Jeffrey Riegel, 56, of Port Republic, N.J., left 'em laughing with his obituary's parting shot at the Philadelphia Eagles. In it, Riegel asked that eight Eagles players act as pallbearers, "so the Eagles can let me down one last time." Riegel owned season tickets for 30 years, during which the Eagles never won a Super Bowl.
• The Japanese funeral industry demonstrated its forward thinking on Aug. 23 when practitioners gathered for the Life Ending Industry Expo in Tokyo. Among the displays was a humanoid robot named Pepper who can conduct a Buddhist funeral, complete with chanting and tapping a drum. Pepper is a collaboration between SoftBank and Nissei Eco Co., which wrote the chanting software. Michio Inamura, Nissei's executive adviser, said the robot could step in when priests are not available.
• Also at the Life Ending Industry Expo, four undertakers competed on stage as funeral music played to see who could best display the ancient skills of ritually dressing the dead. The Shinto religion in Japan believes that the dead are impure just after death and that dressing the body purifies the spirit. The contestants dressed live volunteers and were observed by three judges. Rino Terai, who won the contest, said, "I practiced every day to prepare for this competition."
• In Iran, the education department has banned people who are considered "ugly" from being teachers. The list of conditions and features that prevent one from being a teacher includes facial moles, acne, eczema, scars and crossed eyes. Also on the list of unsavory conditions are cancer, bladder stones or colorblindness, none of which can be observed by others.
Least competent criminals
• Jocsan Feliciano Rosado, 22, was driving a stolen car on Aug. 21, when he stopped off at a Harbor Freight store in Kissimmee, Fla., to pick up a welder's helmet for viewing the solar eclipse. As he dawdled next to the vehicle, looking up at the sun with his helmet on, members of the Orange County Sheriff's Office Auto Theft Unit interrupted his reverie and arrested him.
• Adam Darrough, 29, of Little Rock, Ark., tried to elude officers who had arrived at his girlfriend's house to arrest him by climbing out a back window. But when that didn't work, he hid in her attic. Meanwhile, Erinique Hill, 20, held police at bay outside her home. Things went south for Darrough when he fell through the attic floor, and officers arrested him for a number of felonies.
Tuffy Tuffington, 45, of San Francisco was walking his dogs, Bob and Chuck, when he came up with a way to respond nonviolently to a right-wing rally at Crissy Field on Aug. 26. So he launched a Facebook page asking San Franciscans to bring dog poop to spread in the park in advance of the event. "It seemed like a little bit of civil disobedience where we didn't have to engage with them face to face," Tuffington said. Contributors to the project also planned to show up on Aug. 27 to "clean up the mess and hug each other."
Social media to the rescue!
Epping, N.H., resident Leslie Kahn, 61, found herself trapped in her swimming pool on Aug. 11 after the ladder broke. She was not strong enough to pull herself out, so she used a pool pole to drag a nearby chair, with her iPad on it, closer. On a community Facebook page, Kahn posted her desperate situation under the heading "911," and soon police and neighbors showed up to rescue her.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.