15 Whiskers of Trivia That Scraped Our Doorways This Week
This week, we heard about an arrest, an arrest without precedent, an arrest that will go down in history. We are, of course, referring to the arrest of Florida man Tony Jay Saunders Jr.
He found himself in Pennsylvania, where he crashed a BMW into a deer. He moved the carcass into a school bus, planning to take it home to use it as fertilizer in his garden. Police gave chase, and he ditched the bus and ran onto railroad tracks, where he stripped completely naked. It was the day before his birthday.
No facts we can share with you can be as entertaining as the tale of Tony Jay Saunders Jr., but some of them may be more useful. You’ll even find one about an animal carcass, an animal much bigger than a deer.
1. Fettuccine Alfredo
Fettuccine Alfredo was named for Alfredo Di Lelio. He made it when his wife was pregnant, as the generally agreeable taste was one thing sure to keep the morning sickness down.
2. Boring Batman
In 2010, stop signs kept appearing in Cranston, Rhode Island, and no one knew who was erecting them. Police ticketed drivers for ignoring the signs, but the drivers successfully challenged the tickets, as no one could prove the signs really reflected city law.
3. Bad Guest
Stalin sabotaged a rival with a fake invite. Stalin and Trotsky were both supposed to attend Lenin’s funeral, but Stalin put his rival out of competition by giving him the wrong date, so he missed it.
4. The Infernal Machine
In 1835, Giuseppe Marco Fieschi tried to assassinate King Louis-Philippe of France with a 25-barrel gun. He killed 18 other people in the process but still managed to miss the king.
5. Last Words
An Australian diving company took a group out, came back to shore and didn’t realize till two days later that they were missing two people. The missing divers’ bodies were later found, along with a slate on which they’d written, “Monday Jan 26; 1998 08am. To anyone who can help us: We have been abandoned on A(gin)court Reef by MV Outer Edge 25 Jan 1998 3pm. Please help to rescue us before we die. Help!!!”
6. Madison Square Garden
New York City signed a contract that was supposed to exempt Madison Square Garden from taxes for 10 years. They accidentally inked that exemption in as permanent. That mistake cost them $200 million by 2002 and is still costing them today.
7. Yes, We Have No Bananas
You’ve likely heard about how Britain rationed food during World War II. But the rationing program didn’t end when the war did. It continued for another decade afterward.
8. Tatsuya Ichihashi
A fugitive performed plastic surgery on his own face. It was painful, but he finished the job in a public bathroom and so avoided capture for two years.
9. Don’t Cry
Canada sells milk in bags. One reason was the conversion to the metric system. Shortsighted companies thought it was easier to switch to liter bags than to mold themselves differently sized bottles.
10. Cut to the Chase
The phrase “cut to the case” comes from moviemaking. An exec would ask that the film skip past the boring parts and go directly to the chase scene. The cutting was also literal in those days, because that’s how they made physical edits.
11. Naughty Nuns
A friend of Isaac Newton’s, a chemist named Vigani, once told him a sex joke about a nun. Prudish Newton was so offended that he ended the friendship and never spoke to him again.
12. Whale Falls
When a whale dies, its carcass drops to the floor of the ocean. It’s a monumental event and leads to animals living in the remains for decades.
13. The Havasupai Express
The U.S. Postal Service still uses mule trains. A dozen mules run the mail, five days a week. There are some places totally inaccessibly by road, down a steep canyon, and mules are the best way to get there.
A landlord evicted a tenant for bringing in a type of fermented herring. The tenant sued, but when the landlord introduced the fish into evidence, the judges agreed it was smelly enough to warrant eviction.
In 1959, Ivan Chtcheglov brought dynamite to the Eiffel Tower to blow it up. Though he was part of a revolutionary group, the only motive he gave was that the tower’s blinking lights kept him up at night.