Roads Report: Fight the powers that be

Oct. 23, 2003

Nose to the grindstone

A British man spent 11 days last month pushing a square metal nut along the streets of London with his nose.

Mark McGowan's seven-mile journey ended at the residence of Prime Minister Tony Blair where he told reporters he was trying to highlight the need for grants to aid rising student debt. (McGowan himself has around $24,000 (US) in debts.)

Nose to the grindstone

A British man spent 11 days last month pushing a square metal nut along the streets of London with his nose.

Mark McGowan's seven-mile journey ended at the residence of Prime Minister Tony Blair where he told reporters he was trying to highlight the need for grants to aid rising student debt. (McGowan himself has around $24,000 (US) in debts.)

If McGowan's name sounds familiar, you may remember the time he walked 11 miles with a turkey tied to his head in an attempt to persuade overweight people to eat less.

Stark-raving mad

The craziest display at the Evergreen State Fair in Washington this summer didn't cost anything to see and was even more memorable than the bearded lady and the goat boy.

It all started on a Tuesday afternoon when a 24-year-old fair employee was spotted smoking "an unknown narcotic" and was fired.

Police say the carny then made an unsuccessful attempt at stealing money from another carny, then went into a women's restroom and exposed himself.

When police arrived, the man put his pants back on and fled through a window in the bathroom to a nearby highway, groping women along the way.

After scaling a chain-link fence and making his way to US-2, the man tried to steal a woman's car. When that didn't work, he ran across the highway and tried to jump aboard a train traveling at 45 mph. That really didn't work.

Police found the man in serious condition with multiple fractures and had him airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Tips from the road

If you're going to drive on one of Germany's autobahns, make sure you wear your seat belt, your mirrors are properly positioned and you haven't left a briefcase containing 100,000 euros ($109,000 US) on the roof of your car.

A German businessman neglected just one of those rules last month and is now in big trouble.

Just before getting into his car, the man got a call on his cell phone. After a lengthy conversation he was on his way, completely forgetting he had placed his briefcase on the roof of his car in order to answer the phone.

The briefcase stayed on the roof until the man hit the autobahn on-ramp. It then blew off and the car behind ran over it, bursting it open and sending euros flying everywhere.

A traffic jam ensued as motorists parked their cars in the middle of the road and scrambled to collect the money. Not surprisingly, police have only recovered 3,000 euros and are warning those who were on the scene that not turning in found money is a crime.

So what was the man doing with that much cash anyway? He's the owner of an insolvent sealants manufacturer and the money was a month's pay for his 35 employees, who are now all facing unemployment.

"My Fair Cabbie"

The history and scenery of Cyprus attracts around 2.5 million tourists each year. The cab drivers, on the other hand, attract only stares and second thoughts.

Surveys conducted among vacationers to the island have shown that cabbies are in serious need of grooming. So in an attempt to project a cleaner image, the island's licensing authority will be sending cab drivers to etiquette classes.

According to the survey, the major offenses seem to be gold chains and flashy rings, flip-flops and clothing that exposes excessive body hair or explicit tattoos.

Cut that out

A pioneer in Wisconsin has taken the art of drunken driving to the next level.

Many people think that drunken driving laws apply only to street vehicles. Well, Barry Davis of West Bend proved last month that you can earn a DUI in Wisconsin on any self-propelled vehicle, including a lawn mower.

Police say that the 44-year-old Davis downed a six-pack and then decided to head up the street to a friend's house to have some more. Rather than walk, which Davis later admitted would have been faster, he rode his mower over.

On the way, a police officer noticed him swerving and nearly driving into a ditch to avoid being hit by another vehicle. When he was pulled over, Davis reasoned that he just didn't know it was illegal to drive a mower drunk. He ended up spending the night in jail.

This was Davis' third drunken driving offense, his first on lawn-care equipment.