Three cheeky raccoons jolted a Toronto woman awake late on Sept. 18 when they broke into her kitchen. Jenny Serwylo heard noises coming from her kitchen and approached the critters with a broom, which scared away two of the three. But a third wouldn't budge, barricaded behind her toaster oven and munching on a package of English muffins. "He was like, 'I'm eating, get out of here,'‚ÄČ" Serwylo told the Toronto Star. She tried calling authorities but couldn't get any help, and her contest of wills with the raccoon lasted for more than half an hour. "I was growling at him and hissing at him," she said. As she pointed the broom handle at the animal, it would grab the end and "yank it really hard." Finally, having consumed all the bread in the kitchen, the raccoon calmly went out the window, which Serwylo locked behind it. Toronto Animal Services spokesman Bruce Hawkins told the Star that such encounters are unusual, but you be the judge: The city has created a guide for residents about how to deal with raccoon intrusions.

A fatal error

Tu Thanh Nguyen, 32, of Sunnyvale, Calif., made two crucial mistakes while visiting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan on Sept. 19. First, Nguyen was hiking alone, reported WLUC News. But her fatal error was stopping at a point along the North Country Trail to take selfies, where she slipped and fell 200 feet to her death in Lake Superior. Two kayakers witnessed her fall and retrieved her body, which they moved to Chapel Beach. However, first responders were unable to revive her.

The passing parade

Gender reveal events, in which expectant parents creatively announce the sex of their unborn children, are taking on increasingly more ridiculous and, in some cases, dangerous proportions. To wit: Border Patrol Agent Dennis Dickey, 37, pleaded guilty on Sept. 28 to accidentally starting the April 2017 Sawmill Fire, which burned 47,000 acres in and around Madera Canyon in Arizona, prompting evacuations and closing highways, according to the Arizona Daily Star. It all started when Dickey and his pregnant wife hosted a gender reveal party at which he shot a target containing Tannerite, an explosive substance, and colored powder signifying the child's gender. When the target exploded, it caught nearby brush on fire, and Dickey immediately reported the wildfire and admitted he had started it. Dickey will pay $220,000 in restitution, and he is expected to keep his job.


Things got tense for passengers on a GoAir flight from New Delhi to Patna, India, on Sept. 22 when a first-time flier mistook an emergency exit door for the restroom. Travel + Leisure magazine reported that fellow passengers asked the man, in his 20s, what he was doing, to which he replied that he "needed to use the washroom urgently" and returned to tugging at the door. Airport official Mohammad Sanowar Khan explained: "Pandemonium prevailed ... and he was restrained. ... He said that the confusion happened because he had boarded a flight for the first time in his life." The unnamed traveler was questioned at the Patna airport.

News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to