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STRANGE BUT TRUE: Tales of the weird and wacky

From a hand-grenade shaped sex toy to a unique pair of wedding crashers and a host of unexpected animal encounters, here’s a wee collection of weirdness and oddball news from around the world this week:

WAS IT GOOD FOR YOU TOO?
A German police bomb squad called to investigate a suspected hand grenade in a Bavarian forest determined that the object actually was a rubber sex toy. A jogger reported finding a bag containing the device in a forest outside the city of Passau, but when a bomb squad arrived and inspected the contents of the bag, they determined it was a rubber grenade replica – and condoms and lubricant in the bag helped inform the hypothesis about the device’s intended use, police said, adding that an Internet search confirmed their suspicion. The discovery of forgotten or hidden munitions is still a regular occurrence in Germany more than 75 years after the end of World War II.

TRAFFIC WAS A ZOO
A cow and an alligator caused traffic delays in Houston this week during separate incidents in which the animals took themselves for a spin on area roadways. At around 8 a.m., the cow was spotted moving along Interstate 10 in east Houston, stopping traffic during morning rush hour. A pedestrian tried to rope the cow before a livestock unit arrived to ultimately reunite the cow, which was unharmed, with its owners at a nearby farm.

A few hours later, a not fast but furious alligator parked itself on the shoulder of a busy bridge near the Houston suburb of Baytown. At least one lane of traffic was blocked as several officers, including members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, placed a rope around the reptile’s neck. After the alligator wrestled and spun on the ground, officers held it down as its mouth was taped shut. The gator was then put in the back of a truck and was taken to a nearby waterway, where it was released.

IT WAS A ZOO PART 2
A 71-year-old woman riding with her daughter on Florida’s Interstate 95 suffered a gashed forehead when a turtle smashed through the windshield of their car, striking her. The daughter pulled over and got help from another motorist. The gash drew a lot of blood, but the woman was not seriously hurt. The turtle was likely crossing the interstate and got knocked into the air by another vehicle.

Museum of Natural History

VACCINE EXPERIENCE WAS A WHALE OF A TIME
Appointments are no longer mandatory at any of the coronavirus vaccination sites run by New York City, including its newest and maybe coolest location: beneath the giant blue whale at the Museum of Natural History. The whale now sports a bandage on one of its fins, like the ones health care workers are sticking on people’s arms after they get a shot.

WAS TRUMP A CLIENT?
A Massachusetts man who at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic sold devices designed to be worn around the neck that he falsely claimed protected against viruses and bacteria has been fined $1,500 and sentenced to a year of probation. In March 2020, Jiule Lin began selling a product called Toamit Virus Shut Out – card-shaped device to be worn as a lanyard around the user’s neck. Online listings for the product included the explicit claim that it would protect the wearer from viruses or bacteria, and that the product’s main ingredient was chlorine dioxide.

A BURGER WITH BITE
A Southern California man is recovering after he was bitten by a rattlesnake when he tried to pick up the poisonous reptile using barbecue tongs. The man spotted the snake near his home in the Sycamore Creek community of Corona and was worried about it coming into contact with children. But when he tried to remove the rattler using the tongs, the snake struck and bit him on the hand. The man was treated at a hospital and later released. Rattlesnake bites are painful and in rare cases can be fatal.

WEDDING CRASHERS
Courtney Wilson and Shenita Jones invited family and friends to their “dream home and estate” for their weekend wedding celebration: the ceremony Saturday, brunch on Sunday. There was just one problem: The couple didn’t own the 1,500-sq.-m. mansion and didn’t have permission to use it. The suburban Fort Lauderdale estate had everything: a bowling alley, swimming pool with a waterfall, hot tub, tennis courts, a gazebo, and a 240-m. bar. Wilson said it was God’s plan that the couple marry there.

But despite what the invitation inferred, the actual owner, Nathan Finkel, who lived in a different home elsewhere on the property, never gave them permission to hold the festivities there. He was stunned when Wilson showed up to set up and he called police, according to the South Floridan SunSentinel. Two officers told Wilson he would have to leave. He did and no charges were filed. “I don’t want to talk about it,” Wilson told the paper.

Selling cookies by drone

GIRL GUIDE COOKIES TAKE FLIGHT
Girl Guide cookies are now being delivered by drones in Christiansburg, Va. by Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s corporate parent Alphabet, which has added the iconic boxed cookies to the more mundane drugstore offerings, FedEx packages, and locally made pastries, tacos, and cold brew coffees it’s been hauling to a thinly populated area of residential subdivisions since 2019.

Wing said it began talking to local Girl Scout troops because they’ve been having a harder time selling cookies during the pandemic, when fewer people are out and about. The organization jumped on the new twist to its skills-building mission.

“I’m excited that I get to be a part of history,” said 11-year-old Gracie Walker. “People are going to realize and be, like, ‘Hey, this is better for the environment and I can just walk outside in my pajamas and get cookies.’”

BONE DRY
A couple in Las Vegas said they will have to wait to continue building their pool after construction crews unearthed a set of bones dating back to Earth’s most recent ice age. Pool builders discovered the bones about 1.5 m. below ground and called police. After an investigation, police said the bones did not belong to a human and raised no law enforcement concerns. Nevada Science Center Research Director Joshua Bonde said the bones are between 6,000 and 14,000 years old and are those of a horse or similar large mammal.

First published at Travel Industry Today

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