Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "Don't fence me out," April 21, 2007

Sour blessing

Ahead of Buddhist New Year celebrations, Thai officials are looking for ways to cut down on traffic accidents from drivers tired after nearly a week of festivities. One solution: A Buddhist abbot donated enough cash to buy 140,000 packets of super sour candy that drivers can suck on to keep them alert. "The taste is very sour, which can keep you awake," a regional highway police chief told the Agence France-Presse. "The candy was also blessed by the monks, which makes people more comfortable and confident when driving."

Buried treasure

Maybe the best place to make some money in Las Vegas is at the slot machines. No, not by playing them-by crawling under them. Workers stripping down the closed Sands Casino in Las Vegas found over $17,000 worth of loose change under and around old slot machines that were being removed. Workers found most of the sum in change, but also found casino chips and even a $100 bill.

Male call

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In a reaction to the growing disparity of church attendance between men and women, one church in Daytona Beach, Fla., has declared itself for men only. The so-called Church for Men, which meets one Sunday night each month, has barred women from attending and installed a basketball-style shot clock to time the preacher's message.

Senior sleuth

An elderly German woman with a lot of time on her hands sprang a trap on a nursing home thief, catching her red-handed. The 95-year-old woman became suspicious after several of the nursing home residents had cash and other items go missing. When she suspected the heists were part of an inside job, she decided to leave some bait money out in her room and hid in the bathroom to wait for the thief. When the 36-year-old female perpetrator-a cleaning lady-entered the room to rip off the cash, the old lady hit the panic alarm and staffers of the home captured the thief.

Flagged down

When Six Flags Over Georgia execs invited area residents to "ditch work" on April 5 and come in free between 6 and 9 a.m., they were surprised to see long lines of cars waiting to enter the parking lots as early as 5 a.m. By 5:30 a.m. Interstate 20 had a massive traffic jam and motorists began dropping off riders on the highway so they could set out on foot for the theme park. With lots full, Six Flags ended the promotion at 5:55 a.m.-minutes before it was supposed to start-and many pedestrians turned away at the gates began wandering around I-20 looking for their rides.

Off the mark

Cincinnati mayor Mark Mallory says he'd take another shot at throwing out the first pitch for the Reds even after his season-opening throw was so errant that the home plate umpire jokingly threw him out of the game. Mallory's pitch, examined everywhere from ESPN's Pardon the Interruption to YouTube, short-hopped the foul line a good 20 feet from home plate. "I got a lot of strikes in practice," Mallory told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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