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News of the Weird

Inexplicable

Mothers Lounge, a company catering to new mothers, has conceived some awkward conversations for women on the receiving end of a recent marketing campaign. The company sent out maternity congratulations cards signed by "Jenny B" that included gift cards and coupons for products attractive to pregnant women. The problem is, as the BBC reported, many of the recipients aren't pregnant. A woman in Memphis, Tennessee, tweeted: "Who the hell is Jenny B and why did she send me $245 in gift cards to my childhood home congratulating me on my pregnancy?! This is literally how my mother thought she was finding out that I was pregnant. I'm calling the FBI." Another woman's mother was "immediately so excited and freaked out ... I had to quickly tell her I am not in fact pregnant." Mothers Lounge spokesman Scott Anderson explained that a third-party marketing company provided the mailing list. Sounds like a false-positive to us.

Awwwwwww

Faith the one-legged mallard duck, of Gardner, Maine, will soon have more than one leg to stand on, thanks to Loni Hamner. Faith lost her leg in a fox attack last year but has been making do, Hamner told the Bangor Daily News: "She has taught herself how to stand and balance on that one leg,

Putting Off the Inevitable

Convicted bank robber and career criminal Michael Jauernik, 71, received a sentence of more than 12 years in prison in Germany on Oct. 7, but managed to stall his incarceration by delivering a five-day-long closing statement that included anecdotes about his career in crime and details about his fitness routine. Twenty hours into the soliloquy, the judge finally cut him off, saying she wished she had done so earlier in light of his "excessive digressions," The Guardian reported. Jauernik, who wore sunglasses throughout his trial, told the court, "I am more intelligent and clever than any employee of the criminal police agency, that much is sure."

It's Hard to Find Good Help

After six years of litigation, six men were found guilty of attempted murder in late October in Guangxi, China, for participating in a chain of subcontracted murder-for-hire plots that never resulted in a death. Businessman Tan Youhui started the chain by hiring a hit man to "take out" a rival identified only as Mr. Wei, reported the BBC. That hit man then subcontracted a second hit man to do the dirty deed. Hit man No. 2 subcontracted with hit man No. 3, who then reached out to hit man No. 4. After getting the nod from No. 4, hit man No. 5, Ling Xiansi, decided on a different scheme: He contacted the target, Mr. Wei, and proposed they fake the murder and take the cash, which by this point amounted to 100,000 yen. Wei agreed, then reported the case to the police. Tan and the five hitmen will serve sentences ranging from 31 months to five years.

Least Competent Criminal

Miguel Angel Reyes-Avila, 23, of Half Moon Bay, California, waited patiently until his neighbors took their dog for a walk on Oct. 6, then pounced, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. The San Jose Mercury News reports Reyes-Avila then allegedly entered their home through an open window and lifted about $4,000 worth of jewelry, plus the keys to their 2009 Mitsubishi. When the neighbors returned home and found their car gone, they called police, who asked neighborhood folks to share their security footage. Most helpful was the video from Reyes-Avila's own home, provided by another resident who was happy to help law enforcement. The camera caught a suspect driving away in the car, and sheriff's office spokesperson Rosemerry Blankswade said officers recognized Reyes-Avila from earlier incidents and arrested him on Oct. 10 on charges of felony burglary and grand theft auto.

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Precocious Pet

Archie, a French bulldog/Boston terrier mix who lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his human, Dee Borkowski, is in the doghouse after a fiery event on Oct. 16. As Borkowski watched Archie via her home security camera, he contentedly lounged on the couch, chewing on a cigarette lighter. Suddenly, United Press International reported, the lighter ignited, and her couch burst into flames. Borkowski called the fire department, and the 10-month-old puppy escaped unhurt, although her apartment suffered thousands of dollars of damage. Borkowski has changed Archie's Instagram handle to "Archie the Arsonist."

Unconventional Sports

Housekeepers from The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas took first place in the Las Vegas Housekeeping Olympics on Oct. 23, beating out second- and third-place teams from The Mirage and Circus Circus, United Press International reported. The competition, which took place at the Mandalay Bay resort, included bed-making contests, vacuum races and a toilet paper toss. Mandalay Bay President Chuck Bowling said the Olympics are a way of celebrating overlooked workers in the hospitality industry.

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People With Issues

Residents of the Oakland neighborhood in Topeka, Kansas, called police just after midnight on Oct. 27 to report that someone was driving construction equipment around the area. The Topeka Capital Journal reported that when officers arrived, they found 46-year-old Shane Dee Funk behind the wheel of a loader, a piece of heavy equipment, driving it through yards and streets and damaging property. Police Capt. Colleen Stuart said Funk refused to stop for officers, and "numerous residences in the loader's path were evacuated for safety purposes." When Funk turned the loader toward police, they fired nonlethal bean bag pellets at him to disable him. Funk was treated at a hospital, then booked into the Shawnee County Jail on charges of felony theft, criminal damage to property, aggravated assault to a law enforcement officer and fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement.

Compelling Explanation

An unnamed resident of the Wilson Lane apartments in Elkins, West Virginia, told police she left her home for a few minutes on Oct. 18, returning a short time later to find a neighbor, Ronald L. Thorne Jr., 52, "standing in her apartment eating her lasagna from the refrigerator." He went on to tell her he "just wanted to talk and maybe more," and then he returned to his own apartment, carrying the lasagna and one of her forks, according to the police report. The Inter-Mountain reports the woman also told Randolph County Sheriff's officers that her home had been ransacked and $20 was missing from her purse. When officers confronted Thorne, he told them he "had been sleepwalking and had woke up standing in his neighbor's apartment," the complaint stated. The officers also noticed a pan of lasagna on his table, and Thorne told them "she could have it back." Thorne was arrested and charged with burglary; as he was being processed, a $20 bill was found in his wallet.

Smooth Reaction

In Shelbyville, Kentucky, on Oct. 28, a female customer picking up her food at a KFC drive-thru became angry when she realized she didn't have a fork and a napkin, witnesses told WLKY, so she pulled out a gun and shot out the drive-thru window. KFC released a statement expressing gratitude that no one was shot, and Charlene Witt, the manager of the Subway restaurant across the street, is using the incident as a teaching moment in her own store: "If someone comes in irate, just give them what they want."

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