Dispatches > Quick Takes
Krieg Barrie/WORLD

Quick Takes

Oddball occurrences

Issue: "Our long war," March 8, 2008

Odd couple

Separated at birth, and completely unaware of each other's existence, a male and female pair of fraternal twins placed for adoption found each other in exactly the wrong way. They met, fell in love, and got married. The case gained notoriety only when a peer in the House of Lords in Great Britain used the example to argue for rights for adopted children to learn more about their biological families. According to Lord Alton of Liverpool, the couple quickly and quietly had their marriage annulled once they discovered their common heritage.

Victors in defeat

According to one small town in Nicaragua, it was the New England Patriots that won the Super Bowl in February, not the New York Giants who pulled off the 17-14 upset. That's because all the victory T-shirts produced before the Super Bowl in case of a Patriots win have found their way to the southern town of Diriamba to help clothe poor children. The Patriots may have been losers, but, says Miriam Diaz of World Vision, the Christian organization that organizes the donation, "The children are the winners."

Improperly detained

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Pressing the wrong button meant that the parents of all 2,550 Palm Bay High School students received automated phone calls Feb. 15 from the school reporting that their children would need to report for Saturday detention the next day for unspecified grievances. "I looked and I had a message from mom. She was asking, 'What did you do?' It was pretty bad," a mild-mannered sophomore named Robert Lenoci told USA Today. Perhaps more disturbing: Just 1.5 percent of the 2,550 students called to Saturday detention actually showed up.

Paroled and stranded

The only thing seemingly strict about an unidentified Texas bus driver was her interpretation of work hours. According to reports, the female driver pulled the chartered Greyhound over at a convenience store in Corsicana, Texas, announced her workday was done, and simply walked away, leaving a bus full of parolees from Huntsville Prison to fend for themselves in the parking lot. After getting a grasp of the situation-and seeing former inmates walking around his parking lot with ankle bracelets on-the store owner called the cops. But in the end, only the driver behaved badly: The parolees' "behavior was exemplary," an officer at the scene said.

Out of sight

After six decades of golf, Leo Fiyalko missed seeing his first hole-in-one. Because he's blind. The 92-year-old was getting in a round at a Clearwater, Fla., course on Feb. 14 when his 5-iron tee shot on the fifth hole rolled right in. Fiyalko credited 60 years of muscle memory as well as spotters who helped line him up for the 110-yard drive. Fiyalko only has peripheral vision in his right eye.

Ready to fight

Note to all would-be robbers: Even in their 80s, World War II veterans are a spry and proud bunch and probably not to be trifled with. Two brothers showed up at 80-year-old James Pickett's home outside of Grandberry, Texas. When Pickett answered the door, the pair rushed in, stabbing and beating him with the apparent intention of robbing him clean. What Paul and Holden Perry didn't know was that the old man had slipped a derringer into his pocket, which he unloaded on the two intruders, causing them to flee. Pickett got one in the back. "The only problem was I run out of bullets," the former fire fighter and lifelong John Wayne devotee told the local TV channel, WFAA.

Unsafe deposit

Clearly a Washington woman wasn't in her right mind. And we might now know why. According to police reports, an unidentified woman attempted to bank a bag of methamphetamine when she inserted a bag of it with some cash and deposited it into an automatic teller machine at the Kitsap Credit Union in Bremerton, Wash. Bank workers took the cash but called police when they found the drugs.

Mustache patrol

Rollie Fingers need not apply. India's state-owned airline grounded a flight steward for having too large a mustache. Now the nation's Supreme Court is hearing the wrongful termination case brought by Joynath Victor De, who says Indian Airlines has no right to fire him for his oversized handlebar 'stache.

Phone tag

The only question besides the perpetrator's motive would have to be why it took police so long to track down a California man who had been prank calling 911 since last May. Police say John Triplette's prank calls-17,000 of them-from his cell phone were originally fielded by the California Highway Patrol until Hayward, Calif., police began taking all local T-mobile 911 calls on Jan. 8. At that point, police say Triplette dialed into emergency dispatchers at least another 10,000 times in the subsequent month before police teamed up with the Federal Communications Commission to track down the phone's source and arrest the unemployed man. Investigators say Triplette was lonely and looking for someone to talk to, but note that he often only mimicked bodily noises into the receiver.


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