Unclear on the Concept | News of the Weird | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Unclear on the Concept 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities.

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Unclear on the Concept
For two whole years, Caelie Wilkes nurtured a lovely green succulent in her kitchen window. She watered it, wiped dust off its leaves and forbade anyone else from caring for it. "It was full, beautiful coloring, just an overall perfect plant," Wilkes wrote in a Facebook post from Feb. 28. Recently, Upworthy reported, she decided it was time to transplant it into a pretty new pot. So imagine her dismay when she pulled up the succulent and realized it was plastic, rooted in Styrofoam with sand glued to the top. "How did I not know this?" she wondered. "I feel like these last two years have been a lie." Wilkes suffered some ridicule on social media, but her local Home Depot reached out with some real, living succulents that Wilkes can shower with love and attention.

Bright Idea
An innovative jewel thief in Melbourne, Australia, was caught on camera using a fishing rod to burgle a Versace necklace from a store window on Feb. 24. ABC News reports the thief carefully broke a hole in the window to avoid setting off the alarm, then spent almost three hours trying to hook the costume jewelry necklace, worth about $800. He worked with two different-sized rods before finally snagging the necklace. Store owner Steven Adigrati called the heist "outrageous and courageous," although he suspected the thief was unaware that the piece was relatively inexpensive. "This particular necklace looks a lot more expensive than what it is ... gold, bright, iconic Medusa head," he explained. Police are still searching for the fisherman.

The Litigious Society
Chuck E. Cheese may be "where a kid can be a kid," but for one Portland, Oregon, patron, it's where a woman can get her long hair caught in a ticket machine. Ashreana Scott is suing Chuck E. Cheese's parent company for $1,000 after alleging her hair was tangled for 20 minutes in a machine that counts tickets for prize redemption, The Oregonian reported. In the lawsuit, Scott said the Dec. 8 incident caused injuries, discomfort and headaches, and she wants a jury trial and a sign posted near the machine to warn others. A manager at the restaurant declined to comment on the lawsuit, but said the machines already have warning signs.

The Foreign Press
The ancient legend about St. Patrick driving Ireland's snakes into the sea could only be salt in the wound of a 22-year-old man from Dublin, who appears to be the first person in Ireland to suffer a venomous snake bite, The Irish Post reported on Feb. 29. The man's pet puff adder bit him, prompting a visit to Connolly Hospital, where doctors consulted with experts from the National Reptile Zoo. James Hennessy, zoo director, explained that "puff adder venom is pretty nasty. It's going to start digesting and disintegrating all around the area of the bite, and that will continue up the limb as well. It will then cause massive internal issues as well, if not treated." (FYI, scientists say it was probably the Ice Age that kept snakes out of Ireland.)

A Dream Come True
Residents of Settecani, a small village in Italy, were startled on March 4 when their kitchen and bathroom taps began dispensing red wine rather than water, United Press International reported. Locals quickly identified the wine as Lambrusco Grasparossa, which is produced at a nearby winery, and officials there found a leak that sent wine from a silo into water pipes. Some quick-thinking residents said they bottled as much of the tap wine as they could before the problem was resolved.

Awesome!
Ohio college student Mendl Weinstock, 21, kidded his sister, Riva, five years ago that when she gets married, he will bring a llama to the wedding as his plus-one. So when Riva tied the knot on March 1, Mendl made good on his promise, showing up with a rented llama named Shockey, wearing a custom-made tuxedo. Riva was unamused, but conceded to CNN: "When my brother puts his mind to something, he gets it done." Mendl spent $400 to rent the llama but said it was worth every penny. Shockey spent about 30 minutes taking photos with amused guests outside the venue, but friends who were in on the joke seated two inflatable llamas at one of the tables inside. Riva said she'll get her revenge: "He should sleep with one eye open."

• Keith Redl of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, was more than a little annoyed when the prize his 8-year-old grandson won in a raffle turned out to be $200 worth of cannabis products and accessories: chocolate edibles, vanilla chai and other products, along with a pipe and lighter. At a fundraiser for youth hockey in early March, Redl told CTV, the boy's father had given him $10 worth of tickets to bid on whichever prizes he liked. The little boy thought he was bidding on chocolate. "My grandson thought he had won a great prize," Redl said, but when he was told he couldn't have any of it, "He was mad ... How do you explain that to a kid?"

EW EW EW!
A mother in Saint-Malo, France, filed a complaint with police on Feb. 25 against Danone, the manufacturer of powdered baby formula. Police told AFP the woman's 3-month-old daughter became ill in November with a high temperature, and the mother took her to the emergency room. "Several days later," authorities said, "[the baby] vomited a worm about 6 to 7 centimeters long" — about the length of an adult index finger. In the report, the mother said the worm had been examined at a hospital and was determined to be of a parasitic type. She decided to take action after learning of two other cases, one in central France where living larvae were found in a container of the same brand of formula. A spokesperson from Danone told a news conference that without the containers, "several hypotheses could explain the presence of an insect," but the formula is never exposed to air in its production chain.

Latest Religious Messages
Self-described Christian prophet Cindy Jacobs declared the coronavirus against the law on March 4: "We say, in the name of Jesus, 'Virus, you are illegal. This is God's Earth.'" Dead State reported that Jacobs went on to tell an enthusiastic group of supporters, "I don't know if everybody will get healed," but "We're going to decree that the coronavirus will cease worldwide."

Send tips to: weirdnewtips@amuniversal.com

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