News of the Weird

Joke stolen from: News of the Weird

Not the Hardiest of Citizens: Windsor, Ontario, hair stylist Waddah (Martin) Mustapha was awarded the equivalent of about US$270,000 by a court in April after he testified that he became racked with depression upon seeing a fly inside a commercial bottle of water at his salon. Presumably, damages would have been more if Mustapha had actually drunk from the bottle (or even opened it). As it was, he and his wife vomited, and he required extensive psychotherapy for nightmares, loss of sense of humor, increased argumentativeness, lack of desire to shower regularly, and constipation.

Joke stolen from: News of the Weird

In April, Laura and Edmund Gerstein of Boca Raton, Fla., who want to save their beloved backyard grapefruit tree from the state's citrus canker eradication program, formally claimed immunity for the tree under a provision in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Gersteins pointed to a paragraph on protecting crops needed for civilians' survival during wartime, in that, said Edmund, "As I understand it, [the U.S.] is in a state of war." (Responded a state Department of Agriculture spokesman, "That tree will be coming down.")

Joke stolen from: News of the Weird

To conceal an enormous open-cast mining operation about 10 miles from Newcastle, England, and to reduce the cost of carting away millions of tons of debris, the mining company recently hired artist Charles Jencks to incorporate the waste into a reclining female sculpture, a half-mile long, running along the A1 highway, with breasts forming peaks 100 feet off the ground. The "Goddess of the North" is expected to take three years to finish, will have footpaths over and around it, and be slightly larger than the "Angel of the North" metal sculpture 15 miles to the south.

Joke stolen from: News of the Weird

Jeanette Hall, 29, one of the world's few female taxidermists, enjoyed a mainstream practice in Nevada (elk heads, bear rugs, even some novelties like deer testicles) until she decided recently to create sofa pillows with one side made from the actual fur of her clients' dogs and cats (horses and cows handled, also), for fees of $65-$150. Though her customers were satisfied ("Most people," Hall said, "were happy that Fluffy was still on the couch"), Hall said others considered her work "sick," and she was deluged with "hundreds of hate e-mails from all over the globe," from "people threatening to burn down my house." (Consequently, she has temporarily retired her pillow work.)

Joke stolen from: News of the Weird

Travis Williams, 25, and his passenger Brandon Calmese, 27, were arrested in March when sheriff's deputies decided to pull them over after seeing them driving on Interstate 380 near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at 55 mph with the hood up and both men craning their necks out the window to see where they were going. A week before that, in Hemet, Calif., a 21-year-old man was hospitalized (with DUI charges pending) after hitting two parked cars, a tree, a fence, and a bus, driving a car with the hood sticking up and deployed airbags flapping in the wind.