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NEWS OF THE WEIRD: WEEK OF JANUARY 7, 2020

True Love

Kelly McGraw, 37, of Portsmouth, England, and her husband, James, 40, have enjoyed playing pranks on each other throughout their 24-year marriage. But before Christmas, as James was plotting a way to get back at Kelly for a “dodgy” haircut she’d given him, he came up with a gloriously permanent idea: He had his thigh tattooed with a less-than-flattering photo of Kelly, asleep on a plane with her mouth gaping open, as James mocked her behind her head. “I’m one up at the moment,” James told the Sun, “but I’m also scared because I don’t know what she’s now planning.” Kelly was unforgiving: “I was horrified. I couldn’t believe it. … We do mess about anyway, but this is on another level. … He needs to watch his back.” [The Sun, 12/25/2019]

Bright Ideas

A romney ewe living on a farm near Auckland, New Zealand, is getting some relief from an unusual problem, thanks to a clever veterinarian and a brassiere meant for humans. Rose the sheep had suffered damage to her udders when she produced a high volume of milk during her pregnancy with triplets. “When this happens,” Dr. Sarah Clews told Stuff, “the udder can hang so low that it can be traumatized on the ground.” The condition can sometimes be a cause for euthanasia, but Dr. Clews thought a bra might help lift the udders and allow them to heal. Rose’s owners eventually located a 24J maternity bra big enough to do the job, and it worked — after two or three weeks of wearing the bra, Rose’s udders recovered enough that surgery was no longer needed. [Stuff, 12/27/2019]

Justin and Nissa-Lynn Parson of McKinney, Texas, were all in when their son Cayden, 12, asked for a magnifying glass for Christmas. “We thought, ‘Oh, he wants to magnify something’” to read, Nissa-Lynn told KDFW. Instead, Cayden and his brother, Ashton, used the glass to light a newspaper on fire on the family’s front porch, which soon spread to the yard, eventually destroying the lawn and some of the family’s Christmas lights. “We ran inside and started screaming,” Cayden said. The family doused the fire with “pitchers of water, blankets smothering it, sprinklers turned on, hose turned on,” Nissa-Lynn recounted, adding that now Cayden “will definitely have yard work to do once spring comes.” [KDFW, 12/29/2019]

Least Competent Criminal

In Jefferson County, Colorado, would-be car thief Todd Sheldon, 36, has finally admitted it’s just not the vocation for him, according to police. Fox News reported Sheldon had tried over recent weeks to steal multiple vehicles, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, but each time he was caught in the act — first by a homeowner, then by sheriff’s deputies minutes later “just down the street,” shocking the deputies by telling them, “I’m trying to steal this truck.” He was taken into custody and bonded out, but a week later, deputies responding to a report of someone trying to break into a car again found Sheldon. “I really suck at this,” Sheldon allegedly told an officer. Sheldon remained in jail as of Dec. 27. [Fox News, 12/30/2019]

Bah, Humbug!

Poppy Leigh, 13, of Manchester, England, hoped wrapping her waist-length hair around an empty plastic water bottle and decorating it with lights like a Christmas tree atop her head would bring good cheer to her mates and teachers at Manchester Health Academy on Dec. 20. Instead, school authorities told her she had to either take the decorations off or go home. Her mom, Christie, wasn’t happy about it: “It’s just a bit of fun and Christmas cheer,” she told Metro News. But Principal Kevin Green huffed: “The Academy has the highest of expectations around uniform and teaching and learning, and … whilst it was a remarkably creative hairstyle, it was, unfortunately, inappropriate for school.” [Metro News, 12/20/2019]

Oops!

As she enjoyed an Aldi mince pie in early December, caterer Angela McGill, 52, of Glasgow, Scotland, thought one bite seemed particularly “rough and really hard — I thought it was a tough piece of pastry!” she told Metro News. Instead, McGill soon realized she had swallowed her partial dentures with two false teeth. Hospital X-rays confirmed the dentures were caught halfway down her throat, but the staff advised her pulling them out would only cause more harm. It took 72 hours for the plate to pass. “It was ever so funny!” she said. “And I was really enjoying the mince pie, too.” [Metro News, 12/8/2019]

Animal Shenanigans

Police in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, were called December 27 to the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy over a “public menace,” according to WKYT. The culprit was a “hostile chicken” that “pecked viciously” at the officers and “made some adept use of vehicles for cover” before they were able to corral it in a plastic milk crate, according to the police department’s Facebook page. Officers transferred the foul fowl to “someone who can give him more suitable accommodations,” then attended to their wounds with “some doughnut therapy.” [WKYT, 12/28/2019]

Sour Grapes

Japanese YouTuber Marina Fujiwara has harnessed the pain she feels when she sees couples basking in their love at the holidays and developed a sort of schadenfreudean device: a light that turns on whenever anyone breaks up on social media. Oddity Central reported on Dec. 27 that Fujiwara’s device is connected to the internet through a “bridge” and is set to light up whenever a breakup status is posted on Twitter. “I want to celebrate Christmas,” she said. “But when you see a couple in the world going on a Christmas date and doing something like that, I am attacked by a huge sense of loneliness.” While her machine is not available commercially, Fujiwara says it’s easy enough to set one up for yourself. (Check her YouTube channel for directions.) [Oddity Central, 12/27/2019]

Precocious

The newest tattoo artist in the Haji Lane area of Singapore is Lilith Siow, 12. She learned the art from her father, Joseph, who has operated a tattoo business for 20 years, reported Asia One on Dec. 30. In the past year, Lilith has tattooed at least a dozen customers, although she admitted that she was nervous at first, taking 90 minutes to complete her first. “I was afraid at the beginning. … Once a tattoo sets, it is forever,” she said. As her confidence grows, so does her advocacy for the art: She disagrees that people with tattoos are “bad people.” [Asia One, 12/30/2019]

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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