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Undignified Death 

A weekly roundup of international news oddities

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Undignified Death
On July 3, Andover Township (New Jersey) police received a call about a dead body found under a deck in the town. "The detective and officers began to check the area under the deck when they did indeed confirm a deceased (human) body was contained within the doghouse," police said, according to Law & Crime. Two days later, Brian Cheda-Hackembruch, 25, and Matthew R. Thomas, 27, were arrested for disturbing or desecrating human remains —but not with murder. It appears the deceased was a resident of Hopatcong, New Jersey, who died from a "medical emergency." Cheda-Hackembruch and Thomas placed the body in the trunk of a car belonging to the victim, then called a towing company to have the car moved to Andover. Then, the two allegedly moved the body to the doghouse belonging to an unsuspecting family. Police didn't clarify the relationship of the victim to the suspects or any motive for their elaborate plan.

Bad Juju?
Chris Langston, 48, a metal detectorist in Oswestry, England, stumbled upon a creepy find as he was exploring the woods near his home on June 30. Langston first saw a pile of broken dishes, but upon further digging, he unearthed a clear bottle that appeared to contain urine, along with hair and a human tooth. According to Metro News, archaeologists say such bottles were used to keep spells and curses from entering homes as long ago as the 1600s. "I had my camera in my hand and in the video you can see me shaking as I just wanted to put it down," Langston said. "I did a bit of research online and discovered it was a witch bottle. I went back the following day and placed it in an undisturbed part near the area where I found it and buried it slightly just to avoid any bad juju. I did get a bit creeped out by it all."

Unclear on the Concept
The Bloomington (Minnesota) Police Department is having the books thrown at it after calling people who take volumes from Little Free Libraries "thieves." In early July, the department posted on Twitter: "After some thefts from little libraries in our city, officers and staff came together to donate a bunch of books to the libraries. Now people can use and enjoy them again." But Fox News reported that people weren't buying it: "How can you steal something free, officers?" one responder wrote. The BPD also tweeted that someone had been taking the books to sell for profit, which also invited scorn. Finally, the department admitted that using the word "theft" was "a human error," and apologized.

• A woman from West Yorkshire, England, called in sick to work so that she could attend the Euro semifinal soccer game in London on July 7, Metro News reported. Nina Farooqi, 37, thought her company would be short-staffed that day, and therefore probably wouldn't let her have the day off. But when her photos popped up on the BBC, her employer called her and said not to bother coming in the next day. "I didn't get any sympathy at all and they said 'That's it.' We're through to the final, I'm still on that high, but I've also lost my job," Farooqi said. "I'd do it all over again. Football is my life."

Latest Religious Message?
In Los Angeles on July 7, an unidentified man climbed atop the St. Mary's Catholic Church bell tower and set fire to a cross, then eluded police as he jumped from roof to roof and rappelled down buildings, Fox News reported. The man, who was shirtless and missing one sock, also used wires above the area to climb up buildings. Finally, police caught up with him, and he was transferred to a local hospital.

Awesome!
About 400 couples gathered over the first weekend in July in Lincolnshire, England, for activities and entertainment including an adult bouncy castle, a cigar lounge, clay pigeon shooting and an outdoor theater—oh, and a Mr. and Mrs. Swingathon contest, wet T-shirt competition and fetish demonstrations. The festival was promoted to swinging couples through FabSwingers, an app that brings together interested parties, Metro News reported. Guests enjoyed four-person luxury yurts with hot tubs, billed to the local council as a "private camping club." Neighbors were mostly unfazed: "I would be the first to call the police if it was disturbing me, but if it floats their boat, then let them get on with it," one said.

Drunk Buffalo
The RTE reported on July 7 that three farmers in the Gujarat state of India were arrested for selling alcohol, and their buffalo gave them away. Police official Dilipsinh Baldev said the animals were acting "strangely and their mouths started frothing," so one of the men called the veterinarian. The vet took a look at the water trough where the buffalo had been drinking and noticed the water was colored and had a "strange smell." Turns out the farmers had hidden their moonshine bottles at the bottom of the trough, but some had broken. The buffalo were drunk. The vet informed police, who raided the farm and confiscated 100 bottles of alcohol.

Chutzpah
During the Scottish Open on July 9, a spectator "entered the 10th tee area" and removed a golf club from Rory McIlroy's bag, then took a few swings with it, the Associated Press reported. McIlroy reportedly watched, bemused, before the man was escorted from the course by security officers. Golfers Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas were also on the tee. One witness told The Scotsman newspaper, "The players laughed it off, saying they knew he wasn't a golfer when they saw his grip."

New World Order
Ailurophobia sufferers, beware! In Tokyo, just in time for the 2021 Olympics, an enormous 3D calico cat is towering over the street, CBS News reported. Every few minutes, the cat appears, seemingly in a box on the side of a building, flicking its tail, meowing and licking its lips. The feline, created by digital marketing firm Cross Space, has gained 17,000 followers on its Twitter account and can be seen in a livestream on YouTube.

The Way the World Works
Workers at a McDonald's restaurant in California made a splash on social media on June 27 with their extreme and unusual resignation. They left a blunt handwritten note behind: "Everyone quit. We are closed," then posted a video of the empty restaurant on TikTok. The Daily News reported that TikTok user @zoey.isback clarified: "Y'all, we didn't quit from our pay. The store was ran by teenagers, and it was a terrible workspace."

Wait, What?
William Ben Darby, a former Huntsville, Alabama, police officer, was convicted two months ago of murder for fatally shooting a man who was threatening suicide. But, AL.com reported, the city is still paying his salary as he awaits sentencing on Aug. 20, as he is technically on family and medical leave. In fact, the city has allegedly asked other police officers to donate their accrued sick leave to Darby, identifying him as an unnamed employee with a medical condition. "We have an employee who would like to receive donated leave but has elected to leave their name and medical condition off the request," read an email from Chief Mark McMurray. McMurray denies sending the email and said his assistant might have forwarded it from human resources.

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

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