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Thursday, March 26, 2009

I confess that I enjoy strange news stories. As the saying goes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Our website,, has a neat feature I enjoy. On the bottom left-hand side of the page there is a "weird news" section that shows stories the Associated Press has deemed strange or unusual. You never know what's going to pop up in that corner down there, and I always enjoy getting a good laugh out of the stories.

One of my favorites from this week is about a 63-year-old man suspected of drunken driving. He crashed his pickup truck into a neighbor's house, leaving a gaping hole and revealing a small marijuana farm inside. San Diego police got a search warrant after the Sunday afternoon crash and confiscated more than 20 pot plants from the house.

The neighbor was out of town during the crash. You know he has a couple of surprises waiting when he gets home!

Here are a few other funny stories from today's sampling:

* The manager of a Blackjack Pizza outlet in Denver got a start when he discovered a man's legs hanging from a vent above the restaurant's oven. Police said the dangling legs were accompanied by a voice yelling, "help me, help me" Friday morning. Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said the 5-foot-10, 170-pound man told officers and firefighters he'd been stuck in the duct for five or six hours. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary.

* A parrot that alerted his owner about a baby who was choking was recognized as a hero by the Red Cross. Willie the parrot was given the Animal Lifesaver Award during the "Breakfast of Champions" event attended by Gov. Bill Ritter and Mayor John Hickenlooper. Willie received the award Friday for his actions in November, when he and owner Megan Howard were baby-sitting a toddler. Willie repeatedly yelled "Mama, baby" when Howard went to the bathroom and the toddler started to choke on her breakfast. Howard saved the baby by performing the Heimlich maneuver, but she said Willie "is the real hero."

* An eighth-grader was suspended from riding the school bus for three days after being accused of passing gas. The bus driver wrote on a misbehavior form that a 15-year-old teen was passing gas on the bus Monday to make the other children laugh, creating a stench so bad that it was difficult to breathe. The bus driver handed the teen the suspension form the next day. School officials said there's no rule against flatulence, but there are rules against causing a disturbance on the bus. The teen said he wasn't the one passing gas. Whether he did it or not, he might have gotten off easy. A 13-year-old student at a Stuart school was arrested in November after authorities said he broke wind in class.

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