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NEWS OF THE WEIRD: Nov. 6-12, 2019

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. [BBC, 10/29/2019]

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.” [UPI, 10/28/2019]

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.” [The Guardian, 10/7/2019]

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. [UPI, 10/25/2019]

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. [BBC, 10/22/2019]

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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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