If You Can't Beat 'Em ... Eat 'Em | News of the Weird | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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If You Can't Beat 'Em ... Eat 'Em 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

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If You Can't Beat 'Em ... Eat 'Em
What to do with all those cicadas blanketing the eastern half of the country every 17 years? Sarah Dwyer of Chouquette Chocolates in Bethesda, Maryland, is coating them in chocolate and selling them as exotic treats, Reuters reported. She calls them delicious. "When you combine the chocolate, the cinnamon and the nuttiness of the bugs, it really gives you that holiday feeling of when you're walking around a big city and they're roasting nuts on the sidewalk, that cinnamon smell, it's really what it tastes like," Dwyer said. She and her employees gather the bugs from trees behind the business and put them in paper bags, which they place in the freezer. Then the cicadas are boiled and crisped in an air fryer. "I did go to pastry school in Paris to learn my dipping technique," Dwyer said. "I'm pretty sure no one thought I'd be using it on cicadas."

Florida
An entrepreneurial real estate buyer got more than he bargained for in Brooksville, Florida, when he bought a municipal building for $55,000 in April. The building sits underneath the town's water tower, and when Bobby Read went to the county to get an address for his new building, he discovered he had also bought the large structure. The Associated Press reported that the community-minded Read transferred the tower back to Brooksville through a warranty deed in May. City Manager Mark Kutney said a bad legal description of the property was to blame for the snafu: "We're human. Sometimes we make a mistake."

Crime Report
Aron Jermaine Major, 47, of Atlanta is accused of 17 counts of burglary after a crime spree that gave him the moniker "the crawling burglar," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Starting last September, Major slithered through windows at metro Atlanta restaurants and across the floor, avoiding motion detectors, to rob the businesses of cash and liquor. He was finally apprehended in a traffic stop, where his signature clothing—"black jacket with a distinct, gray, angular pattern on both shoulders and sleeves," according to police—and the tag number on his car gave him away. Major has several burglary convictions on his record; he was held in the Cobb County jail without bond.

Bright Idea
When an unnamed 18-year-old found herself locked out of her home in Henderson, Nevada, on June 15, she followed the example of a certain right jolly old elf and tried to enter the home through the chimney, United Press International reported. Henderson firefighters posted on Facebook that the woman became stuck "just above the flue," and they used a rope system to pull her to safety. She was uninjured (except maybe for her pride).

Awesome!
Up for auction in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is a painting that was purchased in a South River thrift store for $4.09 by an unnamed buyer, NPR reported. The purchaser then noticed the artist's signature on the back, with a date of 1997. Canadian auction house Cowley Abbott has identified the painting as "DHead XLVI" by rock superstar David Bowie, who died in 2016. It's part of a series of 47 pieces of art Bowie made between 1995 and 1997. As of press time, bids were up to $38,100.

Sweet Revenge
Kristen Bishop, 33, and Sophie Miller, 26, were strangers from Texas until late March, when Miller called Bishop to reveal that both women were dating the same man, "Adam." At first, Bishop didn't believe Miller's tale, but soon the facts came to light, and the two women cooked up a plot for revenge. The Scottish Sun reported that Bishop and Adam had planned a vacation to Turkey for early April, which was just a few days after the revealing phone call. When they landed in Istanbul, Bishop told him that she knew what had been going on; Miller met them at the airport, and the two women abandoned Adam, whom both had met on the dating app Hinge. Bishop had changed all the reservations in his name to Miller's. "His jaw dropped when he saw (Sophie)," Bishop said. "We became friends quite quickly after we met up," Bishop said of herself and Miller. "We really bonded over the eight-day trip, and it's by far the happiest thing out of this unfortunate situation, that I found a great friend."

Suspicions Confirmed
The Dutch owners of a 61-year-old Noah's Ark replica and the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency are locked in an "impossible stalemate" over the huge vessel, which has been docked at Ipswich, England, since November 2019. The MCA declared the 230-foot-long ark not to be seaworthy, so it cannot sail, the Ipswich Star reported, and the owners have been fined 500 pounds each day. For their part, the owners say the boat, home to a biblical museum, was always categorized as a "non-certified floating object." British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been called in to intervene.

You Talk Too Much
Long-shot candidate for U.S. Congress William Braddock perhaps overshared on a 30-minute phone call with a conservative activist before he became a candidate, Politico reported on June 17. Braddock, vying to represent the Tampa Bay, Florida, area, told Erin Olszewski that fellow candidate Anna Paulina Luna wouldn't be a problem because he would send "a Russian and Ukrainian hit squad" to make her "disappear." "I really don't want to have to end anybody's life for the good of the people of the United States of America," Braddock said, adding "... if the poll says Luna's gonna win, she's gonna be gone. For the good of our country, we have to sacrifice the few." Braddock described his hit squad as "No snipers. Up close and personal. So they know that the target is gone." Olszewski turned the recordings over to police, saying, "Normal people don't say those things."

Least Competent Criminal
New York State police arrested Austin O. Weismore, 25, of Blossvale, New York, on June 16 after he allegedly stole a U-Haul van. Weismore drove the van from Florida to New York in March, WKTV reported, but he never returned the rental. Instead, he used black spray paint to try to disguise the signature color palette and logo. Police found the van while investigating a burglary and noted that the U-Haul logo was still visible on the front windshield. Weismore also removed the catalytic converter; he was charged with felony grand larceny, among other crimes.

For the Birds
A nature camera disguised as a piece of bark in the Nizhne-Svirsky Nature Reserve in Russia fell victim to a persistent woodpecker, United Press International reported. A black woodpecker named Zhelna, looking for insects in the wood, pecked at the camera for several days until it broke, reserve workers posted on Facebook. The device has been removed for repairs.

Update
News of the Weird reported on March 12 that Alexandr Kudlay, 33, and Viktoria Pustovitova, 28, from Kharkiv, Ukraine, had handcuffed themselves together for three months to test their fraught relationship. On June 18, Reuters reported that the experiment was a failure. Kudlay and Pustovitova had their shackles cut off on national television, with Kudlay admitting that "We are not on the same wavelength, we are totally different." Pustovitova tearfully admitted, "I think it will be a good lesson for us, for other Ukrainian couples and couples abroad not to repeat what we have done."

Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.

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