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News of the Weird: Revenge of the Goose

Bizarre but true stories from around the world



Karma Takes Wing A Canada goose got its final revenge on Feb. 1 when, after being shot out of the sky by a hunter in Easton, Maryland, it struck Robert Meilhammer, 51, of Crapo, Maryland, seriously injuring the waterfowler. NPR reported that Meilhammer was hunting with a group when one of the large geese flying overhead was killed and fell about 90 feet, landing on Meilhammer's head and knocking him out. It also dislodged two of Meilhammer's teeth. Adult Canada geese weigh about 12 to 14 pounds and can have a wingspan of 6 feet. At press time, Meilhammer was in stable condition after being airlifted to a hospital.

Crime Report When the city gets to be too much for Jo and Lonnie Harrison of Houston, they escape to their pre-fab vacation cabin, nestled on a 10-acre plot in Madisonville, Texas. Having last visited the property in November, Lonnie set out on Feb. 2 to check on it. But when he arrived, he told KTRK-TV, "I didn't see the house. All I saw were blocks and pipes sticking out. The whole house gone." Sgt. Larry Shiver of the Madison County Sheriff's Department later said, "I've never had a house reported stolen in my career yet." (Update: The house was found a few days later, having been repossessed from the previous owner.)

Precocious When a Texas stripper arrived at her 11:30 a.m. gig on Feb. 1, she smelled a rat: Her destination turned out to be Noel Grisham Middle School in Round Rock, Texas. Rather than going inside, the performer called the school and reported a prank. Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, a district spokesperson, told the Austin American-Statesman the student jokester had used his cellphone to order the stripper and paid for it with his parents' credit card. He is now facing disciplinary action.

News That Sounds Like a Joke Staff at an internet cafe in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China, had to call paramedics on Jan. 28 when a gamer lost all feeling in his lower limbs after playing the same game for more than 20 hours straight. Newsweek reported that the unnamed man didn't realize he had become paralyzed until he tried to use the restroom and couldn't move his legs. As he was being carried out on a stretcher, he was heard begging his friends to finish the game for him.

Smooth Reactions Sonny Donnie Smith, 38, of Clackamas, Oregon, was feeling snubbed in September 2016 when both his father and his brother were invited to a family wedding, but Sonny wasn't. As a perfectly reasonable revenge, Sonny made anonymous phone calls to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and the Midland International Air and Space Port in Midland, Texas, claiming that his father and brother were terrorists and would be traveling through the airports. An FBI investigation revealed no terrorist threats, and after interviewing the father and brother, they were both released. On Feb. 1, Sonny Smith pleaded guilty to making the calls, according to The Oregonian, and will be sentenced on May 10.

False Alarm A Scottish farmer called Police Scotland after spotting what he believed to be a tiger in his cow shed near Peterhead in Aberdeenshire on Feb. 3. An armed response team scrambled to the farm and within 45 minutes, established that the fierce big cat was in fact a large cuddly toy. "Any call reporting a potential danger to the public has to be taken seriously," Peterhead Inspector George Cordiner told Metro News. "Until you know exactly what you are dealing with, every option has to be considered."

Awesome! Undoubtedly, many records will be set during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. But before the events even began, one Winter Games record was in the books: Organizers distributed 110,000 condoms to the 2,925 athletes — about 37 condoms per competitor. "We hope to aid the athletes visiting from various countries to complete their events successfully and safely," said a spokesperson for Convenience, the South Korea condom manufacturer that supplied most of the prophylactics. The Korea Biomedical Review reported on Feb. 1 that finely conditioned athletes have been notoriously "sexually unrestrained" before, during and after Olympics contests. Free condom distribution began in 1988 when 8,500 were handed out during the Seoul Olympics.

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