Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
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Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall

A cement version of Humpty Dumpty, created by artist Roger Tofte, sat on a wall at Enchanted Forest theme park in Salem, Oregon, since 1970. Until Saturday, when two men climbed the wall. And Humpty Dumpty fell. Maybe the king’s men were unable, but Tofte, now 84 years old, said he would take a crack at it. Not a repair, but making a new Humpty Dumpty from scratch.

“It’s going to take a few hours to start from scratch again,” Tofte told KOIN 6 News, but he said he has “some creative juices left.”

The men who caused the accident said they would pay for the damage.

Draft Notices Sent to Men Born in 1800s

The Selective Service System normally sends out notices to young men reminding them they are obligated to register for the draft. A mass mailing in Pennsylvania was addressed to 14,000 men who were born from 1893 to 1897. Relatives of the men, who are all deceased, began calling to ask if it was a joke. The mistake was traced to a clerk at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation who did not select a century when transferring records of 400,000 men to the Selective Service database. The mailings were supposed to only go to those born between 1993 and 1997, but also included their great-grandfathers. A large number of those men presumably served in World War I. The Selective Service posted an apology on its website on Thursday.

Kansas Woman Sets House on Fire to Kill Spider

Ginny M. Griffith of Hutchinson, Kansas, found a spider in her home, so naturally, she set a fire to get rid of it. Firefighters responded to reports of smoke coming from Griffith’s duplex and found smoldering clothing and multiple points of origin for the fire. Griffith said she lit some towels on fire to kill the spider. There were no injuries and little damage, but Griffith was arrested for attempted arson because the other side of the duplex was occupied.

Dog Coughs Up Missing Wedding Ring Lost 6 Years Ago

Lois Matykowski of Wisconsin lost her diamond wedding ring six years ago. She searched everywhere, as the ring was fairly new and not insured, but never found it. Then last week, her ten-year-old dog Tucker swallowed a popsicle stick. Tucker is famous for stealing food and eating anything that isn’t nailed down. A veterinarian advised her to feed the dog a Vaseline sandwich, which she did, and he threw up the popsicle stick. Two days later, the dog threw up again, and this time, Matykowski’s wedding ring came up! It had apparently been inside the dog all those years. The veterinarian says the popsicle stick must have dislodged it. Now Matykowski is getting jokes from friends who are jealous that she has a dog that pukes up diamonds.

Venomous Snake Found in Toilet

Construction workers on the job in Hueytown, Alabama, were shocked to find a snake in a toilet. Willie Harris first thought it was a joke, but then the snake moved. The Hueytown Police Department responded to the call about a highly venomous cottonmouth.

Police officer Alice Thompson used two batons to turn the snake. Once she had the snake in the right position, she grabbed it by its head. "I was holding it actually on the corners of the mouth where the mouth was actually open at the time. Which for me, that was actually the first time I'd ever seen fangs that were folded back in a snake," Thompson told WBRC. She did all of this while her two male partners, as well as the construction workers, huddled in a corner and watched.

The snake was released away from the construction site.

The Smell of Farts May Prevent Cancer

A new study out of the University of Exeter says catching a whiff of noxious gasses, like those in flatulence, could help the human body repair cell damage and prevent debilitating diseases such as cancer. Hydrogen sulfide gas is produced when bacteria breaks down food, during digestion or when food rots. An occasional dose of the gas helps to preserve mitochondria in human cells. But scientists aren’t advocating that we seek out flatulence: they are working on a compound, called AP39, that could deliver tiny doses to the body as needed.