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News of the Weird: Paint the Town

Bizarre but true stories from around the world



Bright Idea Cai, a 28-year-old man in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China, had plenty of time to consider traffic patterns as he waited for the lights to change during his daily commute. So much, in fact, that he decided to take matters into his own hands on Sept. 27 and paint new traffic arrows on the roadway. A traffic camera captured the whole project as Cai carefully added a straight arrow to the existing left-turn and U-turn arrows. "I saw the straight lane was always packed with cars, while the turning left lane has a lot of space," Cai told police. "So I thought changing the signs would make my commute smoother." The BBC reports that police fined Cai the equivalent of about $151, and crews removed the new straight arrow from the road.

Hair Trigger Timothy Colton, 28, is cooling off in the Clark County (Nevada) Detention Center after being charged with arson and the attempted murder of his 66-year-old mother, who has limited mobility. The Nov. 27 altercation apparently started over a laundry dispute, but North Las Vegas police said Colton became aggressive and threatened to kill his mother and burn the house down. Fox News reports that Colton set fire to the front door and then ran away to hide under a car in a nearby parking lot, where officers found him. Police said he was "kicking the back seat door and hitting his head on the plastic partition between the front and rear seats" in the patrol car during his arrest. He was being held on $100,000 bail.

When Ya Gotta Go... Nemy Bautista of Sacramento, California, will not be posting a five-star review to Amazon this holiday season following not one but two alarming experiences. On Nov. 28, Bautista returned home to find a pile of what he thought was dog poo at the end of his driveway. But after reviewing his security camera footage, he discovered the poop perp was in fact a contract delivery driver for Amazon, driving a U-Haul truck. Bautista watched as the female driver squatted by the side of the truck, partially concealed by the open door, and left her mark. Bautista called Amazon to complain, and a supervisor arrived hours later to bag up the evidence. The next day, Bautista got another package from Amazon, but the delivery person "tossed the package ... instead of walking up the driveway," Bautista told FOX40. He said the package contained a "fragile porcelain figurine," but it didn't break. Maybe the delivery person was afraid of stepping in something?

On the Naughty List (1) A man in Australia couldn't wait for Santa to deliver his Christmas wish: a 5 1/2-foot-tall "Dorothy model" sex doll. So, according to the Victoria Police Kingston Crime Investigation Unit, he broke into an adult entertainment store in Moorabbin on Dec. 4 by cutting through a fence with bolt cutters and smashing his way through the door. After quickly loading Dorothy into the back of his van, he took off. Security cameras caught the event, but the thief was disguised with stockings and a balaclava pulled over his head. (2) A mall Santa working the weekend shift in late November got more than he bargained for at Dufferin Mall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, when an unnamed woman unloaded a sleigh-full of obscenities on him, saying, "Do you have a sleigh? No? ... You're not magic! You're not even real! I heard about it when I was a young kid!" A bystander with a cellphone captured the tirade on video, reported the New York Post, and true to his spirit, St. Nick kept his composure and tried not to engage with the elf-hater. A mall spokesperson said the woman left without further incident.

The Passing Parade Faye Preston of Hull, Yorkshire, England, loves her neighborhood, even the homeless folks who gently ask for change — or, in Preston's case, make love in her driveway. She stepped out one night in November to smoke a cigarette and saw a couple under a blanket in her drive, and decided to let them be. But when she went out the next morning, "They were having actual sex on my driveway. The movement going on under the cover was unmistakable," Preston wrote in the Hull Daily Mail. Still, she was worried about running them over, so she called police, who eventually removed them. "If I was homeless, I'd come here too," Preston wrote. "Where else can you go for a posh meal, followed by cocktails in a swanky bar and finish the night stepping over some frisky homeless people fornicating on your driveway?"

A Message From God? An 18th-century statue of the crucified Jesus that was removed for restoration from the church of St. Agueda in Burgo de Osma, Spain, held a surprise in a most unusual spot. As historians removed from Jesus's backside a section of the carving meant to look like a cloth, they discovered two handwritten letters dated 1777 and signed by Joaquin Minguez, then-chaplain of the cathedral. Minguez details life in the community, including harvest reports and diseases, and tells about the sculpture's artist, Manuel Bal. Historian Efren Arroyo told the Spanish newspaper El Mundo it appears Minguez intended his letters to be a sort of time capsule. The original letters were sent to the Archbishop of Burgos for archiving, but copies were returned to Jesus's hindquarters to honor Minguez's intent.

Modern Times The Jilin Daily newspaper in eastern China has provided a handy guide for residents about what to do in case of a nuclear attack from North Korea. Cartoons illustrate how to wash radioactive contaminants from shoes with water and use cotton swabs to clean out ears. "If war breaks out," commented the state-backed Global Times, "it is not possible to rule out the Korean Peninsula producing nuclear contaminants, and countermeasures must be ... spoken openly about to let the common folk know. But at the same time, there is absolutely no reason to be alarmed."


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