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Section Gee! | Wide World of Weird

Dad's Last Spin Is Some Dead End

November 01, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A weekly roundup of unusual news stories from around the globe, compiled from Times wire services:

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Dead Biker Tours Denmark: A Danish man bade his dead father farewell by taking the corpse for a motorcycle ride last weekend, stopping at a bar for beer and a cigar.

The incident began when Flemming Pedersen, 37, asked the staff at the hospital where his 86-year-old father died if he could be left alone with him for a while.

He then dressed the rigid corpse in leather gear, boots, a helmet and dark sunglasses, and walked it out of the hospital. After strapping the body to the seat of his Harley Davidson with elastic straps, he drove around metropolitan Copenhagen for three hours, visiting his father's favorite haunts.

He stopped at a curbside bar, where he bought two beers and stuck a lit cigar between his dead father's lips. Pedersen said that he took the last ride with his father to have a chat with him, and that he felt good about it afterward.

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A Female Santa?: A former Wal-Mart worker in Kentucky is challenging the store's right to replace her with a male Santa Claus. Wal-Mart claims it dismissed Marta Brown after a mother complained that her child had pinched Brown's chest while in Santa's chair and said, "Mom, Santa Claus is a woman."

An attorney for Wal-Mart defended the action, saying, "It's our position that being a male is part and parcel of being Santa Claus. He has a beard. He's married to Mrs. Claus."

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Simian Helper: Authorities in Cambodia saved 70 monkeys from being smuggled to restaurants in Vietnam where diners eat their brains while the animals are still alive, a government official said. "Rich people love to eat the brains of live monkeys," said the chief of Phnom Penh's forestry department.

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Monopoly Ballots Tallied: What is the most popular Monopoly token of all time? According to a public vote conducted by Parker Brothers, it's the race car, which received 18% of the ballots. Runners-up were the dog (16%), cannon (14%), top hat (10%), battleship (9%), shoe and horse with rider (tied at 8%), iron and thimble (tied at 7%), and wheelbarrow (3%).

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News McNuggets:

* The Miss Australia pageant will flutter its eyelashes twice more before its tiaras are locked away forever, the victim of modern political correctness. The final Miss Australia will be named in January 2000, ending a tradition dating to 1926.

* A Florida man apparently bent on revenge tried to set a neighbor's house on fire, then died when his getaway truck burst into flames.

* British researchers have made the startling discovery that "drivers who take tranquilizers for anxiety and other disorders have a significant risk of being involved in accidents."

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Wide World of Weird is published on Sundays.

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