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Quick Takes


Illustration by Phil Wrigglesworth

Quick Takes
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Off-road ramen

Fish in Lake Conway, just 30 miles north of Little Rock, Ark., narrowly missed out on the meal of a lifetime on July 13. That’s when a tractor-trailer hauling 10 tons of food veered off the road and overturned in the lake. According to a Facebook post from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the truck driver escaped without serious injury, but the semi remained partially submerged. Its payload? Twenty thousand pounds of dried ramen noodles. Regrettably for the fish, though, the ramen did not spill out of the cargo hold into the lake, which might have subsequently transformed into soup. State officials said the lake also appeared to be uncontaminated by diesel fuel or oil. Lighthearted commenters online were quick to speculate about the value of the overturned load: “So they lost $30 worth of ramen?” wrote one.

Sunday trim

For the first time since at least the 19th century, New York barbers can legally cut hair on Sundays. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on July 13 signed legislation to repeal a law dating back at least 125 years that had banned Sunday haircuts. Cuomo called the prohibition, which imposed a $5 fine for first offenses and up to 25 days in jail for subsequent offenses, a relic from an era of so-called blue laws that banned certain activities on the Sabbath. State officials say the ban was rarely enforced.

Out of their lane

Scripture tells of the folly of building a house on sand. But what about on bowling balls? A Michigan man found roughly 160 bowling balls buried next to his home’s foundation during a project to demolish his back staircase. Homeowner David Olson of Norton Shores, Mich., discovered the balls were made by Brunswick Bowling Products. Olson said that when he contacted the firm for more information, former company officials told him workers from their now-shuttered plant in nearby Muskegon used to take scrapped balls home and use them as an alternative to gravel or sand. Olson plans to use some of the excavated balls in landscaping and sculpture projects at home.

Lipo lockdown

Authorities near Charleston, S.C., closed down one of the state’s busiest bridges after a citizen phoned in a complaint about a suspicious box on July 10. After police inspected pictures of the large, locked metal box with red and green buttons abandoned on the east side of the Ravenel Bridge, they asked transit authorities to shut down traffic across the Cooper River. After investigating, a bomb squad opened the box to discover it contained a liposuction machine. The scare halted bridge traffic for roughly three hours, and police say they don’t know how the machine got there.

Spiking the water

Thanks to some tipsy water buffaloes, law enforcement officials in the Indian state of Gujarat recently charged three farmers with illegally stashing alcohol. The trio of farmers became concerned when their livestock began frothing at the mouth and behaving erratically. They eventually called in a pair of veterinarians, one of whom noticed a strange smell coming from a watering trough and tipped off police. Investigators later found bottles of booze—some of which had leaked—inside the trough. Alcohol is prohibited in Gujarat. Police eventually seized 101 bottles of liquor and cited the farmers for violating the state’s prohibition law.

A burger to go

Sometimes hunger can’t wait. Police in Worcester, Mass., say they caught up with an alleged thief when she took a break from a car chase through Worcester to navigate her vehicle into the drive-thru lane at a McDonald’s on July 13. Police got a report of a stolen pickup truck early in the day from a citizen who had GPS tracking on the vehicle. The victim helped direct police to the pickup’s location by phone before police spotted the vehicle. Police say 38-year-old Johanna Gardell drove off when officers tried to make a stop, beginning a low-speed chase through Worcester’s streets. After striking multiple vehicles, Gardell turned in to a McDonald’s to buy food, police said. Officers finally were able to arrest Gardell in the restaurant’s parking lot.

A bun for every dog

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, hot dogs typically are sold in packs of 10. And hot dog buns usually come in clusters of eight. The council says it’s pretty much always been that way, and neither bun makers nor sausage suppliers want to change. Enter an interested third party: Heinz Ketchup Canada. In an effort to sort out the mismatch, Heinz launched a social media campaign to solicit signatures for a Change.org petition seeking to force hot dog and bun makers to agree upon an equal number for their products. By July 12, the petition reached 25,000 signatories. Ironically for Heinz, though, hot dog connoisseurs don’t consider ketchup kosher. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council’s etiquette guide says only children should eat their hot dogs with ketchup.

Mishandled Stanley

Winning the NHL’s Stanley Cup for a second consecutive year on July 7 should have given the Tampa Bay Lightning another offseason to possess the famous trophy. Instead, the silver chalice will be sent in for repairs. Rough handling during postgame festivities, including a raucous boat parade, led to a large dent in the trophy’s top rim. Lightning officials now must send the Stanley Cup back to Canada for repairs before players and team officials can take turns with it during the sport’s offseason. The trophy has been awarded to winning hockey teams since 1893.

Breaking, entering, cleaning

Tom Motzel returned to his New Jersey condominium and discovered a big surprise—a clean home. According to Motzel’s wife Beth, her husband immediately called her with the news. “He said, ‘You won’t believe it. Someone broke into our house and cleaned the entire thing,’” she told WCBS. An apologetic note left at the house ultimately revealed the mystery: A housecleaner had accidentally cleaned the wrong condo. Louis Angelino, 27, meant to clean his friend’s condo but got mixed up on the address. When he found a key underneath the welcome mat, Angelino entered the Motzels’ home and cleaned up for two hours. After discovering he was at the wrong home, Angelino promptly quit the job and left the property.

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