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NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Inexplicable

In Yokohama, Japan, near Tokyo, one can visit the Unko Museum—a whole interactive experience built around “cute” poop. (“Unko” means poop in Japanese.) For example, reports the Associated Press, one can sit on a colorful fake toilet and pretend to poop as music plays, then collect a brightly colored souvenir poop to take home. An enormous poop sculpture erupts every 30 minutes, volcanolike, and spews little foam poops. In one room, visitors can play a “whack-a-mole” type game where they stomp on poops. Visitor Toshifumi Okuya was delighted: “It’s funny because there are adults running around screaming, ‘poop, poop,’” he said. The museum opened in March and will remain open until September. [AP, 7/4/2019]

Suspicions Confirmed

In the College Station neighborhood of Pulaski County, Arkansas, traditions run deep, especially when it comes to the Fourth of July. Beneques Christopher, 19, told KSDK that the holiday “firework war” has been going on for years, and even attracts people from other neighborhoods: “They know when Fourth of July comes, this is the spot to be at.” But this year, the ritual went awry, resulting in many injuries and several people facing charges. Christopher was one of the victims: “It popped right here,” he said, pointing to his groin area. “And it could have been dangerous because I almost lost everything.” Instead, he suffered a second-degree burn on his thigh, but he feels lucky that he didn’t lose any fingers, as five others did. When police officers arrived, people started pointing fireworks at them, leaving two deputies with injuries. While a local pastor hopes to shut the tradition down, Christopher vows to continue it: “We started the tradition, and now we have to keep it going,” he said. [KSDK, 7/5/2019]

 

 

 

Walmart Shunning

An unnamed woman pulled a stunt in a Wichita Falls, Texas, Walmart on June 25 that got her banned from the store. According to NBC News, Police Sgt. Harold McClure said a store employee reported that the woman had eaten half a cake from the bakery, then attempted to buy the other half (for half-price), saying she found the cake in that condition. While Walmart did not want to press charges, they did prohibit her from shopping at the store in the future—a policy they’re familiar with, after an incident in January at another Wichita Falls Walmart. In that case, a woman rode an electric cart around the store’s parking lot while guzzling wine from a Pringles can. She was also Walmart-shunned. [NBC News, 7/1/2019]

Least Competent Criminal

A craving for cake batter ice cream brought New York City police officers to a Baskin-Robbins store in Coney Island on June 29—a fortuitous detour, as it turned out. The Associated Press reported that when 33-year-old Emmanuel Lovett walked into the shop and tugged on his denim shorts, a loaded pistol dropped to the floor, and officers swarmed Lovett, who, it turns out, had a robbery record that prohibited him from having a firearm. He was charged with criminal possession of a firearm. No word on whether he, or the officers, enjoyed their ice cream. [AP, 7/2/2019]

Telling It Like It Is

A diner in Little Rock, Arkansas, is getting attention for a clever menu item. According to United Press International, Mama D’s offers a “My Girlfriend Is Not Hungry” option, which adds extra fries, chicken wings or cheese sticks to an order to share with a dinner partner who underestimates their hunger. On its Facebook page, Mama D’s said the option is “a solution for those who tend to dine with people that eat food off their plate.” [UPI, 7/3/2019]

Family Values

On July 6, Okaloosa County (Florida) sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call after a 13-year-old boy stabbed his 15-year-old brother in the arm three times with a multi-tool. The boys, from Clarksville, Tennessee, were sitting in a parked car in Crestview, Florida, when the incident occurred. Lt. Todd Watkins told Fox News that the younger boy was “tired of his brother picking on him,” and he told officers he’d “rather be in jail than eight hours in the car with him.” “I stabbed him and I don’t care about going back to jail,” he said. While the 15-year-old was in the back of an ambulance being treated, he was overheard calling some of his friends to retaliate against his younger brother. The 13-year-old was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. [Fox News, 7/7/2019]

Just Say No

An Independence Day holiday in Bodega Harbor, California, went terribly wrong for a group of six friends who rented a house there. On July 4, 32-year-old Betai Koffi of San Francisco indulged heavily in LSD, taking four doses over the course of the afternoon. He became delusional and violent with his friends, who were trying to prevent him from leaving the home. After assaulting several of his housemates and wrecking a rental car, he took off on foot and came upon a security guard. Koffi plucked a landscape light out of the ground, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum told KTVU, “and stabs the security guard with the metal end of it,” knocking the guard to the ground. Koffi then stole the guard’s pickup truck and ran down two different couples as they enjoyed an evening walk. Finally, sheriff’s and highway patrol officers arrived, and Koffi aimed the truck at them and accelerated. A CHP officer fired his gun, striking Koffi three times. “If this guy had kept going, who knows what he could have done to other people,” Crum said. “He was just blatantly going after people, driving after them.” Eight people were injured, but all are expected to recover. [KTVU, 7/5/2019]

Redneck Chronicles

OK, the first mistake was letting Matthew Morrison, 44, sleep in a tent on your lawn. A homeowner in Crestview, Florida, allowed Morrison to bunk on the property as a favor to someone he was trying to help. But things went south on July 6, when Morrison entered the home without permission and threw lighted firecrackers under a sleeping 9-year-old girl’s bed. The homeowner chased Morrison out of the house with a stick. Morrison told Okaloosa County Sheriff’s deputies it was a “prank gone wrong,” but the little girl was left terrified. Lt. Todd Watkins told Fox News: “I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish. The prank thing didn’t really sound like it was a legitimate reason.” Well, maybe this had something to do with it: When Morrison was arrested, officers found 2 grams of methamphetamine in his pocket. Morrison had a prior criminal history, including drug charges; he was charged with burglary and possession of methamphetamine. [Fox News, 7/7/2019]

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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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