Sunday, April 2, 2023

Weird News: Confederate Monument Ransomed

Weird News of the Week


Thieves to Turn Confederate Statue Into Toilet

A monument dedicated to Confederate leader Jefferson Davis that’s valued at $500,000 was stolen last week. The thieves have threatened to turn the memorial into a toilet unless the United Daughters of the Confederacy display a specific banner for a set amount of time.

According to the website received a copy of the ransom letter last week. It was made to resemble an antique document, using an Old West font and an image of antique distressed paper as a background. Beneath an image of an eagle bearing a banner reading “The Union Forever!” the letter reads, “The Jefferson Davis Chair is in our possession. It is safe and stored in a secure location. We have every intention of returning it unharmed. Hell, we’ll even clean it up for you.”

The letter goes on to demand that the United Daughters of the Confederacy—an organization that helps fund and promote Confederate monuments—prominently display a supplied banner. The banner bears a quote from Assata Shakur, a Black Liberation Army activist wanted for the 1973 murder of a New Jersey state trooper: “The rulers of this country have always considered their property more important than our lives.”

The letter is signed by “White Lies Matter.”

The thieves demanded that the organization display the banner from 1pm on April 9 to 1pm on April 10. If the organization refused, the group said it the chair would be “carved into a toilet” by cutting out a hole in the seat.

This story is ongoing.

Hundreds of Couples Marry on April 3

A vast number of happy couples lined up outside the Las Vegas, Nev., marriage license office earlier this month to ensure that they were married on April 3 (4/3/21).

According to ABC News, the Clark County Marriage Bureau’s spokesman told reporters that nearly 700 couples obtained licenses for the novelty date. The clerk’s office even printed up special keepsake marriage certificates.

“Specialty dates like 4/3/21 are always immensely popular,” said county Clerk Lynn Goya. More than 1,800 couples were reportedly married on Dec. 13, 2014 (12/13/14).

The office says it is busy preparing for the first 10 days of December, which employees expect will bring in even more couples than usual. That’s because this year will see a number of what are called “palindrome days” by office employees—dates in which the numbers read the same forward and backward. These dates have historically been very popular for couples seeking novelty anniversary dates.

Nearly 2,700 couples married on Oct. 10, 2010 (10/10/10). More than 1,800 were married on Dec. 12, 2012 (12/12/12). And 3,125 were married on Nov. 11, 2011 (11/11/11).

The most popular date so far was July 7, 2007 (7/7/7). County workers issued 4,492 marriage certificates on that day.

Police: Dead Body Was Actually Sex Doll

Pennsylvania police say that a reported dead body spotted on a freeway was actually an abandoned sex doll.

The York Dispatch reports that York Area Regional Police were dispatched to an overpass on Interstate 83 to investigate reports that someone had left a dead body there. When officers arrived, they found a 6-foot top-of-the-line sex doll instead.

“It was actually a life-sized sex doll,” said Lt. Ken Schollenberger. “It was in a very flimsy cardboard box. We have no idea how it got there.”

The first officer on the scene reportedly called for backup to help dispose of the sex doll. The object was placed in a dumpster.

“It's the first I’ve ever seen,” Schollenberger said. “We’ve had dead animals in boxes and things like that, but nothing like this.”

Despite the false alarm, officials say that bystanders did the right thing by notifying police instead of attempting to take matters into their own hands.

Cannabis Ambulance Hits the Streets

A cannabis ambulance is now making house calls in Maine.

According to WCYY in Maine, some savvy weed entrepreneurs are offering at-home medical marijuana consultations in a refurbished ambulance. The vehicle is operated by Medical Marijuana Practitioners of Maine, an organization that conducts assessments for consumers looking to take part in the state’s medical cannabis program. The cannabis ambulance visits dispensaries and caregivers where a licensed clinician associated with the vehicle determines whether people are eligible to participate in the medical pot program.

The organization says the ambulance will make house calls to residents in the greater Portland area of Maine when necessary. It is also equipped to offer Telemed visits conducted over the internet. Potential participants need only call and set up an appointment.

The cannabis ambulance does not deliver marijuana to consumers.

US Suffers Ketchup Packet Shortage

The newest threat to supply chains could mean that Americans will have much less ketchup to dip their fries into this summer.

The Wall Street Journal reports that ketchup packets are in short supply at restaurants across the country. Experts say the shortage is a result of pandemic guidelines which shut down much of the nation’s indoor dining last year, leading to an unexpected uptick in takeout orders. While fast food establishments have always used the packets, other restaurants dispensed most of their ketchup in bottles left on tables. Now that both service models are relying on the packets, the industry is starting to see a strain on supplies.

The increase in demand has also led to a price increase for the packets. On average, prices for ketchup packets reportedly rose by 13 percent over the last year.

Because of the supply interruption, many restaurants are limiting the number of packets that they are handing out to customers, and many have had to turn to generic brands to offset the shortage.

Kraft Heinz’s president of Enhancers, Specialty and Away from Home Business Unit told reporters that the company is working diligently to address the shortage and is even looking into new packaging options. “We also fast-tracked future-focused culinary and packaging innovations, as well as further manufacturing expansion plans, as we believe there is an enormous opportunity to grow our brands in the exciting foodservice industry,” he said.


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