Weird News: Butt Emergencies, Toilet Rat, Goat Remains, and a Shoe Thrown to Block Basketball Shot — 2013 in Review

Plus, patrol boat bumper cars and mowing through a government shutdown.

Flowers & Plants, Etc. now has a penny-covered floor as part of a larger store renovation. (Photo: Jason Spencer/Patch)
Flowers & Plants, Etc. now has a penny-covered floor as part of a larger store renovation. (Photo: Jason Spencer/Patch)

By Patch Staff

Editor's Note: Patch has 31 sites in Virginia and D.C., and not a day goes by that something weird isn't happening somewhere in the area. Here's a look back at some weird goings-on over the past year.

'Butt Officer...': Did you know that all over Fairfax County (and likely the rest of Northern Virginia and D.C.), at any given moment, someone is “butt dialing” 911? It’s a huge problem, Steve McMurrer, 911 systems administrator for Fairfax County, told Patch in July. The county receives about a million 911 calls a year.  It’s not officially tracking how many of those are accidental calls, McMurrer said — but they probably number in the thousands.

More Than 250,000 Pennies On the Floor: Chip and Sonya Frederick, owners of Flowers & Plants, Etc. on Chain Bridge Road redid their shop's floor entirely in pennies this summer. More than 250,000 pennies were used, and the couple hopes to achieve a world record.

Pepper-Sprayed Shopper: We’ve heard of police officers subduing unruly suspects, but a shoplifter pepper-spraying store employees? It happened at Saks’ Off 5th in Woodbridge, where a shoplifter pepper-sprayed two workers on the Fourth of July, after they confronted him about stealing $1,300 worth of merchandise.

Patrol Boat vs. Boats (Plural): Usually it’s the harbor patrol boats that are breaking up a commotion, but the stir in early September was over a police boat hitting two civilian boats while trying to make a U-turn, according to news reports. One of the boats partially sunk from the damage.

Well, Abe’s Not Going to Do It: The federal shutdown had U.S. National Park Service grounds maintenance teams sitting at home instead of mowing the lawn in October. One man took the government's landscaping into his own hands. The random man decided to unload his lawnmower and cut the grass at the Lincoln Memorial while carrying the South Carolina state flag.

That Voodoo That You Do… We’re not sure if this was part of some Satanic ritual or maybe just the remains of a primitive barbecue? The remains of a juvenile goat were mysteriously found in July within Dora Kelley Nature Park, located in Alexandria’s West End. An Alexandria Animal Control officer responded to the scene and found no entrails or other signs of violence, leaving police officers to believe the goat was disemboweled elsewhere and its remains were dumped in the park.

Sign Reads, ‘Occupied’: An Arlington resident found an unwanted visitor in the bathroom in November — a rat had come up through the sewer and was in the toilet. "Evidently, they tried to flush it a couple of times. But I guess he or she wasn't having it. They can fight the current," Animal Control Chief Alice Burton told Patch.

Shoe Flying Action: Georgetown Women's Basketball player Shayla Cooper had a new use for the “basketball shoe.” On Nov. 8, the freshman forward threw a shoe to block a shot during a game against Richmond. She missed, but no call from the refs. The Associated Press called it, “soletending.” We recently spent $140 for li’l Patch’s basketball shoes — they better not leave his feet.


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DW1976 December 30, 2013 at 10:53 AM
I bet 99% of the pocket dials are from Blackberries, which have a horrible emergency dial interface that lends itself to accidental calls.


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