Mental Floss

The Weird Week in Review

Miss Cellania
Peel Regional Police
Peel Regional Police / Peel Regional Police

Peculiar Parking Job

A man was in a particular hurry to get his children to school in Toronto Monday morning. Instead of waiting at a traffic light, he decided to take a short cut through a parking lot. He didn’t see the metal poles planted to protect a sidewalk exit ramp. So this happened. Constable Lilly Fitzpatrick said speed must have been a factor.

“He actually bent the first concrete pole and then the vehicle got hung up on the second one,” she said. No one was injured but the vehicle’s undercarriage was significantly damaged. “We had to have a special tow truck that was able to lift it up from the pole and get it down,” the constable said.

The unnamed driver may face charges in the incident.

Telephone Museum Lost to Wildfire

The telephone has evolved and changed so much that you might want to take your children to a museum to show them what kind of calls you once made. Alas, we have one less opportunity to do so. The JKL Museum of Telephony near San Andreas, California, featured an extensive collection of telephones from every era since the device’s invention and a library of archives relating to phones and phone companies. Sadly, the museum burned to the ground in the Butte fire. The museum owners hope to rebuild somehow, and have issued an appeal for historic phones, equipment, and documents.

Janis Joplin's Psychedelic Porsche to be Auctioned

Believe it or not, Janis Joplin did not drive a Mercedes Benz. When she made the big time in 1968, she bought a 1965 Porsche 356C 1600 Cabriolet. To be fair, she didn’t write the song "Mercedes Benz" until 1970, and the lyric did mention Porsches. The car she drove was customized with a psychedelic paint job that became instantly recognizable wherever she drove.

The car has been on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland since 1995, but it will go up for auction through Sotheby’s in December. According to The Guardian, the auction house expects the car to bring in $400,000. The Driven By Disruption sale will take place in New York on December 10th.

Elton John Victim of Phone Prank

Sir Elton John did an interview with the BBC last week, in which he mentioned he would like to speak to President Vladimir Putin about gay rights in Russia. Then Tuesday morning, John posted a “thank you” on Instagram to Putin for the phone call. The president of Russia called Elton John? The Kremlin denied that any such call took place. After a round of publicity, Russian comedians Vladimir "Vovan" Krasnov and Alexei "Lexus" Stolyarov admitted they had prank-called John. The musician fell for it hook, line, and sinker, and discussed the situation in Ukraine with the caller, then asked for a face-to-face meeting. After the prank was uncovered, the real Putin issued a statement saying he would welcome a call from Elton John.

Zebra and Wildebeest on the Menu, Not on the Plate

A former steakhouse owner has been sentenced for misleading diners as to the contents of their meals. The Steakhouse Restaurant in Watford, UK, promised exotic meats in their steaks such as zebra and wildebeest. A police sting operation revealed last year that customers who ordered the wildlife steaks were instead served horse meat and venison, respectively. Kunal Soni was ordered to pay £3,860.78 in court costs and was placed on probation. None of the animals are illegal to serve; the charges concern the covert substitution of what is on the menu.

Loyal Dog Stands Vigil for Trapped Buddy- for a Week

Two dogs from the Paradise Valley area of Washington state have been found after being missed for a week. Vashon Island Pet Protectors issued an urgent bulletin on Facebook for anyone who may have seen them. That brought in a tip that led a search crew to find setter Tillie and Basset hound Phoebe in a valley. Phoebe had apparently fallen into a below-ground concrete tank. With her short legs, she couldn’t get out under her own steam. Tillie stood by, standing vigil with her trapped friend. For a week. Tillie had briefly left Phoebe’s side, only long enough to be seen by the anonymous tipster, who reported a red dog approaching and then rushing off into the woods. Both dogs were cold and hungry, but otherwise unharmed.