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The Odd Truth, Aug. 30, 2004

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Brian Bernbaum.

Fish Catches Boy

DULUTH, Minn. - An 11-year-old boy was out hunting frogs on Island Lake about 40 miles southwest of Duluth when he was attacked by a large fish as he and his sister waded in a foot of water.

The fish bites on Mason DeRosier's feet and hands required eleven stitches.

The boy's father, Lake County deputy sheriff Richard DeRosier, was in a paddle boat just offshore and saw the attack.

Mason said the fish wouldn't let go when he smacked it in the head and tried to pry it off his foot. When the fish did let go, it bit the boy's hand. Mason's sister wasn't hurt.

Mason was taken back to the family's cabin to wash the wounds, then he was off to the hospital in nearby Moose Lake for stitches.

Officials believe the fish was either a muskie or a northern pike.

You've Come A Long Way, TP

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Happy birthday TP! Thelma Brittingham knows how to party. Last week she organized a birthday party for toilet paper at the Holiday Retirement Village, in Evansville, Indiana. She says she found some research that indicates a primitive form of TP was used for the first time on August 26th, in the year 580. She says even if it is not the exact date, toilet paper is still something worth celebrating. She notes many of her fellow residents at the retirement home don't get out much. She adds the TP birthday party was a way to have some laughs and eat ice cream and cake. For the record, the first toilet paper roll was marketed in 1867 by the Scott brothers.

Dad Tries To Pawn Son's PlayStation For Beer

MILFORD, Conn. - A West Haven man has been arrested on charges of beating his son when the boy refused to turn over video game system so it could be pawned for beer money.

William McKinney, 51, was arraigned in Superior Court Thursday on charges of risk of injury to a minor and breach of peace.

"We certainly don't like to hear about parents beating their child in order to get a beer," West Haven Police Sgt. Paul Raucci said.

Raucci said officers learned of the abuse after responding to a complaint Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators learned that McKinney apparently wanted to hawk his son's PlayStation at a pawnshop for beer. When the boy refused to give up the video game system, McKinney hit him, Raucci said.

The child's mother later traded the video game system in for cash and came home with beer, police said.

The state Department of Children and Families is investigating the matter and the couple's children have been placed in foster care, a court official said.

Bras Deemed Inappropriate On Montana Fence

HELENA - A New Zealand tradition, brought to Montana, has caused a bit of a flap in the Craig area.

Property owners Frank Cooper and Shirley Cleary decided to hold a party in July, which included the New Zealand tradition of decorating a fence with bras.

Cleary says the hope was that over time, people passing by the Missouri River property on float trips would further decorate the fence.

But two days after the party, state Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials removed the bras.

Jim Kropp is an enforcement chief for the agency. He says the agency didn't feel the bra fence was an appropriate activity for the public site. The fence is on Cooper's land.

In a letter, the agency said if Cooper and Cleary continued to utilize and promote the fence as a 'bra fence,' the agency would continue to remove the items until some type of screen could be constructed to obstruct the public view of the fence.

Mike Aderhold is a regional supervisor for Fish, Wildlife and Parks. He says clearer heads prevailed after lawsuits were threatened.

Under an agreement with the state agency, Cooper plans to have bras on the fence for a few days, then move them to a less conspicuous place until there is screening. Fish, Wildlife and Parks says the agency may plant some trees to block the fence.

Two state employees recently showed up at Cooper's home to return the 20 confiscated bras.

870-Pound Bagel Unvieled In New York

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - What weighs nearly 870 pounds, is six feet in diameter and has a big hole in the middle? The world's largest bagel. The bakers at Bruegger's Bagels are claiming a new Guinness record, after cooking up the giant bagel at the New York State Fair in Syracuse. The bakers needed a crane to lift the nearly half-ton bagel out of its custom-built oven. Until Guinness officially certifies the big bagel, the record remains with rival Lender's Bagels and their 714-pounder baked in 1998. No word, though, on how much cream cheese it takes to give a giant bagel a schmear.

Porn To The Rescue!

OSLO, Norway - Police fired shots and foiled an armed robbery of a cash transport in downtown Oslo early Monday, as the dramatic showdown was captured on video by a crew filming a pornographic movie nearby.

At least three robbers, their faces covered by ski masks, threatened the unarmed guards of a cash transport vehicle at about 1:30 a.m. Passers-by saw the robbery attempt and alerted police.

Hans Halvorsen, head of the Oslo police crime unit, said normally unarmed police were issued weapons, and reached the scene in time to catch the robbers in the act.

"The robbers were arrested with a significant amount of cash," he said at a news conference. "We can't say how much yet, but it was a lot."

Halvorsen confirmed that police fired at the fleeing robbers. Witnesses said the officers appeared to be returning fire from the robbers, but Halvorsen said it was too early in the investigation to confirm that.

The robbery took place at Aker Brygge, an upscale shopping center and apartment complex on the Oslo waterfront. A film crew was making a porn movie in one of the apartments, and heard shouting.

"We heard a lot of noise outside, and went to check. I saw a guard collapsing onto the ground, and a guy running," porn star Thomas "Rocco" Hansen said on national radio.

He said one film crew member grabbed a camera and recorded the rest of the action and the arrests. The tape, which lasts about an hour, was turned over to the police.

'Wack The Iraq' Gets Wacked

WILDWOOD, N.J. - A boardwalk game called "Wack the Iraq" that drew protest from a civil rights group will close early next month and will be renamed next year, city officials said Friday.

The game, at Morey's Pier in this oceanfront town, lets customers shoot paintballs at people dressed as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.

"It's going to shut down. It won't come back," said City Commissioner Fred G. Wager, who oversees public safety.

The New Jersey Chapter of American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said the game fostered anti-Arab sentiment.

The group canceled a protest planned for Saturday after the city announcement.

It was not clear who runs the game. A Morey's employee has said the space is leased.