xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Art Comes to Life: In a 1999 episode of TV’s “The Simpsons,” Homer became a temporary multibillionaire by accidentally inventing a “tomacco” plant that sprouted tobacco-bred tomatoes that were hopelessly addictive from even a single bite. Inspired (and hoping to draw attention to the show’s anti-smoking message), Rob Baur of Lake Oswego, Ore., tried to grow such a plant and has somewhat succeeded, although a forensic researcher believes that only the plant itself, and not the fruit, contains nicotine. In February, he announced that he would auction off the golf-ball-sized fruit.
Ronald Paul McAllister, 43, allegedly robbed a Bank of America branch in Tulsa, Okla., in January, during which incident he was quoted as advising a teller, “Don’t do anything stupid, lady.” Moments later, as McAllister fled with his loot, he forgot to take his holdup note, which was a pre-printed withdrawal slip with his name on it. He was easily tracked down, and police now say McAllister had robbed another bank in October.
Ariel Alonso, who lives near Roanoke, Va., was indignant when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration wrongly accused him of setting up a methamphetamine lab, and asked rhetorically, after the charges were dropped in January, “How do I get my … dignity back?” The laboratory of Alonso (and his then-partner Jonathan Conrad) was in reality making the so-called “fluid of life,” which they goaded customers into buying (at $20 to $40 a dose) by claiming that it is the component of human cells and can cleanse people internally and build new tissue, even though it was just potassium chloride and white grape juice. (That, apparently, is the business plan that gave Alonso “dignity.”)
Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa, Fla. 33679 or Weird@compuserve.com
Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD