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The Odd Truth, Nov. 9, 2004

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

Krispy Kreme Wedding Cake

ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Carefully, carefully, 1,818 Krispy Kreme doughnuts were built into a 5-foot, 3-inch heap in an attempt to set a world record for the highest doughnut wedding cake.

Then backers of the effort Sunday at a Jewish celebration trade show in this Seattle suburb, dismantled the 363,600-calorie mound and gave away the glazed doughnuts, five at a time.

The result will be sent for consideration in the Guinness World Records, which now has no height record for a doughnut cake, said Carin Freedel, chief executive of Mitzvah Mavens, which hosted the event.

"Doughnut wedding cakes are very popular now," Freedel said.

Compared with traditional wedding cakes that cost $6 or more a serving, doughnuts costing $6.99 a dozen are a lot cheaper. Krispy Kremes also are kosher. Each of the chain's kitchens is inspected by a rabbi and certified every two months.

Christiann Thomas, 26, a high school teacher, put her heart and soul into the confectionary. Each doughnut weighed less than 2 ounces, but the three-hour effort took its toll, Thomas said.

"I am sore, my back and calves especially," she said.

Thanksgiving Dinner In A Bottle

SEATTLE - The Seattle company that brought us "Turkey and Gravy Soda" last Thanksgiving is back with all the trimmings.

In addition to the traditional "Turkey and Gravy," Jones Soda is selling seasonal bottles of "Mashed Potatoes" flavored soda, "Green Bean Casserole" soda, "Fruitcake Soda" and "Cranberry" soda.

The company says the cranberry soda isn't bad, but does admit the other flavors are turning stomachs.

Jones Soda is producing 15,000 of its five-bottle packs of the sodas for sale in Target and other stores for about $17.

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Taking to heart the credo that friends should never let friends drive drunk, a man shot out two tires on his pal's car to keep him from driving under the influence.

Alas, the move backfired when the incensed driver got out of his car, pulled a knife and attacked his friend, according to a report by Bloomington police.

Police arrested the driver, David Woodward, 39, of Indianapolis, on a preliminary charge of battery after the fight early Sunday. Woodward could not be reached for comment Monday.

Authorities said they expected to file charges within a few days against the other man, whose identity was not released, after officers found two handguns and an assault-style rifle in his home.

Woodward, who had been staying with friends in Bloomington, went out drinking with them Saturday night and then told them he wanted to drive home to Indianapolis, police said. One of the friends tried to take Woodward's car keys but grabbed the wrong ones.

Woodward got in his car and started backing out of the driveway, but his friend's car was blocking his way. The friend then retrieved a 9 mm handgun and shot out both left-side tires on Woodward's car, police said.

A Little Old For Him, Isn't She?

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A Connecticut woman is facing charges of having sex with an eight-year-old boy who investigators say she considers her boyfriend.

Tammy Imre has been arrested and charged with sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor. Bond is set at $250,000.

Police have been on the case since the third-grader's mother discovered a letter from the 29-year-old woman to her son.

Police say the boy is a playmate of Imre's seven-year-old daughter.

Police say the boy initially denied the affair, but later told them he'd had sex with Imre and that she'd given him a key to her apartment. Authorities say Imre told them she planned to marry him someday.

If convicted, she could serve more than 20 years in prison.

The Old 'I-Think-I-Left-My-Stove-On' Excuse

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A handcuffed burglary suspect escaped from police custody at his home in Puerto Rico after asking an officer if he could turn off his stove, officials said Tuesday.

The incident occurred Monday in the central mountain town of Utuado when Officer Luis Rios Rodriguez arrested 36-year-old Serrail Vega Villafane at his home, police spokeswoman Marisely Zambrana said.

Rios took Vega to the town's courthouse where he was charged with aggravated burglary and weapons possession, Zambrana said. But a prosecutor asked for the keys of the car allegedly used to commit the burglary.

The judge permitted Rios to take Vega back to his home to retrieve the keys, police said. Before leaving the house, Vega asked the officer if he could check his stove to make sure it was turned off.

Taking advantage of the officer's trust, Vega jumped from a second-floor deck and disappeared into surrounding woods, Zambrana said. He remained at large on Tuesday.

A judge fined Vega $36,000 for failing to reappear at the courthouse.

Rios, a 36-year-old officer with about 10 years on the force, was scheduled to go before a police review board to determine whether his actions were negligent.

Belushi Sues Actress Neighbor Over 'Harassment'

LOS ANGELES - James Belushi has sued his next-door neighbor, actress Julie Newmar, accusing her of a "campaign of harassment" to drive him from his home.

In a lawsuit filed Nov. 2, the 50-year-old actor claims Newmar vandalized his estate by destroying a fence and landscaping. He also contends she bad-mouthed him to neighbors and friends, spied on his family and caused a nuisance by playing loud music directed at his backyard.

"Newmar has engaged in a malicious and premeditated campaign to prevent and destroy Belushi's quiet peace," the suit says.

A telephone number for Newmar, who played Catwoman in the 1960s television series "Batman," was not immediately available. A call to Belushi's lawyers was not returned Saturday night.

The suit seeks an injunction against the actress as well as damages of at least $4 million plus attorneys' fees, saying her actions caused emotional distress and harmed Belushi's reputation and career.

Rare White Truffle Fetches $41,000

ROME - New York restaurateur Francesco Giambelli dished out a record $41,000 for a 2.4-pound prize Italian white truffle, auction organizers said Monday.

The 85-year-old, who owns Giambelli 50th on New York's East Side, beat off an unnamed opponent in Moscow to claim the largest truffle ever to be sold at an auction, auction director Davide Paolini said.

"It was very aggressive," he said. "No one has ever paid this much for a truffle."

Considered a delicacy since Roman times, truffles are a fungus that forms in symbiosis with tree roots. Italy's white truffles sell for around 10 times the price of France's black variety.

The auction was held Sunday evening in a castle in northwestern Italy and restaurants in New York and Moscow, all connected by a satellite link.

It was the sixth annual edition of the event, but the first time Moscow has participated. In past years, bidding also has taken place in Japan and Los Angeles.

In total the auction raised $135,000 from the sale of 19 truffles. The proceeds will be given to charities in the United States, Italy, and Russia.