Check back here daily for the latest oddball stories that just may give you a chuckle or leave you scratching your head.
Screams of "Help!" draw 911 call, but parrot is the screamer
CLACKAMAS, Ore. — A deliveryman in Oregon who heard a woman's screams for help had his wife call 911, but when a deputy showed up it turned out the screamer was a parrot, not a woman.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Tuesday that when Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy Hayden Sanders showed up, all he found was Diego the Parrot.
The green-and-yellow bird was in good health and no humans were involved.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com
Police: Headset-wearing Dunkin' worker sold drugs on job
DENVER, Pa. — Police say a Pennsylvania Dunkin' Donuts worker sold methamphetamine and heroin on the job, in some cases while wearing his drive-thru window headset.
Police say Pizzardi would leave the store and make sales in the parking lot or at a nearby convenience store. They say he sold the drugs while wearing his Dunkin' Donuts uniform and headset.
Pizzardi is jailed on $80,000 bail. Court documents don't list an attorney who could comment on his behalf.
NASA seeks nickname for tiny, icy world on solar system edge
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Heads up, armchair travelers.
NASA is seeking a nickname for a tiny, icy world on the edge of the solar system that's the next destination for New Horizons, the spacecraft that surveyed Pluto.
New Horizons whipped past Pluto two years ago. Now it's headed for 2014 MU69 — gobbledygook to even the most die-hard scientists.
To lighten the mood as New Horizons aims for a 2019 flyby, the research team is holding a naming contest . The deadline is Dec. 1.
MU69 is 4 billion miles (6.5 billion kilometers) away and may actually be two objects, either stuck together or orbiting one another. If so, two nicknames would be needed. The nicknames will be temporary. NASA said Monday that a formal name will come after the flyby.
Christie gets into it with voter, calls it 'joy' of service
MENDHAM TOWNSHIP, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's tell-it-like-it-is style has annoyed many residents in his state, but he has made sure to give it to at least one more voter in his final Election Day before leaving office.
The term-limited Republican got into a parking lot dispute with a resident after voting near his home in Mendham Township on Tuesday. While he was speaking to reporters, the woman asked him why he didn't merge Mendham Township and Mendham Borough.
Christie shot back the easiest thing to do is "stand on the sidelines and critique." He told the woman "serving folks like" her is the "joy of public service."
Christie failed in a 2016 presidential bid and has abysmal approval ratings. He was criticized last summer for lounging on a beach that was closed to the public during a budget stalemate.
Cat long thought dead found alive 120 miles away
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine — A cat missing for more than a year has been reunited with his owner 120 miles from their Maine home.
Kennebunkport resident George Lichte says he believed his cat, Romeo, was dead after he never came home one day last fall. The Bangor Daily News reports Lichte received a phone call two weeks ago from a Skowhegan veterinarian, saying Romeo was found alive.
Solon resident Kevin Taft says he found the friendly feline while he was sitting at a picnic table, and assumed he was a stray. He planned to adopt Romeo, before learning the cat already had an owner.
Lichte says he wonders how Romeo got so far away.
Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com
Canadian Mounties arrest 5 naked suspects after kidnapping
NISKU, Alberta — Police arriving at a car crash in western Canada found five naked people inside, and ended up accusing them of kidnapping a mother, her father and her baby.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Laurel Scott said the mother, baby and the woman's father had been taken from a home and forced into a vehicle against their will. While the car was being driven, the adult male, who was in the trunk, managed to escape. Shortly after that the woman escaped with the baby.
Authorities said a passer-by offered assistance and secured all three in his truck before the suspects' vehicle rammed the rear of the truck and ended up in the ditch.
Three adults among the suspects remained in custody facing charges of kidnapping and resisting arrest, police said. The other two suspects were youths and released without charges.
Officials said the three people who were kidnapped were not injured.
The investigation continued but officials believed drugs or alcohol might have been a factor.
Associated Press writer Rob Gillies in Toronto contributed to this report.
Imitating 'Curb,' St. Louis man ticketed for honking at cop
ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis man is feeling pretty ... pretty ... pretty ... pretty miffed over a recent traffic ticket.
In an instance of life imitating art — in this case a recent episode of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" — computer programmer Scott Smith says he was ticketed for honking his horn at a police officer.
Smith told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he repeatedly honked at the officer in an unmarked car Friday because the light had turned green and the officer wasn't moving.
He was pulled over and used his cellphone to record the heated exchange with the plainclothes officer, who asked, "Is your horn stuck?" Smith replied: "Is your brake stuck?"
Smith was ticketed for excessive noise from a vehicle. He plans to file a formal complaint.
In the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" episode, Larry David's character was ticketed for honking at a police car at a stoplight.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com
Police: Thief didn't get far in motorized grocery store cart
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A man accused of stealing a motorized shopping cart from an Alaska grocery store didn't get very far or go very fast before his low-speed getaway attempt was foiled by police.
The battery-operated cart with a basket mounted behind the handlebars has a top speed of 1.9 mph.
Authorities say Rondell Tony Chinuhuk of Anchorage is charged with felony theft for attempting to take the cart early Tuesday from a Safeway store in Fairbanks.
Police say they stopped Chinuhuk while he was crossing a thoroughfare following a 10-minute joyride that consisted mostly of trying to leave the expansive store parking lot.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Chinuhuk was charged with felony theft of the $2,500 cart. Assistant public defender Jennifer Hite says in an email the office doesn't comment on cases.
Udder surprise: Heifer found in family's swimming pool
NEWTON, N.C. — An 800-pound heifer made a big splash when it was found in a North Carolina family's swimming pool.
Catawba County Chief Animal Control Officer Jenna Arsenault told news outlets the agency received a 911 call Wednesday morning and arrived to find the young female bovine defiantly staring from the pool in Newton.
The pool's owner, Burt Thornburg, says he looked out the door and thought something fell into the pool. He says he started ripping off the cover and uncovered the cow.
Authorities say a team managed to lasso the horns and pull the cow from the pool. The cow was believed to be in the pool for two hours or more.
Authorities believe the cow was grazing and walked across the pool cover, thinking it was solid.
New Jersey diner adding gratuities to kids' bills
WAYNE, N.J. — A New Jersey diner is adding an 18 percent gratuity to the bills of children who go there without their parents.
Melissa Desch tells WCBS-TV she and her family have been eating at the Wayne Hills Diner and Restaurant for years and she was surprised when her 11-year-old daughter sent her a photo showing a 90-cent tip was unknowingly added to her milkshake bill.
Desch doesn't think it's fair to treat minors different than adults.
The diner's lawyer says kids have been showing up in groups of 20 or 30, staying for an hour or two and most don't leave a tip. He says it's not fair to the waiters and waitresses.
He also says the menu clearly states "management reserves the right to add 18 percent gratuity."
'Real-life Iron Man,' Harlem Globetrotter set Guinness marks
NEW YORK — A British inventor billed as a real-life version of the superhero Iron Man has hit the fastest speed in a body-controlled jet engine power suit at 32 mph (51 kph), a Guinness world record.
The record keeper announced Tuesday's feat on Thursday as part of its annual Guinness World Records day.
Other marks announced included a Swedish baker's record for the world's largest vegan cake, which weighs in at more than 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms). Harlem Globetrotter Thunder Law successfully made a basket Sunday on a 50-foot high hoop for a new mark. It's the 17th mark accomplished by the Globetrotters, and Law's fourth individual record.
Guinness says more than 600,000 people are attempting to set records as part of the event.