Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

FEBRUARY 16, 1998: 

Dateline: Turkey--Police have arrested an Iranian man for allegedly swindling 650 orders of tripe soup from a local restaurant. According to the restaurant owner, the Iranian claimed to be the son of a former Turkish admiral. The owner became suspicious when the man said the soup was for the local military officer's mess hall and asked for credit on the 35 million lira ($160) bill. Turkish police later nabbed the man, who is also thought to have swindled a hairdresser and a meatball seller with the same tale. In Turkey, tripe soup is considered an effective cure for hangovers.

Dateline: Japan--An inventor in Fukui, Japan, has created a washing machine that runs on human waste. The manure-powered machine uses methane gas from bathroom waste to run an electrical generator. The machine's inventor, Nishi Ishizaki, says that 20 pounds of human excrement is enough to run the washer through five loads of laundry. Ishizaki admits the biggest problem with his new laundry system is the odor generated by the composting device.

Dateline: Hong Kong--A Buddhist monk was arrested and charged with assault for attacking a worshiper at a Taoist temple. The 30-year-old monk was standing by the Wong Tai Sin Temple when a man kneeling beside him offering incense was pushed over by the large crowd. The monk kicked the worshiper several times, injuring the man's eye. The man fought back and police were called in to break up the fight. The monk was freed on bail and will appear in court this week. "Kicking a man on his knees: That's a no no for a monk," a temple administrator told the China Morning Post.

Dateline: Belgium--Richest geek in the world, Bill Gates, refused to press charges against a man and a woman who threw a cream pie in his face last week while he stood on a Brussels sidewalk. The prank was the work of one Noel Godin, a self-proclaimed "entarteur" who throws pies in famous people's faces as a form of harmless disrespect. Godin employs about 30 accomplices to carry out his pranks.

Dateline: Ohio--On January 14th, a drug-sniffing dog named Wolfgang alerted police that there was something suspicious in 13-year-old Ryan Gerkin's locker at Bowling Green Junior High School. Inside, police found a plastic bag filled with a weird green sphere. The colorful substance was twice tested for marijuana, barbiturates, cocaine and amphetamines. Both tests came back inconclusive. Stymied, the police finally asked Gerken what was in the bag. Turned out it was the boy's four-month-old science project--an "Earth Ball" made of Borax detergent, white glue, green paint and water. "The only thing Ryan is guilty of is having a messy locker," said the boy's mother, Michelle Yant.

Dateline: New York--Police in Albany say that Charles Collins III parked a pick-up truck outside New York state's highest court and hosed down the building with liquified chicken manure. Collins later admitted he wanted to get arrested to publicize what he calls rampant corruption in the courts. Firemen hosed off the building and the area was sprayed with disinfectant. "It still smells like a Hong Kong chicken farm in July," said Paul Browne, a spokesman for the Court of Appeals. Collins is faced with second-degree criminal mischief and could receive up to seven years in prison.

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