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See dog drive

QUICK TAKES | A Texas pooch created a ruckus after it got behind the wheel without a license

Illustration by Krieg Barrie

See dog drive
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A chaotic parking lot incident left multiple cars damaged at a Walmart in Kilgore, Texas, on Dec. 1, but police officers found the reckless driver too cute to arrest. Witnesses said a dog was behind the wheel of a truck that hit two other cars in the store’s parking lot. According to police, the dog’s owner left the animal in the car while shopping. The excited pup managed to shift the truck out of gear and dislodge the vehicle’s parking brake, authorities said. “It doesn’t sound feasible, but an eyewitness saw the pooch behind the wheel just before the crash,” an official with the Kilgore Police Department wrote on Facebook. “He certainly has a guilty look on his face.”

Cheesy complaint

According to the label, Velveeta macaroni and cheese should take 3.5 minutes to make. But that doesn’t account for time preparing the dish for the microwave. That deception amounts to false advertising and is worth $5 million in damages—or so says Hialeah, Fla., resident Amanda Ramirez, who filed a lawsuit against Kraft Heinz Food Company in federal court on Nov. 18. A Kraft Heinz spokesperson, who noted the 3.5-minute claim is in reference to microwave time, said the ­company plans to defend itself in court against what it calls a frivolous lawsuit.

Cat in a suitcase

A tabby cat nearly passed through airport security and onto a flight to Atlanta on Nov. 16, despite a tuft of its orange fur sticking out of a partially zipped suitcase. Transportation Security Administration officials spotted the cat in a piece of checked luggage during an X-ray security scan at JFK International Airport, and baggage handlers soon unzipped and freed the animal. According to a TSA spokesperson, the bag’s owner said the cat sneaked into the suitcase at home without his knowledge.

Scooting too slowly

Driving 62 mph over the speed limit can get you in trouble. But so can driving 62 mph under the speed limit. After receiving worried phone calls from motorists, authorities in Derby, U.K., stopped an elderly man who had taken his mobility scooter onto a major highway in Derbyshire on Nov. 29. Police said the man claimed 63 years of driving experience, but noted his 8 mph scooter wasn’t rated to drive on the 70 mph highway. Officers stopped traffic and allowed the man to safely exit the highway.

Santa’s helpers

A bundle of packages safely arrived at their destinations Nov. 25 near Germantown, Ohio—no thanks to FedEx. While driving home, Ohio residents Zach Arnwine and Tristen Raisch said they spotted a stopped FedEx delivery vehicle whose driver was tossing packages to the side of the road. By the time Arnwine turned around, the driver was gone. Worried the recipients wouldn’t get their deliveries, Arnwine decided to take over the route. The 24-year-old steelworker and his fiancée personally delivered each package to its rightful owner before heading home. FedEx said the incident is under investigation.

Old-time tortoise

The world’s oldest known land animal celebrated his 190th birthday Dec. 4. Caretakers at Plantation House on the British island of St. Helena threw Jonathan the tortoise a three-day party, capped off with a salad cake featuring tomatoes and bananas. Jonathan is estimated to have been born in 1832—before the U.S. Civil War or the first postage stamp. He has lived at Plantation House since 1882, when he was brought over from the Seychelles as a gift to St. Helena’s governor. Jonathan is blind and cannot smell, but has good hearing and enjoys company. The animal’s vet, Joe Hollins, said the average life expectancy of a giant tortoise is 150 years, but Jonathan is still energetic and could live much longer. —Elizabeth Russell

Going with the floe

A fishing trip in Minnesota turned into an ordeal after hundreds became stranded on an ice floe that broke away from the shoreline. Officials at the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office said they began receiving 911 calls near midday Nov. 28 with reports the moving floe had left more than 200 anglers some 90 feet from the shores of Upper Red Lake. A collection of state and local agencies swung into action, dispatching drones to survey the scene. After finding the closest point between the shore and the floe, emergency workers deployed a temporary bridge to allow the stranded fishermen to walk back to land.

Ring fling

Kevin Butler’s first trip to the city dump Nov. 23 was to take out the garbage. The second trip was to retrieve the wedding rings he accidentally threw away. Butler’s wife had cleaned the rings and left them to dry wrapped in a napkin—which he threw out along with some kitchen scraps. After realizing his error, Butler drove back to the Windham, N.H., facility and persuaded a transfer station supervisor to help him look for the rings. The crew reviewed surveillance footage and then used an excavator to dig through the pile until they found a white bag with celery stalks poking out—just like the one Butler remembered pitching. The rings were still in the napkin, tucked under carrot and potato peelings at the bottom of the bag.

—This is an expanded version of the Quick Takes edition that appeared in the Jan. 14 print issue.


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