England is experiencing a shortage of garden gnomes. Factors contributing to this deficit include a shortage of raw materials, the recent blockage of the Suez Canal by a container ship and the increased popularity of gardening during the COVID-19 shutdowns. “We haven’t seen a gnome in six months,” said Ian Byrne, assistant manager of Highfield Garden World in Whitminster. “Raw materials are becoming a bit of an issue, and unfortunately, gnomes are a victim … Gnomes of any type — plastic, stone or concrete — are in short supply.”
The Trial Of The Unknown Plaintiff
An anonymous New York resident seeking to marry their adult child filed suit in federal court in Manhattan, asking that laws barring incestuous marriage be overturned. In court papers, the petitioner claimed marriage is a matter of “individual autonomy,” but asked to remain anonymous because “a large segment of society views [the request] as morally, socially and biologically repugnant.” The petitioner is a parent of an adult child. But court documents do not reveal the couple’s genders, ages, hometown or relationship. The filing details that the “proposed spouses are unable to procreate together.” Manhattan family and matrimonial law attorney Eric Wrubel predicted, “It’s never going to fly.”
She Does Not Give Up
Heather Poplasky of Plainfield, Conn., was arrested four times in 24 hours in April. The first arrest came when police were called to her home, where they say she threatened to cut herself with a large kitchen knife. She blamed her suicidal intent on her boyfriend. Police charged her with reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct, and took her to a hospital for evaluation, where Putnam police issued her with a summons after she accosted a member of the staff. The next morning, Poplasky violated the terms of her release from the hospital by returning to her home, where Plainfield police again arrested her, adding more charges, and put her in custody. She flooded her cell by putting a roll of toilet paper and trash in the toilet. So police added a charge of criminal mischief. Her bond topped out at $30,000.
Look What I Found
Gary and Beth Machens moved into a historic home in Alton, Ill., where they found a 19th-century brick tunnel underneath the house. Gary Machens discovered the entrance to the tunnel as he was doing a sidewalk repair. The barrel-shaped tunnel, which is 9 feet high and 60 feet long, is believed by local historians to have been built around 1840 — 50 years before the house was constructed. “Whatever they built this for, it took a lot of men and a lot of hours. You know, one guy didn’t do this,” Machens said. He believes the tunnel could have been used to store ice or carriages, or it could have been part of the Underground Railroad. “There was a ferry here in the Alton area to the Missouri side, and it’s possible it could have been used for that,” he said.
Weird News From The Past
Brian Robson of Cardiff, Wales, was 19 in 1964 when he accepted a job on Victorian Railways in Australia. He regretted his decision and started scheming about how to get back home, but didn’t have enough money for the return trip. That’s when he had an idea: with the help of two friends, Robson squeezed himself into a 30-by-26-by-38-inch wooden crate and shipped himself home in the cargo area of a Qantas flight. “The first 10 minutes was fine,” he said. “But your knees start to cramp up when they’re stuck up to your chest.” When the crate arrived in Sydney, it landed on the tarmac upside down. “So now I’m sitting on my neck and my head,” he explained, “and I was there for 22 hours upside down.” When he finally arrived in Los Angeles, two airport workers discovered him. He spent six days recovering in a hospital. As word of his story got out, Pan Am airlines sent Robson home to London in a first-class seat. Robson lost touch with the friends who helped him but now hopes to find them and reconnect. He’s never been back to Australia.
We Were Only Trying To Help
A sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a Dollar General store in Maryville, Tenn., after a clerk was presented with a $1 million bill. Amanda McCormick, 39, told officers she received the bill “in the mail from a church” and that she planned to use the funds to purchase the cart full of items she had, “including several gift cards … for care packages for homeless individuals.” McCormick and her companion, Linda Johnson, 61, were not arrested, but were banned from returning to the Dollar General store.
Slave to Fashion
Among the items unveiled in Louis Vuitton’s fall/winter 2021 men’s collection in January was a leather “Keepall” bag, which was shaped like a miniature airplane and covered with the LV logo. The design went viral when a Twitter user pointed out that an actual airplane could be purchased on eBay for less than the Keepall’s $39,000 price tag. Oddity Central reported that the bag features imitation wings, a tail and four engines. The used single-engine Cessna referred to in the Tweet was listed at $32,300 on eBay.
Three Eggs For $30,000
Police in Naples, Fla., are looking for a woman identified only as “Rosalia.” Rosalia, who describes herself as a witch, is suspected of swindling more than $100,000 from at least 10 victims. Authorities were first alerted to her scamming when a man called police to report that Rosalia had disappeared with $29,500 of his money. The man said he had responded to a flyer advertising Rosalia’s “witchcraft services.” She allegedly told the man she saw something “dark” in his future and gave him three eggs to put under his bed as he slept. When he brought them back the next day, she waved the eggs over his head and face, then opened them to reveal one filled with blood, one with needles and a third with worms, according to the police report. She instructed the man to bring her all the money he had so she could bless it and multiply it at her temple in Fort Myers. She promised to return it the next day. Rosalia hasn’t been seen since. Police have identified more victims.
Sign Of The Times
A family-owned patisserie in Veresegyhaz, Hungary, is offering its customers relief from COVID-19 angst with colorful layered mousses, each topped with a decorative syringe. The Sulyan family’s special desserts are colored with jelly toppings representing the different COVID-19 vaccinations available in Hungary: citrus yellow for AstraZeneca, darker yellow for Sinopharm, green for Pfizer, orange for Sputnik V and blue for Moderna. “Anyone can try these,” said confectioner Katalin Benko. “The only possible side effect would be a little smile on their face.”
People With Issues
Edward and Cheryl Patton of Lake View, N.Y., tried for three years to identify the person who was throwing used paper coffee cups — some with cigarette butts inside — on their front yard nearly every night. But they could never get a good look at the minivan as it drove by. Edward began keeping records of the littering and collecting the cups, eventually filling 10 garbage bags. He even installed a surveillance camera. But it wasn’t until neighbors set up a stakeout and captured the license plate number that the mystery was solved. Eventually, police set up their own stakeout and pulled over Larry Pope, 76, a former co-worker of Cheryl whom she’d had disagreements with. Pope was charged with harassment and throwing refuse onto a roadway. The Pattons said the littering has stopped since his arrest.
Going Out in Style
Mourners at Phil McLean’s funeral in Wellington, New Zealand, laughed as his coffin, shaped like a giant doughnut, was brought into the chapel. McLean had designed the special coffin with his cousin, Ross Hall, owner of Dying Art, a business in Auckland specializing in custom coffins. Over the last 15 years, Hall has fashioned coffins that look like sailboats, firetrucks, chocolate bars, Legos, and many other things. McLean’s widow, Debra, said her husband had considered himself a connoisseur of cream doughnuts, and the coffin “overshadowed the sadness … The final memory in everyone’s mind was of that doughnut and Phil’s sense of humor.” Hall says that for himself he originally planned a red box with flames on it, but then changed his mind in favor of a clear coffin that will reveal him wearing nothing but a leopard-patterned G-string. “The kids say they’re not going,” he said.