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The Odd Truth, July 27, 2004

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

Joint Found In Yogurt Parfait

SAN BENITO, Texas - A Texas family is a little out of joint - after a stop at McDonald's. Sixteen-year-old Valerie Valle says she found a partially smoked joint in her frozen yogurt parfait. She and seven other family members stopped at a McDonald's in San Benito after a weeklong vacation on South Padre Island. Valle says she returned the questionable frozen confection and said no thanks to another. Police took the marijuana cigarette as evidence. But there have been no busts or charges filed. An official with the McDonald's franchise says they're conducting their own investigation and don't want to jump to any conclusions.

Who Says Chess Is Boring?

SLIDELL, La. - An argument over a game of chess ended with a fight in which one player rammed the other's head through a plate-glass window, St. Tammany Parish authorities said.

Robert Talley, 34, was booked with second-degree battery and later released on bond, Sheriff's department spokesman James Hartman said.

Robert Henderson, 42, emerged from the broken window with several serious lacerations, deputies said. He was released after treatment at Northshore Regional Medical Center, Hartman said.

The fight occurred about 1 a.m. Sunday at Talley's house, which is about five miles from Henderson's.

Dentist Accused In Semen-Swallowing Scandal

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Former employees of a dentist claim the man made female patients unwittingly swallow his semen during visits to his office in Cornelius.

Dr. John Hall is accused by the state dental board of violating dentistry's standard of care, engaging in immoral conduct, and committing sexual assault or battery.

Six former patients - including a 14-year-old - say he tricked them into swallowing his semen. A seventh claims he jumped on top of her in the dental chair and "began to gyrate against her lower body in a sexual manner."

The dental board suspended Hall's license Nov. 5, after police began investigating allegations by two former employees. In February, it conditionally restored his license, barring him from being alone with female patients.

Hall's lawyers say the dentist has been falsely accused by disgruntled former employees. He was collecting his semen because he was taking Propecia, a drug to promote hair growth, and was concerned about potential side effects that include low sperm count and diminished semen, his lawyer, Emerson Thompson, said.

Hall's former assistant Cheryl Lynn MacLeod testified Saturday that she found it odd that Hall began asking her to leave a patient's side to retrieve items that he never used.

She also became suspicious when she overheard him tell patients to "swallow" something, and when she saw him take a syringe out of his lab coat pocket while working beside a patient.

Five of the six patients testified Friday. The first, a 40-year-old woman, said she objected when Hall began to put a substance from a syringe into her mouth during a procedure on Sept. 4, telling him: "That smells like sperm."

She said Hall drew back and said, "You're crazy." She said she couldn't taste the substance because her mouth was numb.

Go Couch Potatoes!

SINGAPORE - Three Singaporeans have thrown down the gauntlet to Hollywood fans worldwide, watching more than 36 flicks over 72 hours and claiming a new world record, reports said Monday.

If the feat is confirmed by global adjudicator Guinness World Records, it would beat the existing record of 66 hours and 30 minutes set by a group of 11 in New York last year, the reports said.

The contest in film-mad Singapore kicked off at 5 p.m. Thursday with 24 eager watchers and ended late Sunday with just three of the original line-up left, the Straits Times newspaper said.

Contestants were allowed a five-minute break between movies, and a 15-minute gap every third film, Channel NewsAsia reported.

Boy Rides Airport Conveyor Belt, Causes Havoc

OSLO, Norway - A 4-year-old boy caused chaos at a Norwegian airport when he crawled on a luggage conveyor belt and rode it like it was a merry-go-round.

Ingvild Aakervik was checking in at the Vigra airport near the western town of Aalesund Monday, when her son Ole Tobias wandered off by himself.

Unnoticed by airport staff or passengers he managed to crawl onto a luggage carousel next to an unmanned check-in counter.

Surrounded by bags and suitcases, the boy rode the entire length of the belt, passing through an X-ray scanner in the process.

The ride came to a sudden end when staffers saw the youngster on the carousel and stopped it by pressing an alarm button.

"It was just a moment of inattention and Ole Tobias disappeared," Aakervik told state NRK radio. "I panicked and made the entire airport search for him."

The four-year-old wasn't hurt and his mother said he seemed to enjoy the ride.

Operations manager Bent Helge Sjursen said security procedures at the airport would be reviewed to ensure it doesn't happen again.

Milked For All They Were Worth

RIGA, Latvia - After stealing seven cows from a farm near the Latvian town of Ogre, thieves ditched three of them in a nearby barn, but not before milking them for all they were worth - literally - a police detective said Tuesday.

Thieves stole the seven cows on Sunday as they were grazing in a herd of about 150 cattle near a farm near Ogre, 21 miles southeast of the capital, Riga, State Police Detective Maris Rozans, told The Associated Press Tuesday.

The farm's owners first thought the seven cows had simply wandered off, but after finding three of them tied by their horns in an abandoned barn about a mile away, it was obvious a theft had occurred, Rozans said.

Before ditching the three cows, which sell locally for about $400 apiece, the thieves milked them, Rozans said.

"The people who care for the cows determined that the cows had been milked," said Rozans. "I think the cows were milked so that they wouldn't make noise, because if they hadn't been milked, they might have made a ruckus."

Rozans said he didn't know what the thieves had done with the milk but that it was unlikely they would have tried to sell it. He said the other four cows were probably sold by the thieves and were butchered.

Police have no suspects in the case yet, said Rozans.

Watermelon-Eating Champ Downs 11 Pounds

BROOKVILLE, Ohio - A Nevada couple devoured their competition in the first watermelon-eating contest to be sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

Rich LeFevre won the title of World Watermelon Eating Champion on Saturday after putting down 11.22 pounds at the "Swellin' with Melon" contest. LeFevre's wife Carlene took second with 9.78 pounds.

The rules of the contest were simple: eat as much precut seedless watermelon as possible in 15 minutes, and keep it down until after the contest. The competitors - four professional eaters and 12 local entrants - were given trays containing 15 pounds of watermelon.

"We made them stand and eat over their trays, so even the liquid went into it and afterward we subtracted what was left from 15," said Ryan Nerz, spokesman for the International Federation of Competitive Eating.

By the end of the contest, all of the competitors were covered in watermelon juice, and had big wet spots on the fronts of their green T-shirts.

"Rich LeFevre, by the end, he had all juice and was lifting it up to his face to drink the watermelon juice," Nerz said.

Brian Seiken, of New York City, finished third after eating 8.07 pounds of watermelon. He said he prepared by not eating any sugar for a day and a half, and not drinking anything for 12 hours. He said he played basketball before the contest to dehydrate himself even more.

"It was real tough. You had about 12 local eaters that could put away a lot of watermelon. My goal was to not lose to any of the locals," he said.

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