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The Odd Truth, May 3, 2005

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

Employee Fingered In Custard Case

WILMINGTON, N.C. - A man found part of a severed finger packed inside a pint of frozen custard he'd bought from a Kohl's Frozen Custard shop, and officials said it belonged to a worker injured in a food-processing machine accident there.

"I thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream ... to make it a treat," Clarence Stowers told WWAY. Stowers said he spit the object out, and "I said, 'God, this ain't no nut!' So I came in here to the kitchen and rinsed it off with water and realized it was a human finger and I just started screaming."

Unlike a recent incident at a Wendy's restaurant in California, no questions about Stowers' honesty have been raised.

The custard shop owner, Craig Thomas, told the TV station that the 23-year-old employee who lost the finger had dropped a bucket while working with a machine that dispenses the custard. He tried to catch the bucket when the accident occurred.

Thomas said that as several employees tried to help the injured worker, a drive-thru window attendant apparently scooped the chocolate custard into a pint before being told what had happened.

Biggest Burger ... Ever!

CLEARFIELD, Pa. - The burger war is growing -- one bun at a time.

Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, which lost its crown as home of the world's biggest burger earlier this year, now offers a new snack that weighs a whopping 15 pounds.

Dubbed the Beer Barrel Belly Buster, the burger comes with 10.5 pounds of ground beef, 25 slices of cheese, a head of lettuce, three tomatoes, two onions, a cup-and-a-half each of mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, mustard and banana peppers -- and a bun.

"It can feed a family of 10," restaurant owner Denny Liegey Sr. said of the $30 delicacy.

Denny's Beer Barrel Pub had previously offered a 6-pound burger with 5 pounds of toppings.

In February, a 100-pound female college student became the first to eat the burger within the three-hour time limit. Kate Stelnick, of Princeton, N.J., was awarded a certificate, T-shirt and other prizes.

One month later, the Clinton Station Diner in Clinton, N.J., introduced a 12.5-pound burger dubbed Zeus. So Liegey responded, and the Belly Buster was born.

Kids, Ages 3 And 5, Go On Joyride

ROCHESTER, Ind. - For Chase and Chandler Bright, a recent weekend day began as usual with the brothers watching cartoons at their northern Indiana home. But things took a turn for the worst when they took their mother's van for a joyride.

The boys, ages 3 and 5, got the keys from their mother's purse and took off, their family said. Both sat in the drivers seat to steer the vehicle.

The youngsters said they wanted to visit their grandfather, according to a police report. The boys drove about five miles during their adventure, crossing a four-lane highway and driving through a fertilizer business' fence before crashing into a pile of dirt.

They emerged without a scratch; the van had a flat tire and some minor damage.

"I'm going to have to sleep with the keys around my neck now," their mother said.

Prank Costs School

BRADENTON, Fla. - Senior pranks are usual at Bayshore High School near the end of the school year, but this latest incident could be one for the books.

About 1,000 high school students were locked out of their classrooms temporarily after someone glued dozens of room locks in what is believed to be a costly senior prank.

More than 75 locks had to be drilled open Monday, and hundreds of teens missed their first two classes of the day.

"Pranks are funny, but this was out of hand," said senior Amanda McCormick, who was told to wait in the gym for three hours until the doors could be unlocked.

Others reveled in the commotion.

"Everybody's like, 'Wow, this is our senior class, we're awesome,"' said Jessi Powell. "It's funny, but I'm just glad I wasn't part of it."

No arrests have been made, but two people were captured by school security cameras creeping about before dawn, Manatee County sheriff's Deputy Greg Jenkins said.

Estimated repair costs were at least $6,000, one locksmith said.

No Pot For Pizza

FARGO, N.D. - It may have seemed like a good idea at the time.

A pizza delivery driver was assaulted after refusing to take marijuana as payment for a pie, police said.

Pizza Patrol driver Atif Yasin said he thinks the man was asleep when he arrived to deliver a medium pizza and 20-ounce soda.

After knocking a few times and calling the customer on his cell phone, Yasin said the man answered the door in his boxers, took the pizza, spent a few minutes looking for money and then offered to pay with marijuana.

The man began to yell when told that wouldn't be accepted, Yasin said. He then pushed the deliveryman and punched him in the face, Yasin said.

The 22-year-old college student said it was the first time he had been assaulted in three years delivering pizza.

Yasin called police, and while waiting for them to arrive he delivered two more orders that were in his car.

The suspect, 21, was arrested early Saturday. He has been released on bond.

Shouldn't They Be Selling Cookies?

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota Girl Scout troop has determined that anti-bacterial soaps aren't all they're cracked up to be.

Members of St. Paul Girl Scout Troop 2173 spent two years investigating whether products that claim to be anti-bacterial actually are.

In the end, they concluded household anti-bacterial soap kills 99.6% of germs if used long enough -- but regular soap kills 99.4% of germs.

The idea for the project came about after Hannah Nesser tried using an anti-bacterial soap to clean up spores she cultured for a third-grade science fair. She found that instead of dying, some of the bacteria actually grew.

Hurricane Warnings: Worthless Spam?

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Efforts by one Florida county to put out weather alerts by e-mail have hit a high-tech roadblock: AOL is tagging the messages as spam.

The problem dates back to last year's unusually busy hurricane season when Indian River County was hit by two major storms -- Frances and Jeanne. Some 4,200 people signed up for the county's e-mail alert service, which offers quick alerts on hurricanes, tornadoes and other weather emergencies.

But, a county computer software engineer says because e-mail is sent out in large numbers, "it becomes a pattern for spam senders."

The county is working with AOL to fix the problem. In the meantime, AOL users are being told to put the county's e-mail account in their computer's address book so their computers know to accept the messages.

Keep Those Parts Private

LARAMIE, Wyo. - A spring snow sculpture has gotten two young Wyoming men in trouble with the law. Twenty-year-old Brandon Arp and Aric Davenport, 19, are accused of making a snow phallus in their front yard. Some neighbors took offense and called authorities. Arp and Davenport have pleaded innocent to charges of promoting obscenity. The snow sculpture didn't last long because someone destroyed it. A lawyer for one of the men says the suspects are victims of selective police enforcement. Attorney Michael Vang adds it's not clear how the sculpture was obscene.

Stolen Lottery Ticket Worthless

WAREHAM, Mass. - Police say Jared Sherman had a $4 million dollar instant lottery ticket and didn't even know it. But the ticket wouldn't have been any good. Police in Wareham, Mass., charge the teenager broke into a convenience store and cleaned out its supply of lottery tickets. Included in the lotto loot was the big winner and another good for $25,000. But the tickets were put on the hot list. Wareham police Detective William DeSilva says a friend of the suspect tried to cash one in and was caught. The suspect isn't the only loser. Officials of the state lottery say because of the theft, the store misses out on the $50,000 commission for selling the winning ticket.

Long Career Comes To An End

TORONTO - A Toronto school bus driver didn't last long on his new job. Yesterday was his first and last day. The driver was stopped by police after officers got a tip the man might have been drinking. While the driver was not legally impaired, officers say he did have alcohol in his system. The bus company says it has a zero-tolerance policy and the driver was fired. Police ended up giving the kids a lift, taking them to school in their patrol cars.

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