Wacky wildlife home invasions, garden-tool weapons, and the world's dumbest DIYers. It turns out there's no shortage of weird home-related news for us to learn from and chuckle at. Here's an international roundup of cautionary tales.
Ohio resident Lillian Bernhagen assumed a loud bang she heard one recent night was just a side effect of stormy weather. But according to The Columbus Dispatch, police had to let the 94-year-old homeowner know that a 128-foot-long blimp had landed in her backyard. The blimp was on a 20-city tour, carrying an advertisement for Hangar One Vodka; it broke away from its moorings at the Columbus airport because of a windy storm. Bernhagen's response to seeing the dirigible that covered half her yard—and caused her to miss church? "Wow."
Most homeowners are used to their pet dogs coming to beg for scraps at the table. But for the Anderson-Dixons of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England, it's 3-year-old Joe the camel (not unlike the handsome chap pictured left) who comes looking for a treat. The Rex Features reports that the family is no longer surprised when Joe pops his head through their kitchen window each day and chows down with them. There are four camels and dozens of other animals on the property, but Joe is the only one brazen enough to eat breakfast with his owners.
In America, citizens who require urgent assistance from trusted officials dial 911. But in Germany, it would seem that a police hotline can double as a helpline for kids who are asked to pick up after themselves. After his mother told him to tidy up his toys an 11-year-old boy in the town of Aachen dialed a police emergency line and reported that "I have to work all day long. I haven't any free time." BBC News Europe reports that the child went on to accuse his mother of "forced labor." After a quick chat with the boy's mother, authorities decided not to respond. For the record, kids, trying to get your mother arrested probably isn’t the best way to lighten your load at home.
Sometimes contractors get hungry on the job. According to the Chicago Tribune, a 30-year-old contractor finished up his work and asked the homeowners if he could use their restroom. Immediately afterward, the wife noticed that her diamond ring was missing from the bathroom vanity. She confronted the repairman, who responded by swallowing the piece of jewelry. A trip to the hospital and a little ipecac later, the thief coughed up the ring. No word if the wife will ever wear it again, though.
Homeowners are often afraid to prune the landscape for fear of hurting their plants—not themselves. The Arizona Daily Star reported that Green Valley resident Leroy Luetscher, 86, was gardening when he dropped a pair of hand pruners, point-side down. He lost his balance while trying to pick them up, and landed facedown right on the handle. The X-rays showed the handle went straight into his eye socket and 6 inches into his head. Surgeons were able to remove the pruners and rebuild the area they damaged. Luetscher is recovering well but is in no rush to return to his garden.
Alcohol and gardening tools are a bad combination. An Ambridge, Pennsylvania, woman was forced to hide in her basement for three days after her drunken husband, 51-year-old Fred Poore II, threatened to kill her with a garden hoe. The Associated Press reports that Poore had been drinking and behaving violently for several days. Eventually, his wife managed to get to a phone to call for help. Police found Poore "babbling incoherently" and arrested him on aggravated assault charges.