Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Jim Martin at Facebook
Jim Martin at Facebook / Jim Martin at Facebook

D-day Paratrooper Recreates His Jump at Age 93

World War II veteran Jim "Pee Wee" Martin belonged to the 101st Airborne Division that parachuted into Normandy on June 5, 1944, just ahead of the D-Day landing. He did that same jump again 70 years later, which you might expect to be difficult now that Martin is 93 years old. But to Martin, this time around was easier.

"It didn't (compare)," Martin said, "because there wasn't anybody shooting at me today."

Learn more about Martin and his experiences both as a paratrooper in World War II and as a veteran at his Facebook page.

Missing Sussex Pensioner Went To Normandy

An unnamed 89-year-old D-Day veteran was reported missing from his nursing home in Hove, Sussex, England. Police were notified that the pensioner had not been seen since Thursday morning. Police searched for the man, but had no luck. Then late Thursday night, the nursing home received a call from a younger veteran in France. He had met up with the older veteran on a bus bound for Normandy, and said that he was safe and well in a hotel in Ouistreham, France. The older man was determined to be at the 70th anniversary commemoration of the D-Day invasion. The younger veteran assured the home that he would accompany the man back when the ceremonies concluded. (Thanks, M.V.!)

Gorilla Shot With Tranquilizer was Man in a Gorilla Suit

A strange incident was reported at the Loro Parque zoo in Tenerife, Canary Islands. A zoo employee had donned a gorilla suit and looked a little too real for zoo visitors and one veterinarian.

La Opinión de Tenerife reports that the man had donned a gorilla suit and was running around the park in a drill to prepare employees for an actual animal escape. The tranquilizer-wielding veterinarian apparently did not know the exercise was in progress and shot the zoo worker in the leg from a distance. Local police arrived at the zoo following reports that a gorilla was loose. The incident was reportedly deemed an accident.

The employee was taken to a local hospital because he had an allergic reaction to the tranquilizer. He is listed in serious condition.

Neighborhood Shoe Thief is a Fox

Elaine Hewitt of Horsforth, a suburb of Leeds, England, is the unwilling recipient of stolen shoes. Shoes began showing up in her backyard one at a time a few months ago. Now she gets a new shoe every day, and has resorted to putting up a rack in front of her house so neighbors can claim their shoes. The culprit is a fox, who lives in the nearby woods with a litter of kits. Hewitt has seen the fox carrying shoes a couple of times, but cannot figure out why they are brought to her home. She just hopes the mother fox isn’t passing her thieving habit on to her five kits.

Kentucky Education Agency Misspelled “Kentucky”

When my daughter brought this book home, I knew it would make the news sooner or later. The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority published a book on college planning and distributed it to every high school junior in the state. It took students no time at all to notice that the word “Kentucky” on the book’s spine is spelled with only one k, as “Kentucy.” Reprinting the book would cost the state $700,000, so the KHEAA has decided to just deal with the embarrassment.

Puppy Drives Car into Pond

John Costello took his puppy, Rosie, for a walk near a pond in Canton, Massachusetts, on Sunday. The 12-week-old puppy excitedly jumped in the car as Costello started it up. Rosie jumped into the front seat, knocked the gear shift into forward gear, and then fell onto the gas pedal. The car sped off—straight into the pond. As the car sank, the puppy jumped back into the back seat, which caused a few moments panic.

And that's when Eric Hermann, who was working nearby, rushed to help. "It was about 30 feet out the car," Hermann said. "Puppy was scared and ran to the back seat. The front door was open, [we were] trying to get him out the front door, coax him." Hermann, Costello and another man all swam to save Rosie. "I just leaped in and grabbed the dog and pulled her out and we both fell back into the water," said Costello.

Everyone made it out of the water just fine, but the car, which belongs to Costello’s daughter, is a total loss.