Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "GOP downfall," Nov. 18, 2006

Baby framed

Indian authorities discovered they had a wee problem when their robbery suspect turned out to be a 3-month-old baby. According to the charging papers, the police had issued a warrant for the baby on robbery, extortion, and banditry charges after an assailant stole fares from a bus driver. Police say the bus driver named the baby in his report to authorities because of a personal grudge he bore against the baby's father.

Tough choice

Perhaps the cardinal rule of real estate applies also to burglary: location, location, location. When a robber broke into a beauty salon in Saskatoon, he probably didn't know that the salon shared the building with an organization known as the Champion Fight Club, a self-defense club that teaches judo, ninjutsu, tae kwon do, white crane kung fu, muay thai, boxing, and kickboxing. The would-be thief wound up on the receiving end of nearly all of it. The owner, Dave Lochert, discovered the thief, treated him like a punching bag, and held him for police.

Hood patrol

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A pub owner in a town east of London got quite a surprise when what he thought was a hooded delinquent whom he bounced from his bar turned out to be a 61-year-old granny. The barkeeper asked her to leave because pub rules prohibit gang-style clothing like hoodies. "Me and my friend thought he was joking and fell about laughing," said Corrine Chapman. "I'm 61 . . . and I'm not exactly a typical juvenile delinquent."

Strong, not-so-silent types

In a victory for skinny guys everywhere, Planet Fitness in Beacon, N.Y., enforced an obscure rule and revoked the membership of one gym client for making loud grunts while lifting weights. "Perhaps I grunted, perhaps I didn't. It's open to interpretation," said Albert Argibay, who had to be escorted out of the gym by police officers. A Planet Fitness staffer explained the thinking behind their Judgment Free Zones: "When somebody's in there and they grunt and they grunt loud, it's trying to bring attention to themselves to show everyone how strong they are."

Sparking rebellion?

What could possibly spark teenagers to start smoking more? According to a study conducted by Australian researchers, anti-smoking television campaigns run by tobacco corporations actually prompt teens to light up. Researchers studied the "Think. Don't Smoke" and "Tobacco Is Whacko if You're a Teen" campaigns in 75 media markets and reported the ads aimed at teenagers have no impact. Instead, the Melbourne-based researchers found that teens smoked more when they saw ads asking adults to talk to children about smoking.

Driver meltdown

The Braidwood nuclear power plant in Braceville, Ill., is a magnet for drunk drivers. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that two different drivers, both allegedly intoxicated and within the space of two weeks, arrived at the plant looking for something other than nuclear reactions. Lloyd Kuykendall of Morris, Ill., pulled in off Route 129 on Oct. 18 and attempted to pay a guard, because he thought it was a toll plaza. A second drunk man, Stanislaw Drobrzawski of Oak Park, Ill., drove up to the plant's security checkpoint on Oct. 28, thinking it was a gas station. Authorities charged both men with driving under the influence and Drobrzawski with entering a controlled-access area.

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