Mental Floss

The Weird Week in review

Miss Cellania
City of Key West via Facebook
City of Key West via Facebook / City of Key West via Facebook


Police in Key West, Florida, issued a tow order for an illegally-parked vehicle on Thursday. But first they had to take pictures and try to find the owner, because this car is a replica of Fred Flintstone’s foot-powered vehicle from the TV show The Flintstones, complete with single barrel-wheels front and back and zebra skin upholstery. Key West Police updated the Facebook notice to say they have found the owner, but they have not released any names.  


Police in Anchorage, Alaska, were involved in a chase about 3 a.m. Thursday after a front-end loader was seen smashing into the front of a liquor store. Witnesses saw the machinery break the glass at Brown Jug liquor store. The driver went in and took several bottles of liquor. Police pursued the front-end loader, but the driver refused to stop. Once they blocked his path, they arrested 38-year-old Joseph Martin, who failed a sobriety test. He also had liquor bottles in the front-end loader. The next morning, Trina and Gus Gaskov found the fence damaged at their landscaping business and a front-end loader missing.

"He's obviously a good driver, 'cause he was drunk off his butt but he was still driving really good," she said in a phone interview Thursday. "He didn't hit a car or nothing — and making those wide turns — he must have experience driving around the loaders or something."

The police chase was captured on video.


When a queen becomes trapped, her loyal subjects will do anything they can to free her. That was the case when a queen bee was apparently closed up inside a Mitsubishi Outlander. Carol Howarth Haverfordwest, West Wales, visited a nature reserve, where the queen bee hitched a ride, and later noticed an entire swarm of bees on her car as she went shopping. Park Ranger Tom Moses called out the Pembrokeshire Beekeepers Association, who removed the bees. But the next day, the car was again covered in bees, so the beekeepers returned to remove them again, this time for good. The queen was not found.


In 2014, 26-year-old Reynaldo Colon of St. Petersburg, Florida, worked for PSCU, a company that serviced credit cards for around 800 credit unions, with about 18 million credit cards. Colon took initial reports by cardholders when they noticed suspicious activity on their cards. However, police say, before he opened an investigation, he would use those reported card numbers to make purchases. An investigation uncovered a loss of $13,000 from 21 stolen card numbers under the scheme. Colon was fired from PSCU last November, and was arrested on fraud charges this week. The illegal transactions mostly involved fast food restaurants


A female tortoise named Fred suffered injuries in a forest fire in Brazil. and lost most of her shell. The sight of a tortoise with burns and no shell inspired her rescuers to name her after Freddy Kreuger. The tortoise was treated for pneumonia, but she didn’t eat for 45 days and suffered from that, too. A group called Animal Avengers measured her and compared her to tortoises with healthy shells, and fed the data into a computer. The result was a 3D-printed shell that came in four pieces to be linked together. Brazilian artist Yuri Caldera painted the shell to match Fred’s natural appearance. Fred now lives with veterinarian Dr. Rodrigo Rabello, and id regaining her health.


Dr. Henry Heimlich, the inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver that has saved countless choking victims, is 96 years old and lives at a senior living facility in Cincinnati. The staff are all trained in the Heimlich Maneuver, but on Monday, when 87-year-old Patty Ris got a piece of hamburger stuck in her airway, they deferred to Heimlich. The doctor immediately performed as he had practiced for decades, and the obstruction was dislodged. Ris was okay! The real kicker is that this is the first time Heimlich had ever used his maneuver to save someone's life.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Heimlich recounted what happened. He said Ris had been sitting next to him at his table. “When I used it, and she recovered quickly,” he said, “it made me appreciate how wonderful it has been to be able to save all those lives.” His son, Phil Heimlich, said his father regularly meets people who were either saved or saved somebody else. “Just the fact that a 96-year-old man could perform that, is impressive,” he said.

Heimlich has lived at the facility for six years, but still stays active and in shape.