Camel sacrifice, spray-on condom among 2006 oddities
By Erik Kirschbaum
BERLIN (Reuters) - From the Turkish Airline workers who sacrificed a camel at Istanbul airport to celebrate a job well done to the German who invented snug spray-on condoms, the world was full of offbeat news in 2006.
While "Miss Israel" Yael Nezri was exempted from carrying her assault rifle in the Israeli army because it bruised her beauty queen legs, "Mr. Switzerland" Renzo Blumenthal lured lonely women who hate soccer to his country for the World Cup.
Careless thieves once again made headlines round the world. A burglar in Germany left behind a vital clue -- his finger tip.
"We usually find finger prints but it's not every day that the thieves leave the original there too," a police spokesman said. It took only a few hours to track down the thief.
A Jordanian salesman was arrested for trying to fleece a money exchanger with a fake ID card bearing a Brad Pitt picture.
In Vienna, burglars fled after finding eight severed human heads. A dentist had stored the mummified heads for research.
Village leaders in India ordered 150 men to dip their hands in boiling oil to prove their innocence after food was stolen.
An Australian man stopped for drunk driving threatened police with a live snake he picked up off the road.
In Cologne, a plastic surgeon cheated out of payment by two women using fake names gave "Wanted" pictures of their enlarged breasts to police. "It's probably the most unusual 'wanted' poster police ever had," wrote top-selling Bild newspaper, which helpfully published life-size pictures of the boosted breasts.
There were tragic moments too. In Hanoi, a Vietnamese man famous on a national TV program for his ability to resist electric shocks was electrocuted while fixing a generator.
In Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian man died when he tried to open a rocket-propelled grenade with a sledgehammer.
The political year began with a bang when Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a friend on a quail hunt.
In Hungary, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany sparked rioting by admitting he lied to win a general election.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife Cherie pretended to slap a cheeky teen-ager for a photograph but was questioned by police after child protection officers reported her.
In Bangkok, Thai coup leaders banned go-go girls from dancing near tanks and posing for photos with soldiers because they were distracting the troops.
Random acts of bad judgment in 2006 included: the Philadelphia man who pulled a gun on his 7-year-old son's football coach to demand more playing time; and in Koblenz, Germany, a woman who was caught driving her dead mother across country to save on mortuary transport costs.
Two women working at the German Labor Office got into trouble for writing emails at work moaning about their dull sex lives -- and sending the exchange to thousands of co-workers.
A pilot of Air Canada's Jazz subsidiary got locked out of the cockpit after stepping out to go to the washroom.
Three doctors in India were caught by a TV camera agreeing to amputate healthy limbs of beggars who wanted more sympathy.
Love had its strange moments too. Two prisoners in an Ivory Coast jail got married after falling in love through the peephole in an iron prison door.
And in Finland, a court ruled against a woman in her 20s who charged a 74-year-old man 25,500 euros ($32,000) to fondle her breasts on 10 occasions.
"Based on general life experience, it is indisputably clear that a 25,500 euro charge is disproportionate to the compensation in question," Judge Hasse Hakki told Reuters.