Bad Luck Involves A Lot Of Monkey Business

Burn, monkey, burn. ILLUSTRATION BY MARK GALACGAC

In Santa Fe, New Mexico, tens of thousands of people gathered at a city park on the evening of Sept. 1 to revel in the burning of the effigy Zozobra, a six-story monkey puppet filled with handwritten notes about anxieties and problems they hoped to send up in smoke.

Locals dropped their notes in a “gloom box” at a shopping center, with subjects ranging from an ill family member to hurricane victims to government corruption. The tradition began in 1924 and was named for the Spanish word for upset or worry.

In other Weird News:

Fatberg Stars In A Creature Feature

Forget the horrifying clown from It. The newest inhabitant of your nightmares is a giant “fatberg” in the sewer system beneath the streets of London.

A fatberg is created by a buildup of fat and grease combined with used diapers, sanitary napkins and wipes. This one is almost the length of three football fields and weighs more than 140 tons. Matt Rimmer with London’s Thames Water said the current glob is “a total monster and is taking a lot of manpower and machinery to remove, as it’s set hard.” He said it’s basically like trying to break up concrete.

Got Milk?

Entrepreneur Miki Agrawal, 38, of Brooklyn, New York, was a hit at this year’s Burning Man gathering in Nevada, where she pumped breast milk and offered it to fellow attendees to help with hangovers or use in lattes. She even tried some herself, saying it tasted a bit like coconut milk. She estimated that 30 to 40 people tried her milk. “The fact that any part of that could be seen as taboo … it’s time that conversation changes,” Agrawal said.

Terror Act, Take Two

Terror suspect and Uber driver Mohiussunnath Chowdhury, 26, of Luton, England, was detained in London Aug. 25 after using his navigation program to direct him to Windsor Castle. But the technology led him astray, and he pulled up outside The Windsor Castle pub in Windsor.

After realizing his mistake, Chowdhury headed for London, where he parked his car next to a marked police van outside Buckingham Palace, brandished a 4-foot-long sword and yelled “Allahu Akbar.” Chowdhury was charged in the Westminster Magistrates Court with one count of preparing to commit an act or acts of terrorism.

A Not-so-bright Hubby

A man in Plymouth, Minnesota, went to extraordinary lengths and wasted two days of police investigators’ time just to get a few days away from his wife, police Sgt. Keith Bird said. The woman reported her 34-year-old husband missing Aug. 28 and showed police a text from him saying he had been kidnapped. The kidnapper demanded a paltry $140 for his return, and the wife agreed, but the kidnapper said she could wait for the husband to receive his paycheck.

Eventually police caught up with the husband, who insisted he had indeed been kidnapped but asked officers to stop investigating.

Errant Butt-Dials

The New York court system’s former spokesman David Bookstaver, 59, is under investigation after accidentally admitting to a New York Post reporter in August that he “barely shows up to work.” The incident happened after Bookstaver had talked with the reporter on his cell.

Without realizing it, Book-staver redialed the reporter’s number, and the reporter listened as Bookstaver talked with two others about how little he works.

Two county officials are calling for Bookstaver to repay $149,900 of “ill-gotten” taxpayer money.

Send your weird news items with subject line WEIRD NEWS to weirdnewstips@ amuniversal.com.

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