Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "The yoot vote," Aug. 4, 2007

Bad gamble

One way or another, someone will pay for this accident. The tens of thousands of New Mexico residents who received winning scratch-off lottery tickets in the mail from a Roswell, N.M., car dealership hope the payday will flow their way. A printing error meant that the 50,000 promotional lottery tickets printed for Roswell Honda all turned out to be grand-prize winners worth $1,000. But before the Atlanta-based Force Events Direct Marketing noticed its error, about 30,000 had already hit the mail. And when the winning scratch-offs began arriving in local mailboxes, winners began showing up at the Honda dealership. For now, officials at the dealership have been taking down winners' names and addresses as they consult with the marketing firm for a way out of what amounts to a $30 million mistake.

Head trauma

Those bleeding bumps on the top of Aaron Dallas' head? Not shingles, as one doctor supposed. What gave the Carbondale, Colo., resident the squirms was actually bot fly larvae living beneath the skin of his head. "I could hear them," said Dallas, who told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent he probably picked up the strange malady during a trip to Belize. "I actually thought I was going crazy." Ever supportive, Dallas' wife Midge told the paper, "I told him, 'I will love you through your maggots.'"

Home is where the hive is

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Where have all the bees gone? While scientists take turns blaming pesticides, global warming, and even cell phones for the disappearance of many North American honeybee colonies, Pennsylvania resident Matthew Danchanko thinks he knows where all the bees have gone: his home. Tens of thousands of honeybees have taken over his four-bedroom house northeast of Johnstown, Pa., and have created about 100 pounds of honey in his house. Instead of eradicating the infestation, the Pennsylvania man says he's arranged for a local beekeeper to remove and relocate the giant hive.

Drug pusher?

A series of equestrian matches has become hotly disputed after authorities accused Kim Baudain of drugging ponies competing against her son's pony in a junior show-jumping competition in Jersey, an island off the coast of Normandy. Police in the British Crown dependency say four ponies tested positive for a sedative that caused them to fare poorly in the show-jumping championships. Island law prohibits police from pursuing charges against Baudain, but the families that owned the affected horses recently announced plans to bring civil suits-a move that has split the equestrian-loving island into factions supporting and opposing the accused mother.

Hippo bait

Note to teenagers: Climbing into a cage full of hippopotamuses is never the best way to impress the girls. Eschewing all sense of reason, two 14-year-old boys from St. Louis scaled a fence to jump into the hippo cage at the Kansas City Zoo and began throwing rocks at the massive beasts. Zoo officials, who plan to press charges against the boys, noted that the two-ton hippos are considered some of the world's most dangerous animals. Even though the boys managed to escape unharmed when the hippos charged them, the two teens almost certainly left their chances of winning over the girls inside the cage.

Slick Willie Joe

Imagine Cedric Thomas' surprise. Four years after suffering a gunshot wound to the head that cost him sight in one eye, the Houston man came face to face with the gunman who shot him over the Fourth of July weekend. Willie Joe McAdams found Thomas in a Houston bar, but instead of trying to finish the job, McAdams approached Thomas, shook his hand, and apologized. The fact that McAdams was out of prison after just four years-not the 40 years McAdams was sentenced to-shocked Thomas. The release came as a surprise to the state's Department of Corrections, too. Officials blamed a clerical error, saying someone left off a zero when recording McAdams' sentence. One of Thomas' friends made sure the problem was resolved: A few phone calls, and McAdams was picked up by police and returned to prison.


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