The Odd Truth, April 16, 2003

SUV hero
The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Brian Bernbaum. A new collection of stories is published each weekday. On weekends, you can read a week's worth of The Odd Truth.

He's No Goldilocks

LONDON - A man who'd had too much to drink on a night out stumbled home and fell asleep — in a house where he had last lived seven years ago, police said Wednesday.

Police were called when teenager Giles Mottram came home early Sunday morning to find Mark Norley asleep in his bed in Axbridge, southwest England.

Norley, a 34-year-old research scientist, was taken by police to his mother's home nearby "to sleep it off," a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said.

He wasn't charged.

"The police said they had simply never heard of anything even remotely similar," said homeowner Harry Mottram.

"It was like a kind of latter-day Goldilocks and The Three Bears, except the sleeping drunk had dark hair and we are not a family of woodland bears."

Grin And Bear It

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Miss Nude World pageant, planned at a strip club north of the city in October, isn't the kind of event city convention officials say they generally would endorse.

But organizers say the contest, featuring up to 75 exotic dancers from around the world, could draw up to 10,000 spectators to the area.

"I guess anything that has a potential to bring outside visitors to town is somewhat positive," said Greg Edwards, president of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The contest, which in recent years has been held in Atlanta and Miami, will be held Oct. 20-25 at the Lumber Yard strip club. The winner gets $10,000.

"In our industry, this is the biggest event in the world," said Mike Kent, the Lumber Yard's manager.

Unemployed Man Files For $1.5 M Refund

NEW YORK - A man masquerading as a millionaire filed an income tax return claiming he was owed a refund of more than $1.5 million, authorities said.

Turns out he almost got it, they said.

Benjamin Harris, 47, of Brooklyn, was arrested and arraigned on charges of filing a false claim last year with the Internal Revenue Service.

Prosecutors allege a 2001 return filed by Harris included a doctored W-2 form showing he made nearly $9 million that year as an attorney for an employment agency, Temporary Time Capitol Corp. He claimed he paid $3,196,431 in taxes and was owed $1,580,065, court papers said.

Defense attorney Heidi Cesare told a judge her client had made a career out of working temporary jobs, had no criminal record and had volunteered to meet with IRS investigators on tax deadline day. He soon found himself in handcuffs.

"Ironically, they scheduled (the meeting) for today, of all days," she said Tuesday.

The IRS denied the timing was calculated.

Easter Bunny Punched In The Face

WAUSAU, Wisconsin - Fans in Philadelphia once booed Santa Claus — and now somebody in Wisconsin has attacked the Easter Bunny.

A man dressed as the bunny told police a man assaulted him Saturday at a mall in Wausau.

Travis Peterson says he was sitting in a chair and waving to kids when the man jumped in his lap, got him in a headlock, punched him three times in the mouth and then ran away.

Peterson tells the Wausau Daily Herald he thought the man was trying to show off for his friends.

Police say the bunny suit probably kept Peterson from being hurt. They've arrested a 21-year-old man on disorderly conduct charges.

Naked Mass Descends On Parliament

LONDON - London sightseers got an eyeful last evening. Scores of volunteers dropped their drawers and posed nude near Parliament and the River Thames. American photographer Spencer Tunick has made a career of his mass nude shots. Yesterday at dusk, he posed 160 naked people for several photos. Tourists ended up getting more in their snapshots of Big Ben than they planned. The London nude shoot coincides with the opening of a Tunick photo exhibit at a local gallery.

Umpire Attacked By Angry Fan

CHICAGO - Another on-field incident has occurred during a Kansas City Royals game at Chicago's Comiskey Park.

A fan came out of the stands after the eighth inning of last night's game, attacking first base umpire Laz Diaz. Security and players came to Diaz's aid before the fan was quickly taken away.

The fan ran on the field and tried to tackle Diaz, wrapping his arms around the ump's legs. The game was delayed three times earlier when fans ran onto the field before being tackled by security guards.

The Royals were playing in Chicago for the first time since coach Tom Gomboa was pummeled by a father and son who came out of the stands last September.