather Axtman said when officers got close to the 1996 Buick, they were shocked to see a dog sitting in the driver’s seat. Alejandro was steering and pushing the gas pedal from the passenger seat. “When we took him into custody,” Axtman said, “he admitted to our troopers that he was teaching his dog to drive. … I’ve heard a lot of excuses … but I’ve never had an excuse that the dog was driving.” Alejandro was charged on multiple counts, including driving under the influence of drugs.
Terrorizing The Radishes
Joe Fasula, co-owner of Gerrity’s Supermarket in Hanover Township, Penn., had “a very challenging day” when a woman who claimed she had the coronavirus — later identified by police as Margaret Chirko — “came into the store and proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case and grocery,” as Fasula wrote on Facebook. While the staff “did the best they could to get the woman out of the store as fast as possible,” he said, the health department had to help disinfect the store. The “twisted prank” resulted in the loss of $35,000 worth of food. The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office has charged Chirko with threatening to use weapons of mass destruction and making terroristic threats. It is not known whether the woman had COVID-19.
UK’s Clean Fetish Community
MedFet UK, a small company that supplies people who indulge in medical fetishes, donated its entire inventory (“just a few sets”) of disposable medical scrubs to Britain’s National Health Service after being contacted by desperate procurement officers. “When we, a tiny company set up to serve a small section of the kink community, find ourselves being sought out as a last-resort supplier to our National Health Service in a time of crisis, something is seriously wrong,” the company posted on Twitter. It took the opportunity to post a PSA: “Whether getting ready for some kinky fun or guarding against a virus outbreak, the single most effective method of infection control is scrupulous hand hygiene.”
Annals Of Isolation
— In Melbourne, Australia, “a bit of boredom in isolation” led 27-year-old astrophysicist Daniel Reardon to experiment with an idea to stop people from touching their faces — a necklace and accompanying bracelet of magnets that would sound an alarm whenever someone reached up. When that didn’t work, Reardon started playing with the powerful neodymium magnets, clipping them to his earlobes and nostrils, and that’s where things went wrong. Two magnets inside his nostrils became stuck together, and he couldn’t separate them. Reardon tried using pliers, but they became magnetized: “Every time I brought the pliers close to my nose, my entire nose would shift toward the pliers and then the pliers would stick to the magnet,” he said. Finally, his partner took him to the hospital that she works in “because she wanted all her colleagues to laugh at me.” Doctors applied an anesthetic spray, then manually removed the magnets. “Needless to say, I am not going to play with the magnets anymore,” Reardon said.
— Donuts Delite in Rochester, N.Y., has found a special way to pay tribute to immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci. The shop has been printing Dr. Fauci’s image on thin, edible paper, then applying it to the buttercream frosting on its doughnuts. Nick Semeraro, franchisee of the shop said, “He’s on TV giving us the facts; you’ve got to respect that. … People are buying them like crazy.” The doughnuts go for $20 per dozen, with curbside pickup and delivery available.
— A survey commissioned by Mentimeter found that 12 percent of people working from home turn their computer’s camera off during a video meeting because they’re wearing few or no clothes. Along with that, Walmart executive vice president Dan Bartlett told The Washington Post, “we’re seeing increased sales in tops, but not bottoms,” a phenomenon presumably driven by video conferencing workers who do leave their cameras on.
— App developers Daniel Ahmadizadeh and Christopher Smeder have good news for those in the dating pool during this time of social distancing and staying at home. Quarantine Together is a text-based app that asks users once a day whether they’ve washed their hands. If they say yes, they’re introduced to another user. Nivi Jayasekar of San Francisco said she was eager to give it a shot: “It was a hilarious idea. I feel like it’s an opportunity to form a deeper connection with someone before meeting them,” she said. Ahmadizadeh reports that sign-ups have been growing by 50 percent a day.
After three days quarantined in his house in Mexico, Antonio Munoz got a yen for Cheetos. With the neighborhood store just feet away, but out of reach for a nonessential trip outside, Munoz enlisted the help of his chihuahua, Chokis. Munoz attached a note and $20 to Chokis’ collar and sent the dog across the street. Sure enough, Chokis returned with the Cheetos. In March, Chokis repeated the trip two other times, bringing back different flavors of potato chips.
As leaders worldwide search for ways to encourage people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic, officials in Indonesia are taking advantage of its citizens’ superstitions. Kepuh, a village on Java island, is employing village residents to dress as “pocong,” or the trapped souls of the dead. The ghostly figures, wrapped in white shrouds with their heads covered and dark-rimmed eyes peering out, surprise unsuspecting pedestrians, then disappear into the night. The strategy appears to be working: Villagers have been seen running off in fright when the pocong appear. “People will not gather or stay on the streets after evening prayers,” resident Karno Supadmo said.
A tractor-trailer crash and subsequent fire near Dallas lay waste to an entire load of a hot commodity: toilet paper. The driver was unharmed, but the TP “burned extensively” and spilled over the interstate, which had to be closed to traffic. The truck was hauling the large rolls typically used in business restrooms.
Names in the News
— A baby born in Sheopur, Bhopal, India, will carry a special name with him through his life: Lockdown. Manju Mail, his mother, confirmed to hospital staff: “Yes, he is Lockdown, as he was born during the lockdown period.” Her husband, Raghunath, said, “It is a significant name. The whole world is using lockdown as a means to stem this pandemic. We should not take Lockdown lightly.”
— Similarly, in Chhattisgarh, India, another couple blessed their twins, with timely names: Corona and Covid. Preeti Verma, 27, said her children’s names symbolize triumph over hardships. “Indeed the virus is dangerous and life-threatening, but its outbreak made people focus on sanitation and hygiene and inculcate good habits,” she said.