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News of the Weird: American Assholes

Bizarre but true stories from around the world



All-American Weirdos Two American tourists, Joseph Dasilva, 38, and Travis Dasilva, 36, of San Diego, were arrested in Bangkok, Thailand, on Nov. 28 and detained in an immigration detention center after they posted a "butt-selfie" on Instagram, taken in front of the Buddhist temple Wat Arun, or Temple of the Dawn. The pair's Instagram account, traveling_butts, showcased their hindquarters at tourist sites around the world, but it was deleted shortly after the arrests. District police chief Jaruphat Thongkomol told Reuters that the two would also be fined for a similar photo at a different temple.

But Why? In Birmingham, England, renowned 53-year-old surgeon Simon Bramhall pleaded guilty on Dec. 13 to branding his initials onto human livers using an argon beam during transplant surgeries. A colleague first noticed the initials "S.B." in 2013 on an organ during a follow-up surgery, which sparked an investigation, the Guardian reported. Bramhall resigned in 2014 and acknowledged that marking his patients' livers had been a mistake. But former patient Tracy Scriven of Dyrham, Wiltshire, told the Birmingham Mail that he should be reinstated. "Is it really that bad? I wouldn't have cared if he did it to me. The man saved my life."

Inept Santa Jesse Berube, 32, of Rocklin, California, tried using a favorite trick of Old St. Nick — but he got stuck in the chimney of a Citrus Heights business he was trying to rob on Dec. 13 and had to call police for help. ABC News reported that Sacramento firefighters responded and used special equipment to free Berube, who now faces one count of burglary.

The Check's in the Mail Lorette Taylor of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, responsible for meting out her family's inheritance after her father's death sent a bank draft last February to her brother, Louis Paul Hebert, for $846,648.46 via UPS. Hebert waited at his local UPS store for the check to arrive — but nothing came in. "I came back in the evening. Nothing shows up," he told the CBC. UPS could trace the package only to its distribution center north of Toronto, so along with an apology for Hebert's inconvenience, UPS refunded the $32 shipping fee. Taylor's bank, TD Canada Trust, initially assured her the check would be canceled, but two days later refused to issue a new draft until Taylor signed an indemnity agreement making her and her heirs liable for life should the original check be cashed. Not only that, the bank then asked her to put up collateral against the new bank draft, but that request was later recalled. Finally, 10 months after the whole ordeal began, the bank released the money, and Hebert, at press time in December, was making the 273-mile drive to pick up the check in person.

Awesome! An unnamed newborn boy underwent surgery at the Scientific Research Institute of Pediatrics in Baku, Azerbaijan, to remove a small remainder of a parasitic twin that had attached itself to the baby's back: a penis. Gunduz Agayev, head of the institute's neonatology department, reported to Metro News in December that the baby "has a normal sexual organ where it is supposed to be" and "the penis on the back ... has been surgically removed." The newborn was not traumatized by the surgery and is already at home with his parents, the doctor said.

Channeling Tyson British model Chloe Hammond, 27, also known as Chloe Rebelle, succumbed to a fit of road rage on March 19 when Julie Holloway, 56, tapped on her car window to ask her to stop using her phone while driving in traffic in London. Metro News reports that Hammond responded by parking her Audi TT and then "came out of nowhere" toward Holloway, kicking her in the stomach, grabbing Holloway's hair and biting off a piece of her ear. Holloway, bloodied and disturbed, didn't realize part of her ear was missing until someone "picked it up off the floor." In October, Hammond was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm with intent in Southwark Crown Court, and on Dec. 18, a judge sentenced her to five years in jail.

Inexplicable Don't you ever just want to get away? An unnamed man in Catherine Way, Batheaston, England, started digging a "very deep" hole in his yard weeks ago, but caused a neighborhood disruption when he climbed into the hole on Dec. 12 and refused to come out. Neighbor Dominic Denny told the Bath Chronicle that "it started at about 4 a.m. ... when there was a lot of shouting and screaming coming from the house opposite me. The young man's family was outside trying to get him back in the house." Emergency responders from a variety of services converged on the scene, even bringing a crane to lower into the hole to retrieve the man. A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset police later reported that the incident was resolved and "the man got out of the hole of his own accord."

Special Delivery! An employee at a TCBY yogurt shop in Matthews, North Carolina, got a surprise while opening three packages delivered to the store — filled with $220,000 worth of marijuana. Upon further investigation, the store told WSOC-TV, the packages had been delivered mistakenly and were meant for a P.O. Box at the postal store next door. While the origin of the packages is still unknown, the drugs and the recipient's information have been turned over to police, who report that no arrests have been made.

Questionable Judgment The Mirror reports that a flight attendant with Urumqi Air in China has been suspended after a co-worker captured her on video eating from in-flight meals meant for passengers. In the video, a line of open meals is on a shelf in front of the female attendant, who samples from at least two of them with a spoon. The airline said in a statement that the meals were leftovers not handed out to passengers, and it was launching a full investigation.

Least Competent Criminals Israel Perez Rangel, 38, of Santa Ana, California, raised suspicions begging for money at a service station to put gas in the 2015 Ferrari 458 Spider he was driving on Nov. 1. The $300,000 car was in rough shape, according to the Los Angeles Times, with cracked fins, emblems torn from the body and vomit caked on the side. When Santa Ana police arrived, Rangel ran away, but he was caught nearby hiding in bushes. Car owner Susan Friedman of Laguna Beach had left the Ferrari at a Costa Mesa service center in October, where it was stolen, and surveillance video confirmed it was Rangel who nicked the hot rod. Luckily for Friedman, her insurance company cut her a check and she replaced the Ferrari with a 2018 Lamborghini Huracan. "I love it," she said.

Wait, What? Visitors to South Korea for the Winter Olympics may want to make a side trip to Haesindang Park near the coastal town of Sinnam. The park, also known as Penis Park, opened to the public in 2007 and was dedicated to the memory of a virgin bride-to-be left behind by her fisherman fiance. Locals told the Mirror that after being abandoned, the bride was swept out to sea and drowned, causing fish to leave the area. Now her spirit can only be soothed by the sight of male genitalia. The park features nearly 300 erect phallus statues, and about 12,000 visitors take in the titillating sights each year, most of them women.

We Are Not Alone The Stardust Ranch in Rainbow Valley, Arizona, has a lot to offer potential buyers: Just an hour west of Phoenix, the property boasts a 3,500-square-foot home with a pool, 10 acres, barns, a gated entry ... and two portals to another dimension: one at the back of the property, and one in the fireplace. Owner John Edmonds and his wife bought the property, now listed at $5 million, 20 years ago to run a horse rescue, but he says he's killed more than a dozen extraterrestrials on the property (using a samurai sword) and has suffered many injuries in his encounters with them. Edmonds told KPNX TV in October that aliens tried to abduct his wife: "They actually levitated her out of the bed in the master chamber and carried her into the parking lot and tried to draw her up into the craft." (She won't enter the room anymore.) Listing agent Kimberly Gero notes: "This isn't the type of property that you can just place in the MLS and wait for a buyer to come along."

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