Chuck Shepherd

Bill Bailey, a former nine-year employee of the water-irrigation network near Grand Junction, Colo., was awarded unemployment benefits in December for being wrongfully fired.

The company claimed Bailey was insubordinate and that any complaints he had were merely because he is "too sensitive" to workplace "fun" and unable to "forgive and forget" his supervisors' team-building spirit.

According to an administrative law judge, the "fun" included, among other things, detonating unannounced, ear-splitting PVC "potato guns" (using golf balls and other items) on the job and Bailey's boss placing his own feces in a bag inside Bailey's lunch pail.

At one point in the hearing, during the boss's mirthful, carefree descriptions of the "fun," the judge felt the need to advise him of his Fifth Amendment right.

Following the judge's decision, Bailey's two supervisors resigned.

More layers to peeling

Sobeys, a Canadian supermarket chain, has recently been selling pre-cut avocado halves, sealed in plastic packages. Said a spokesman, the product "eliminates the guesswork … if you are not familiar with peeling and seeding a fresh avocado."

Also, recently, Whole Foods began selling peeled mandarin oranges, sealed in "recyclable" plastic, at $5.99 a pound (but withdrew the product in March, with an apology and promise to sell the oranges only in their "natural packaging: the peel").

Sensitive gator

Florida state officials have notified retired pro wrestler Mary Thorn of Lakeland that according to the law her pet alligator "Rambo," age 15, having grown to 6 feet in length, may no longer be kept at home unless she provides at least 2½ acres of roaming space.

She made a public plea in March, warning that confiscating Rambo would kill him, as he is supersensitive to sunlight (having been raised inside her home) and must wear clothes and sunscreen when outside. Thorn pointed out that he is "potty-trained" and wags his tail when needing to answer nature's call.

Cool getaway

Philicity Lafrenier, 25, was charged with several breaking-and-entering and theft crimes in March in Prince George, British Columbia, after leading police on a half-mile chase as she made her getaway on an ice floe on the Nechako River.

When police caught up, she attempted to dispose of items she had stolen (even though still on the ice) by burning them in a small fire, but an officer and a police dog jumped in the water to subdue her.

Wall of sound

Police, finally armed with a warrant after months of neighbors' complaints about loud music, raided Michael Baker's small one-bedroom apartment in Croydon, England, in March and confiscated 34 loudspeakers that allegedly Baker had been using at high volume at "all hours." After entering the home with the aid of a locksmith, police left Baker with only a CD player and a pair of earphones.

Read News of the Weird daily at Send items to