Weird News Weekly

Joke stolen from: Weird News Weekly

Intruders who tried to burgle a couple's home were left in a flap after being frightened off by a pet parrot.

As the thieves entered the remote house near Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough, they turned on the lights only to find they had roused the creature - and quickly fled.

But it was no snarling rottweiler that confronted the villains - it was Matilda, an African grey parrot which said: "Hello, who are you?"

When the stunned burglars offered no reply, the bird took an altogether sterner tone, demanding: "Hey you, come over here!" It was enough to send them packing.

Little could they have known that Matilda was trained to greet anyone entering the home and shout the second phrase if no answer was given.

The intruders entered the property on Saturday night via the garage and took a number of power tools before forcing their way into the house.

It was unoccupied apart from Matilda as owner Jacki Burnett and her husband were away for the night.

But the bewildered burglars turned and fled, taking nothing further from inside as the parrot scared them away.

Mrs Burnett was given the bird four years ago as an anniversary present and had it trained to question visitors.

She said: "My husband and I believe that Matilda saved us from any further property being stolen and we are grateful for her action.

"Matilda is a character and always reacts to house lights going on and off. When we switch them off at night she always says 'See you later'."

Joke stolen from: Weird News Weekly

The first annual Russian Army beauty contest has taken place in Moscow.

The event, designed to make military service more attractive, saw 16 finalists, ranging from privates to captains, perform song and dance routines and parade around in evening dresses.

The 'Beauty in Epaulettes' contest coincided with International Women's Day.

Earlier in the week, contestants donned combat boots and fatigues, posed on tanks and showed off their skills on the firing range.

Tatyana Posevnina, a junior sergeant and radio engineer from the Leningrad Military District near St. Petersburg, took the crown.

Women's Day was invented by feminists in the early 20th century to celebrate the advancement of women.

Joke stolen from: Weird News Weekly

A German woman returned from a shopping trip to find a fighter jet had landed on top of her car.

Simone Merkel was even more confused when she realised the plane had not even been flying.

It had been knocked off a display by a lorry which bumped the platform it was standing on.

The Mig 21 jet was on display in a car park in Hagen, Westphalia, and completely destroyed the car.

Mrs Merkel, 38, said: "I came out of the supermarket to find my car had almost completely disappeared and there was this huge plane in its place.

"I thought World War Three had started. I just hope my insurance covers the damages."

Nobody was injured in the incident.

Joke stolen from: Weird News Weekly

A man has been going around a US town faking choking episodes, apparently to get attention from women.

He flails his arms, coughs and sputters. After a woman rushes over to help, he showers her with gratitude, hugs and kisses.

The sheriff's office in Punta Gorda, Florida has received about a half-dozen calls about the Choking Man, as the Charlotte Sun Herald dubbed him.

So far he has not committed any crime, though a woman went to the hospital on Monday with an anxiety attack after an encounter.

It dawned on people he was faking it after the newspaper ran a story earlier this week about a woman in a restaurant rescuing an anonymous choking man.

The paper started getting calls from women saying they, too, had encounters with a man who matched the description.

Mary Welcher said she noticed the man outside a hospital in January, flailing his arms, gasping and turning red.

"I knew the Heimlich manoeuvre from having done it on one of my children," Welcher said. "I ran around and grabbed him around the waist. A piece of apple came out. He'd been eating an apple before he started choking."

As in the other reported encounters, Choking Man was gushing with gratitude.

"He was crying, sweating, hugging us and saying, 'Thank you, you saved my life,"' Welcher said.

She and other women who have "saved" him described him as being in his mid-30s, 5ft 6in tall and weighing 245lb, with a bald spot and a moustache.

Joke stolen from: Weird News Weekly

Hundreds of speed bumps are to be lowered by a city council because hearses and funeral cars get stuck on them.

Funeral directors in Liverpool have to ask grieving families to walk to the end of certain roads because the limos cannot clear the bumps.

Hearses and funeral cars, which have low axles and a wide wheel base, have also been stranded with one set of wheels on either side of the hump.

Richard Jenkins, president of the Liverpool Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors, says the bumps cause distress to mourners.

He said: "Funerals are obviously a very sensitive time and it can be distressing for people to be asked to walk to the end of their road before getting in the limousine.

"We plan our routes very carefully to reduce the number of bumps but they are often unavoidable.

"We have had incidents, particularly involving families with a few overweight members, where the limo has scraped every hump on the way to church."

Mr Jenkins lobbied for the height of the bumps to be reduced from four inches to three. Liverpool City Council has pledged to address the problem, which is believed to affect about 100 roads.

"We will replace them but it will be a rolling programme over 10 to 15 years. We have an annual budget of $150,000 for speed bumps and we have to strike a balance between building new ones where residents have asked for them and replacing the older, higher ones."