Bathtub music, chocolate snow, and cheese vandals

Published 5:45 pm Friday, December 11, 2020

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It’s no secret that 2020 has probably been the most unordinary year anyone has had in a long time. It’s been a wild rollercoaster from start to finish, full of plenty of things we never expected when the clock struck midnight at the end of 2019.

As usual, I’ve got a collection of odd headlines I’ve read over the past year. Though things have been bleak at times, the world is also still full of weird news. I hope these keep you chuckling until New Year’s!

Jan. 14: “Getaway got away: Suspected burglar arrested after car gets stuck in victim’s driveway” (reported by WRAL)

Deputies responding to a call about an auto theft in Alamance County found two men and a tow truck in the driveway when they arrived at the house. But instead of an attempted car theft, the men were actually trying to move a stuck vehicle. The twist? One of those men allegedly had broken into the home to steal several guns but couldn’t flee the scene when his car got stuck.

Apr. 14: “Yoko Kanno is making music in her bathtub these days” (reported by Anime News Network)

Yoko Kanno, the Japanese composer behind several well-known anime soundtracks, continued to compose music and direct musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Like many, she was working from home. Unlike many, however, she apparently did some of her work from her bathtub! A Zoom video featuring several musicians performing from their respective homes also featured the acclaimed composer lounging (fully-clothed, of course) in her bathtub and dancing along with the music. I guess people can find creative inspiration anywhere this year.

July 26: “Man faked death to avoid jail but typo gave him away” (reported by Associated Press)

A New York man didn’t want to serve his sentence after he stole a couple cars, so he faked his death to escape. The problem? The death certificate, which is supposed to be issued by the “New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics, and Registry”, had the final word spelled as “Regsitry.” Close, but not close enough! Meanwhile, during the man’s attempt to start a new life in Pennsylvania, he was arrested again for stealing other things. So I guess the important takeaway here is to always proofread! (And maybe stop stealing things.)

Aug. 18: “Snowing cocoa? Chocolate factory glitch dusts Swiss town” (reported by Associated Press)

It’s every chocoholic’s dream! Residents of a small town in Switzerland were treated to a brief chocolate snowfall after a malfunction at the local chocolate factory. The combination of a messed-up ventilation system and strong winds meant that a fine dust gently floated down to coat everything in the immediate vicinity. The tiny chocolate particles were harmless, and I assume, probably quite tasty.

Oct. 1: “Subway bread isn’t bread, Irish court says” (reported by Associated Press)

Now that’s a hot take you don’t see every day! The ruling came from a court case over a tax dispute. The law in Ireland apparently distinguishes between “bread as a staple food” and “confectionery or fancy baked goods,” the latter of which isn’t exempt from value-added tax. The argument is that Subway’s bread contains so much sugar that it doesn’t qualify as a staple food. Personally, I would still eat a Subway sandwich no matter how much sugar is in the bread. Putting lots of vegetables on the sandwich counteracts all that, right? …Right??

Nov. 2: “Whale sculpture stops train from plunge in the Netherlands” (reported by New York Times)

Art really does make an impact on people’s lives. Literally! An out-of-control train on some elevated tracks in the Netherlands careened past the end of the barrier, but instead of plunging 30 feet to the ground, the train car managed to balance precariously on top of the large sculpture (designed to look like a whale tail) located beside the tracks. The scene was described as looking like something from a Hollywood film. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The only person in the train, the driver, managed to make it out safely.

Nov. 24: “Vandals pelt Raleigh cars with cheese. Neighbors feta up with de-brie left behind” (reported by News & Observer)

No other headline this year can top this one filled with cheesy puns! Apparently, a trend of videos on TikTok have inspired some bored teens to throw cheese at passing vehicles in a few neighborhoods in Raleigh. Some neighbors have been upset—high velocity cheese can cause some damage to a car—while others have managed to find the flavor of humor in the situation. One resident suggested the vandals add some ham and bread in order to make a sandwich. Personally, I think I’ll just keep my cheese in my fridge where it belongs.

Let’s hope 2021 brings us more lighthearted headlines like these!

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or 252-332-7206.