During the 2014 World Cup, five friends in Durango, Mexico, made a pact to travel to the 2018 tournament in Russia. They saved their money, bought a bus, painted it in Mexico's colors and booked passage for themselves and the bus on a ship going to Spain, where the Daily Mail reported, the friends planned to drive the bus to Russia. But just before they boarded the ship in April, one of the five, Javier, told his friends his wife had put the kibosh on his trip. So the remaining four did the next best thing: They made a cardboard life-size cutout of Javier, looking grumpy and wearing a shirt that says, "My wife didn't let me go," and set off for Russia. The cardboard Javier has been popular at the soccer venues, appearing on the big screen, crowd surfing and being photographed with fellow fans from all over the world.
Beyond the call of duty
On June 23, firefighters of Engine 642 of the Henrietta, N.Y., Fire District went the extra mile after responding to an accident in which the injured driver was a pizza delivery man, according to Fox News. "Once the patient was cared for and loaded into the ambulance, the crew decided to finish the delivery so the pizza wouldn't go to waste," the fire department posted on its Facebook page. "If it's not delivery it's Di ... Fire dept?!"
A woman in Wenling, China, was so thrilled to be driving the Ferrari 458 she rented on June 21 that she recorded herself while waiting at a stoplight: "First time driving a Ferrari. This truly is the most amazing feeling." But within minutes, reported the Daily Mail, she swerved out of control, striking a metal traffic barrier and a BMW X3, destroying the front end of the $660,000 Ferrari and deploying its air bags. Neither the driver nor her passenger was injured in the accident.
Dead man walking
When Juan Ramon Alfonso Penayo, 20, of Santa Teresa, Paraguay, failed to return after leaving his home June 14, his family assumed the worst. The town lies on the border with Brazil, reported the BBC, and is a hotbed of illegal drug activity. Police found a charred body three days later and called Penayo's family, who, despite being unable to identify the remains, accepted that it must be him and proceeded with funeral arrangements. As they mourned over his casket during the wake, Penayo walked into the room. The body in the casket was returned to the morgue, and Penayo's family celebrated his return.
A cool glass of ... hot dog water
Visitors crowding into a Vancouver street festival on June 17 were invited — at $38 a pop — to try a new health craze: Hot Dog Water. The drink is marketed as a gluten-free, Keto diet-compatible, post-workout source of sodium and electrolytes, and every sleek bottle, which promises to help with weight loss, also contains a hot dog. It's also a prank. Hot Dog Water CEO Douglas Bevans told Global News the product was dreamed up as a response to the "snake oil salesmen" of health marketing. In small print at the bottom of the sales sheet is this disclaimer: "Hot Dog Water in its absurdity hopes to encourage critical thinking related to product marketing and the significant role it can play in our purchasing choices." Touché.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.