Surfing the web for weird stories

Published 4:30 pm Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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I’m a man with a wide range of hobbies. I enjoy developing new recipes for my obsession with French pastry; nothing gets my heart pumping more than being involved in an online game of backgammon; and I adore knitting sweaters for my cats and kittens.

Okay…fun time is over. The truth is that I can’t cook (I could mess up a pot of boiling water); I’ve never played backgammon; and I own zero pets.

But I honestly do enjoy surfing the web for weird stories. It’s almost like I wish something weird would happen here in the Roanoke-Chowan area so I could write about it.

The following weird, but true, stories are taken from They have been publishing such stories since 1982:

An unnamed man in Detroit was arrested in late April for illegally possessing guns, but the federal agents who arrived at his home with a search warrant were more interested in how he made a living: He sold marijuana from a vending machine attached to his house, clearing $2,000 a day, he told them.

The Associated Press reported that agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives made purchases from the machine to collect evidence before the bust.

The man was released on bond.

During a funeral in Lambayeque, Peru, on April 26, pallbearers were stunned to hear knocking coming from within the coffin of Rosa Isabel Cespedes Callaca as they carried it, Metro News reported. They lowered the box to the ground and opened the lid to find that Callaca was weak, but alive, following a serious car accident. Cemetery caretaker Juan Segundo Cajo said that Callaca “opened her eyes and was sweating.”

She was rushed to a hospital, where she was shown to have faint signs of life, but sadly, she expired a few hours later. Her family members suspect she may have been in a coma following the accident, rather than deceased.

When Alisha Moy, 20, and Jordan Cobbold, 21, broke it off after just a few weeks of dating, Moy was ready to move on. But Cobbold, apparently, was not, Metro News reported on March 31. A couple of weeks after they met, Cobbold suggested he take a key to her flat in Suffolk, England, which raised red flags for her. “I remember calling my mum because I was worried about it,” she said.

After she messaged him to break it off, she returned home from work to find “something wrong” in her apartment. “He’d pulled my shoes out of the little cloakroom and poured beans and spaghetti in there. There were condiments splattered all over the walls and cooking sauce poured all over my vacuum cleaner,” she said.

Cobbold had also cut the cords to all her brand-new electrical appliances. Damage was estimated at about $2,000.

Police arrested him a few days later and he was fined, given community service and a restraining order.

The Henry County (Virginia) Sheriff’s Office has offered kudos to a local resident who helped track down a person they were chasing on Feb. 13, the Martinsville Bulletin reported on Feb. 21. Capt. Scott Barker explained that Deputy David Parnell was trying to arrest a suspect for domestic assault when the suspect fled on foot, and Parnell gave chase.

“A goat from the property joined Deputy Parnell,” Barker said, and chased the man into the woods. Another deputy on the other side of the woods and the goat then flushed the suspect out of the woods, and Parnell took him into custody.

Barker could not say if any official commendation would be offered to the goat.

Irvine, California, police were tipped off on May 17 by neighbors to a suspicious vehicle belonging to Yasmine Kambour, 37, and Chris Huynh, 44, of Garden Grove. The 2008 Mercedes-Benz C300 looked innocent enough, but, as NBC4-TV reported, it had some unusual features that James Bond might have appreciated.

“The suspect vehicle was something out of a 007 movie,” police posted on Instagram. “Officers discovered a device that would flip the vehicle’s license plate with the push of a button and an elaborate gas siphoning device that transferred fuel directly into the vehicle’s gas tank.” They also found burglary tools, evidence of ID theft and stolen property.

The pair were arrested on multiple charges.

According to the Conrad Public School District in Montana, there’s an old law on the books that stipulates that a school principal is responsible for feeding and tending a horse if a student rides it to school.

On May 23, WTHR-TV reported, 12 students at Conrad High School put the statute to the test, riding their steeds up to the school and leaving them in the care of Principal Raymond DeBruycker throughout the school day.

Apparently DeBruycker had no time to comment while he kept his charges watered and fed and (presumably) mucked the parking lot.

Here’s another horse story. Stephanie Kirchner, 33, a farmer who works at a stud farm near her home in Schupbach, Germany, has had to make some changes since gas prices have climbed in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Instead of riding to work in her Toyota SUV, she’s now riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn carriage to her job about 3 1/2 miles away. It makes what was once a 10- to 15-minute commute take up to an hour, the Associated Press reported, but she saves about $264 a month.

She said children like the horses, but “humanity is hectic and then some people are annoyed if they can’t get past me fast enough.”

Another downside: “I can’t put a horse in a parking garage.”

And, last but not least, Vicky Umodu of Colton, California, was thrilled to find two free sofas and a matching chair on Craigslist for her new house. She was skeptical, but the owners explained that a family member had passed away, and they were liquidating the possessions, ABC7 News reported on June 2.

When she got the furniture home, she felt some kind of item in one of the cushions and thought it might be a heating pad, but upon further inspection, she found several envelopes filled with cash, a staggering $36,000 in total.

She returned the cash to the family, who told her they had found other hidden stashes in the deceased man’s home, but not such large amounts. As a gesture of thanks, they gave Umodu $2,200, money she needed for a refrigerator.

Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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