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Odd Job 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

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Odd Job
Kindt Clinics in Amsterdam—which treats anxiety, phobias and PTSD—posted a job opening for someone who is able to vomit at will, NL Times reported on Sept. 4. The person who fills the part-time position will help patients who have a fear of vomiting, replacing a previous employee who retired. Psychologist Maartje Kroesse, who posted the position, said the response has been overwhelming: "There are many more applications than expected. Our new transmitter is certainly among them." (Transmitter?) One hopeful applicant gushed: "Now I can finally share my art: vomit on command!"

Public Display of Hygiene
During the top-tier U.S. Open tennis tournament on Sept. 6—as a match unfolded between Nick Kyrgios of Australia and Karen Khachanov of Russia at Arthur Ashe Stadium—two spectators in the stands stole the show for a few minutes, the Associated Press reported. A YouTube prankster known as "JiDion" donned a barber's cape while a second man proceeded to give JiDion a trim with clippers—at least until tournament security arrived. "They were escorted out of their seats and then off the grounds for disruption of play," said Brendan McIntyre of the United States Tennis Association. "There's a first time for anything." However, it wasn't actually the first for JiDion: The internet entreprenuer also got a trim at a Timberwolves vs. Mavericks basketball game in March, and in July, he was banned for life from Wimbledon for blowing an air horn during a tennis match between Novak Djokovic and Jannik Sinner.

Pricey Potty Break
Sailboat pilot Steve Strickland was headed to Chesapeake Bay from Queens, New York, early on Labor Day when nature called, NBC Philadelphia reported. He set the boat on autopilot and stepped away, but "the autopilot shut off," he said. The boat, which he'd bought only three weeks before, hit a rock jetty and became stuck in the sand at a beach in Ocean City, New Jersey, around 4 a.m. Strickland had to wait until afternoon to get a tow. For him, Labor Day amounted to "a lot of headache and a lot of money."

Unclear on the Concept
Elizabeth Leon, 18, was hired to babysit a 4-year-old in Aventura, Florida, from 1:45 p.m. until midnight on Aug. 15, Local10 reported. When the child's mother texted Leon at 11:14 p.m. to say she was headed home, Leon texted back that she was "heading out ... because her mother paid for an Uber to take her back home, and it arrived ahead of time," an arrest report said. Leon told the mother she had locked the door, and requested her $168 payment. The mother checked her Ring doorbell recording and saw that Leon had actually left at 9:45 p.m., leaving the child alone for more than two hours. On Aug. 22, Leon was charged with child neglect and transferred to jail, where she's unlikely to be able to leave early.

Great Art!
Comic book creator Dale Keown has launched a YouTube channel to talk about his career and that of other cartoonists, Bleeding Cool reported. But on Sept. 8, Keown's livestream got a little less lively when he fell asleep and the camera kept rolling—for more than five hours. The beginning of the video includes Keown expounding on Marvel, Disney, the Hulk and his own drunkenness—and then he seems to just drop off into dreamland. Journalist and Bleeding Cool founder Rich Johnston, who was watching the stream, called it "so transfixing and mellowing."

Police Report
In Fort Myers, Florida, Lee County deputies stopped to investigate a Nissan Altima that was parked blocking a bicycle lane on Sept. 3, NBC2-TV reported. Officers found a man reclining in the driver's seat; after giving them a false name, he was asked to exit the vehicle. That's when Randy Austerman, 34, reached into the console and removed a 3-foot-long steel sword, then paused to attach a dragon-shaped handle to the blade. Police backed off as Austerman poked the sword out the car's window at them. As he tried to escape through the passenger door, Austerman was subdued and arrested; officers found methamphetamine, marijuana and a glass pipe in the car.

Bright Idea
Ryan Boria and Amy Schaner were really hoping for a slow night at the Wendy's where they both worked on Aug. 26. So as they drove to the restaurant in Tilden Township, Pennsylvania, they made a short stop, WFMZ-TV reported. Along the train crossing at Industrial Drive, Boria "placed a shunt on the track. He got back in the car with (Schaner) and they proceeded to Wendy's," Officer Frank Cataldi of the Tilden Township Police Department said. "They told us that their intentions were that if the gates could malfunction and they could somehow block traffic, then that would prevent people from getting to Wendy's, and they could have a slow night at work." Both were arrested on multiple charges, including causing or risking a catastrophe.

No Longer Weird
Behold the cautionary tale of Eric Merda, who shared his harrowing story with WTSP-TV on Sept. 5. Merda was at the Lake Manatee Fish Camp in Myakka City, Florida, when he became lost in the woods on July 17. When he found the lake, he decided to swim across: "Not the smartest decision a Florida boy could make," Merda said. As he swam, a gator got hold of his forearm and dragged him underwater three times, he said, and "when we came up the third time, she finally did her death roll and took off with my arm." Merda, suffering indescribable pain, returned to shore and started to walk, trying to find his way out of the swamp. Three days later, following the sun and power lines, he found a fence and a man on the other side. Merda told the man what had happened, and he summoned help. Surgeons amputated what remained of Merda's arm; now he's speaking out about the danger of alligators. "You guys know who you are, throwing rocks at them. Leave them gators alone."

Fly the Friendly Skies
A Chinese man in his 40s, identified only as Hu, and his partner were picking pine nuts in a forest park in Heilongjiang province in northeastern China on Sept. 4 using an unconventional method: They were perched in the basket of a tethered hydrogen balloon. Which might have been fine, but the balloon became untethered, CBS News reported. The second person jumped to the ground, but Hu was aloft in the balloon for two days and traveled more than 200 miles before rescuers reached him by cellphone and instructed him about how to slowly deflate the balloon and land safely. By that time, he was close to the border with Russia. Hu was reportedly in good health aside from having back pain from standing so long.

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

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