News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which operates mass transit just south of San Francisco, and whose employees stage about three dozen office parties a year, issued 33 pages of specifications in January to invite local companies to bid on a contract to supply sheet cakes. The winning bidder must be versatile enough to offer cakes in 11 specified flavors, 16 fillings, five icings and six toppings (but must also carry $3 million in liability insurance!)
Peru’s Emilio Cordova, 15, won the South American chess championship in January, but rather than wind up a chess-obsessed nerd, he flew from the tournament site in Argentina to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and moved in with a 29-year-old stripper. After Emilio’s two months in the fast lane, his father, with government help, went to Sao Paulo and snatched him back
Stewart Laidlaw, 35, was banished from Thirsty Kristy’s pub in Dunfermline, Scotland, in March, following numerous complaints about his excessive flatulence. A shocked Laidlaw said no one had complained before, but conceded that was probably because cigarette smoke had been masking the odor until Scotland’s recent smoking ban.