The Odd Side – June 28, 2016

Lithuanian Village Crowns Prettiest Goat in Annual Pageant

(Reuters) – The Lithuanian village of Ramygala held its annual beauty pageant on Sunday, the top prize going to a 16-month-old female goat called Demyte, or “Little Spot.”

Around 500 people braved the summer heat to attend the parade in honor of the goat, a traditional symbol of the northern village. The pageant also included a marching band, dancers in fancy costumes and a “king” and “queen” presiding over ceremonies.

It was the first time Demyte’s owner, 74-year-old retired veterinarian Ferdinandas Petkevicius, had won the competition after six years of trying.

“The only thing we didn’t do to prepare the goat for the pageant is we didn’t polish its nails — because we thought of it too late,” said Petkevicius, holding the leash of the winning white goat with black spots, who was decorated with two roses on its head.

Six goats decorated with flowers were paraded on a red carpet before a jury comprised of the local member of parliament, the head of the local school and a cucumber farmer. Several contestants stubbornly refused to walk and were instead carried by their owners.

Cakes, jars of honey, books and coupons for a haircut were awarded to winners’ owners, before they walked their goats away from the red carpet.

Dozens Burned in Texas Walking on Hot Coals At Seminar

(Reuters) – As many as 40 people were injured after walking on hot coals as part of a motivational speaker’s seminar, fire officials said on Friday.

Attendees of the event, held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas, reported burns to their feet and legs just after 11 p.m. on Thursday, Dallas Fire and Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said.

“A lot of the attendees were asked to walk across hot coals, and as a result, a lot of the people sustained burn injuries,” Evans said.

Of the 30 to 40 people injured, five were treated at the Parkland Hospital burn unit, Evans said. The others were treated and released at the scene. It was unclear how many participated in the coal walk.

The three-day seminar is intended to help people “break through any limit” and improve their quality of life, according a description posted on the site of a popular motivational speaker.

Representatives for the speaker were not immediately available for comment.

According to media reports, 21 out of 6,000 people who walked on hot coals at a similar event in 2012 in California were treated for burns.

Most people avoid burns because coals are not efficient conductors of heat, but standing too long in one spot and other factors can increase the risk. In the 2012 incident, there was speculation that the large number of people participating caused the lines of firewalkers to slow down, raising chances of burns.

Eatery Has Duck on Menu and Ducklings Jumping Off Its Roof

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (AP) – One New Jersey restaurant has duck on its menu and ducklings jumping off its roof.

Seven ducklings hatched on the roof of the Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten in Asbury Park, then wanted to follow their mother to the ground Thursday.

Office manager Adria Alfro says workers spotted the nest several weeks ago and shielded it from customers.

Alfro says when her boss, Jennifer Lampert, arrived Thursday, the mother duck was on the ground quacking. Then she felt something brush by her and realized the ducklings were jumping.

The chef used his hat to catch two of the ducklings, and Alfro stopped traffic so the family could cross the street and enter a lake.

Perhaps the ducklings realized the German restaurant was offering a duck special this week.

Repentant Fare Evader Delivers
Apology Letter, $300 Cash

BOSTON (AP)One Massachusetts commuter believes it’s never too late to say you’re sorry — or pay your train fare.

The Boston Globe reports Matthew Andrewes hand-delivered an apology letter, along with $300 in cash, to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority on June 9.

That’s the amount Andrewes believes he owes the MBTA for evading fares.

The 31-year-old Andrewes says he avoided paying the train fare whenever he could as a teenager and in his 20s.

He wrote: “I am so sorry. Please accept this money as compensation.”

Andrewes says the guilt was weighing on him and he was praying about what to do.

MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo says this isn’t the first time a fare evader has apologized, but it might be the biggest reimbursement it’s received.

Yearly Rattlesnake Roundup Event Yields Dozens of Serpents

NOXEN, Pa. (AP) – Dozens of serpents have been collected as a part of an annual Rattlesnake Roundup in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Thirty-nine of the 59 registered hunters brought in a rattlesnake to Noxen during the weekend. Eight poisonous copperheads and 20 nonvenomous snakes were also hauled in.

The largest nonvenomous snake was a black rat snake that measured nearly 6 ½ feet.

The four-day event sanctioned by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission was first held in 1973 and raises money for the Noxen Fire Department and other local groups.

The snakes are returned to their natural habitat.