2021 headlines: runaway pigs, stiletto Crocs, and a personalized hearse

Published 5:15 pm Friday, December 10, 2021

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After a year like 2020, you’d think 2021 would have been a bit calmer and a return to some semblance of normal. And it some ways, it has been. We’ve learned to live with the curveballs the pandemic throws into our everyday lives.

But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t still an abundance of strange headlines this past year! Despite how quickly life can change in a moment’s notice, one constant is that there’s still plenty of odd things happening all around the world. Here are a few strange ones I stumbled across this year:

February 23: “In Israel, mayo provides miracle for endangered turtles” (reported by Associated Press)

You wouldn’t normally think of mayonnaise as a cleaning product. But the workers at Israel’s National Sea Turtle Rescue Center have discovered that feeding mayonnaise to their sticky, tar-coated turtles has helped flush the toxic substance from their digestive tracts. The turtles were affected by an oil spill that coated almost all 120 miles of Israel’s coastline. I’m glad to hear this solution will help the animals who got caught up in that sticky situation, though I also wonder what brand of mayonnaise they’re using…

April 8: “Pig saves its own bacon in Devon trailer escape” (reported by BBC News)

In a southern part of the United Kingdom, a pig on its way to the slaughterhouse managed to jump out of the trailer and escape to safety. The owner, Sarah Allan, had been transporting three pigs and was surprised to find only two when she arrived at her destination 11 miles away. She thinks the pig was only successful in its leap to freedom by launching itself off another pig’s back! Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? The runaway pig was found perfectly fine in a field later, and Allan decided to just take it back home to stay. Her kids have named it Milton.

April 16: “Prince Philip designed his own hearse, a modified Land Rover” (reported by Associated Press)

I’ve heard of people handling their funeral arrangements ahead of time, like picking out what clothes they’d like to be buried in and maybe even putting some personal touches on their coffin. But designing your own hearse? That’s a little more unusual. The UK’s Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, passed away on April 9 but he made sure ahead of time that his last ride would be in his favorite kind of vehicle. He worked with the Land Rover company since 2003 to modify one of their vehicles to carry his coffin in the back. At his request, they also repainted it a dark bronze green color. I guess it’s always good to be prepared.

June 10: “And now, Crocs with stiletto heels” (reported by NPR)

Have you ever attended a fancy event but wished you could just wear a comfy pair of Crocs? Well, Crocs are finally giving people that option, through a collaboration with fashion brand Balenciaga. Their collaboration Crocs look pretty much the same as regular Crocs except that they’ve added… a stiletto heel. In my opinion, stiletto heels are the opposite of comfortable, so I feel like I’m getting mixed messages from this shoe. (Then again, I don’t really like Crocs anyway…) As of this article, there were no prices announced yet for the shoes, but the prediction is that people could possibly shell out thousands of dollars for a pair. Not me, though. I think I’ll pass.

September 14: “Man who refused to leave store’s restroom had crawled into ceiling, NC deputies say” (reported by News & Observer)

A guy in a convenience store outside of Charlotte apparently decided to play a game of hide and seek in the store’s restroom… by climbing into the ceiling. At the time, Lincoln County deputies were attempting to locate the man for an outstanding warrant. After deputies spoke to the man through the locked door and he refused to come out, they eventually used a key to get inside. The suspect, not having many hiding place options, had removed the ceiling tiles and climbed up inside. His penalty for all this ended up including additional charges of resisting an officer, injury to real property, and second-degree trespassing. Worst game ever!

October 5: “Convicted sheriff gives thumbs-up review of jail he ran” (reported by Associated Press)

The sheriff of Limestone County, Alabama, was already pretty familiar with the county jail after serving 10 terms as sheriff, but he got a chance to experience it from a different perspective after he was convicted of theft and ethics violations. He spent two weeks in custody before getting out on bail, and at a press conference after his release called it the “best jail in the state of Alabama. The food was real good, the staff took very good care of me.” Unfortunately for the former sheriff, however, he will serve his full punishment at a different facility about 60 miles away.

November 30: “Gundam Café Offers ‘Iconic’ Recreations of Anime Dishes” (reported by Anime News Network)

Okay, I admit this headline isn’t too odd, but the story was funny enough that I had to share anyway. For fans of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, the Gundam Café in Japan is offering new “recreation meals” of various dishes which have appeared in the animated series. But clearly someone in charge has a sense of humor, because they’ve also added “iconic” items such as a $5 bread and water meal (a character was seen eating this in one episode), and a $4 glass of milk (a different character had this in a different episode). Personally, I think I can recreate both those items in my own kitchen. No travel necessary!

These stories are only a small sampling of everything that’s happened in 2021. I hope there are plenty more head-scratching headlines in 2022!

Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at holly.taylor@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7206.