The Weird Week in Review
Squirrel Terrorizes Neighborhood
A small but vicious gray squirrel has attacked at least three residents of Bennington, Vermont in the past couple of weeks. Kevin McDonald was shoveling snow when the squirrel attacked, jumping on his shoulder and holding on. When McDonald shook him off, the squirrel returned for more. Two other people were attacked in a separate incident, and one person was bitten. There are fears that the squirrel may have rabies, but wildlife authorities say that odds are low. They speculate the squirrel may have been reared as a pet and then turned loose. Wildlife control experts have been trying to catch the squirrel for over a week.
Balls All Over
A shopping center in Perth, Scotland was flooded with small red balls when a contest went awry. An Alfa Romeo car was filled with balls for a "guess how many" contest at St. John’s Shopping Centre, to benefit Comic Relief. However, the contest organizers failed to ensure that all the car doors were locked. A child, thought to be about three years old, opened the passenger door and released hundreds of balls.
Crowds gathered and cheered the farcical scene as several of the centre’s security team battled to gather up the balls, while many young children were seen making off with a few.
Siobhan McConnell, the shopping centre manager, said: “This was a bit more comic relief than we had originally planned.
Most of the balls were eventually retrieved, and the contest resumes today.
World's Most Expensive Dog
An 11-month-old Tibetan mastiff named Hong Dong (Big Splash) broke the record for dog prices, going to a new home in China for 10 million RMB, which is £945,000 or about $1.5 million US. Tibetan mastiffs are a very old breed, but lately have become a status symbol among China's new wealthy class. A few years ago, puppies sold for 5,000 RMB, but prices have skyrocketed because of the demand. Hong Dong's new owner will likely receive high stud fees for the dog's breeding services, as much as 100,000 RMB and may earn his money back soon.
30-hour Standoff Over Car Clamp
Jessica Davey, of Salisbury, England found her car clamped on Monday morning, despite the fact that she had purchased a valid parking permit, which was visibly displayed on the car's dashboard. However, since she didn't have it on the window, Anthony Brindley clamped her car wheel and demanded £110 to remove it. Unwilling to pay the fine, and unable to pay £250 to redeem her car if it were to be towed, Davey got in the car and stayed there -for 30 hours! Meanwhile, the police declined to get involved, saying it was civil matter. They intervened, however, when Davey's boyfriend tried to remove the clamp himself. He was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. Davey eventually removed the car clamp herself the next day, when the car clamper Brindley was gone.
Commemorative Royal Wedding Cup with Wrong Prince
Guangdong Enterprises is selling a souvenir porcelain cup to commemorate the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The £9.99 cup features an inscription reading “The fairytale romantic union of all the centuries. 29th April 2011” and a picture of the prince and Ms. Middleton -except the prince pictured is William's younger brother Harry. Even if the offer is an elaborate spoof, it may prove to be profitable, as there are people who more likely to buy a limited-edition mistake than proper official wedding souvenirs.
Tsunami Victim Rescued 10 Miles Out at Sea
Sixty-year-old Hiromitsu Shinkawa was found floating on the roof of his house ten miles from the coast of Japan, two days after the tsunami hit his town of Minami Soma.
Incredibly, he was spotted by a maritime self-defence force destroyer taking part in the rescue effort as he clung to the wreckage with one hand and waved a self-made red flag with the other. He had been at sea for two days.
Reports said that on being handed a drink aboard the rescue boat, Shinkawa gulped it down and immediately burst into tears. His wife, with whom he had returned home as the tsunami approached, is still missing.
He was quoted as saying: "No helicopters or boats that came nearby noticed me. I thought that day was going to be the last day of my life."
Officials said Shinkawa was in good condition after being taken to hospital by helicopter.
Proposal On Stage with Robots
Chicago actress Nina O'Keefe is currently starring in the play Heddatron, which is about a woman who is kidnapped by robots. Her boyfriend, Erik Schroeder, works for a different theater company, but was called on stage for the Heddatron curtain call because it was his 30th birthday. However, that was just a ruse. After a prompting by the on-stage robots, Shroeder dropped to one knee and asked O'Keefe to marry him! The very-surprised O'Keefe said yes, after which the robots serenaded the happy couple. The proposal was captured on video.