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NEWS OF THE WEIRD

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LEAD STORY

The 95-year-old Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster at Belmont Park in Mission Beach, California, is a National Historic Landmark, but it, along with all of the other rides in the park, has been closed to riders since March. To keep it in good repair and ready for reopening, the coaster must run 12 times every day, and park mechanics discussing how reopening would happen hit upon an idea: They loaded the coaster’s 24 seats with giant plush animals from the park’s midway games prize stash. “People are loving it,” Steve Thomas, the park’s general manager, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’ve seen tons of videos and pictures that people have been posting online.” Thomas said when the coaster reopens, he may keep the furry riders on board to help with social distancing rules. [San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/2/2020]

LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINAL

An unnamed 29-year-old man in Berlin, Germany, triggered alarms at a supermarket on June 5 when he tried to leave without paying for $5.65 in merchandise. The Associated Press reported that police had little trouble apprehending the man because, in his hurry escape, he left his 8-year-old son behind. Not only did the burglar’s “accessory” help police identify him, but the thief fell down as he was escaping and ended up in the hospital. [Associated Press via Norfolk Daily News, 6/8/2020]

 

 

CAN’T POSSIBLY BE TRUE

The Daily Star reports that a 30-year-old man turned up at Zhaoqing First People’s Hospital in Guangdong, China, on June 3 suffering from abdominal pain. Doctors performed a series of scans before discovering a freshwater fish in the man’s large intestine, the presence of which he explained by saying he had accidentally sat on it. “Do you think I’m an idiot?” one of the doctors replied. The spiny fins of the Mozambique tilapia had caused ruptures in the man’s intestine and had to be removed through his abdomen by surgery, but the man survived the ordeal and recovered. [Daily Star, 6/8/2020]

THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

—Canadian Glen Richard Mousseau’s adventure with Michigan law enforcement began on May 10, when he was arrested in St. Clair County driving a U-Haul truck and in possession of $97,000. He cooperated with authorities, admitting he was the owner of a submarine seized by the Border Patrol April 23 and he had been using it to ferry drugs between Michigan and Ontario, Canada. Mlive.com reported Mousseau agreed to await the investigation’s outcome in a local hotel, but on May 22, federal agents said he had absconded, leaving behind five phones, a laptop and a diving suit. On June 5, Border Patrol officers observed packages thrown into the Detroit River from a vessel entering U.S. waters and found Mousseau unconscious in the water with 265 pounds of marijuana tethered to him with a tow strap. He’s being held on charges of smuggling and possession of a controlled substance. [mlive.com, 6/8/2020]

FAIL

Several sailors of the Royal Navy found themselves in over their heads on May 30 as their plan for a barbecue and beers got out of hand. A witness told The Sun, “They were smashed and hadn’t bothered to watch for the tide.” The Daily Star reported that one partier became cut off from the group, and when another went out to rescue him, they both struggled. Emergency services had to be called in, and one of the sailors had to be lifted off a cliff with a winch, the coast guard confirmed. The Royal Navy expressed its regret that emergency services were needed, but they “remain grateful for their help.” [Daily Star, 6/8/2020]

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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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