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The Odd Truth, Feb. 11, 2005

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

Birds Get Dead Drunk

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Dozens of birds got drunk from eating holly berries, then crashed into the glass of an office building and died.

"It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie," worker Denise Wilkinson said. "It was spooky. You could hear them where they flew into the glass."

Warm weather and an ample supply of berries attracted hundreds of cedar waxwings into the enclosed courtyard of the three-story building Tuesday.

The birds began getting drunk on the fermented berries. They got so loopy that some were falling off branches and others were slamming into the glass walls that enclose the courtyard, said Burgess Mills, the building's owner.

About half of the 100 birds that slammed into the building died, workers said.

Groundskeepers have tried to help the birds by putting tape on windows or nets over the holly trees to keep them from eating the berries, Mills said.

Dragged To His Death

VOLANT, Pa. - Archie Glenn's family made sure he was Deere-ly departed.

The 99-year-old dairy farmer had a passion for John Deere tractors. So at his Feb. 4 funeral, his family had his casket pulled to the North Plain Grove Cemetery using a 1950s vintage John Deere tractor.

"He loved those machines," said Glenn's daughter, Ruth Wigton. "They never let him down."

Glenn bought his first John Deere tractor in 1935. When he retired in 1977 at age 72, he continued to use a tractor to mow 20 of his own acres and his neighbors' land.

Glenn's green casket had a liner embroidered with a yellow-and-green tractor image. Flower arrangements were yellow and green. The family downloaded music featuring the sounds of a running, idling and stalled tractor engine from the John Deere Web site to play at the funeral home.

"Dad's funeral was not a mournful occasion, but a celebration of his life and what he loved -- from the people to the tractors," Wigton said.

Not The Brightest Bad Apple

EULESS, Texas - A robbery suspect was caught after leaving his wallet on the store counter -- and then going to the police station to pick it up.

Joseph Fahnbulleh, 22, was jailed on a robbery charge, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Thursday.

A few days after the Jan. 29 robbery, he walked into the police station in Euless, near Dallas, to pick up his wallet after a detective called to tell him someone had found it.

"Once we had the wallet, we called him to say it had been turned in to our lost and found," Detective Marco Valladares said. "We don't really have one."

The store clerk said the man took about $200 from the cash drawer after attacking him with pepper spray.

Undies Fine Dropped

RICHMOND, Va. - With some Virginia lawmakers saying the legislature should have higher priorities, a droopy-pants bill has been dropped.

The bill would have slapped a $50 fine on people who wear their pants so low that their underwear is visible in "a lewd or indecent manner."

The bill breezed through the House this week, but has been canned by a Senate committee in a unanimous vote.

Senate members say the bill has been a distraction and an embarrassment.

The committee hearing drew a standing-room-only crowd that included about 75 high-school government students.

Burger King's Toilet Trouble

GRANGER, Ind. - Managers of a Burger King in Granger, Indiana, have removed more than half their dining room seats in an effort to reduce the use of the restrooms.

The restaurant manager says the lunchtime rush and heavy use of the restrooms overwhelmed the septic system at the restaurant in the South Bend suburb.

About 55 of the 100 dining room seats were pulled out about two weeks ago. And although the septic system has been expanded, the seats won't be coming back.

The manager says he wanted to avoid future problems, noting the restaurant still has more seats than a typical Burger King. But he says when people walk into the place now, they do look a little lost, like there's something missing.

Did He Lose His Wallet, Too?

NEW YORK - Spelling counts, even if you're a bank robber. Police on New York's Long Island report they've nabbed the bandit who couldn't spell. Police in Nassau and Suffolk counties say they've linked Bart Thomas to at least 13 bank jobs because of spelling mistakes in his hold-up notes. Investigators say Thomas spelled robbery "r-o-b-r-i" and quick "k-w-i-k." According to police, Thomas' last two robberies were Monday. A customer at a Chase Bank branch noticed the teller becoming upset while Thomas was at her window. The customer followed Thomas out to the parking lot and jotted down his license plate number.

Dropped It Like It's Hot

ALBUQUERQUE - Police got the drop on a drug suspect when the man dropped his stash. According to officers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Hugo Suso-Dominguez was standing on line at a convenience store. Police say when he reached into his pocket to pay for some items, he dropped a dollar bill folded into a small pouch. Suso-Dominguez happened to be standing in front of two undercover officers, who recognized the folded dollar as a way of holding drugs. One of the officers picked it up and found a white powder inside. Suso-Dominguez now faces drug-dealing charges because police say he had about a half-ounce of cocaine.