Lukas Bates, 30, of southeastern England, dreamed big while running the London Marathon on April 28, according to Fox News. In addition to finishing, Bates hoped to secure a Guinness world record as the fastest runner dressed as an iconic building. His costume, the tower known as Big Ben in London, rose several feet above his head — and that, it turns out, is what tripped him up. As Bates approached the finish line, his costume got caught on the scoreboard structure overhead. Finally, a sympathetic race steward helped Bates free himself and make it over the finish line in three hours, 54 minutes and 21 seconds — missing by only 20 seconds the record held by Richard Mietz, who ran last year's Berlin Marathon dressed as Germany's Holstentor gate.
Least competent criminal
One way to assure a negative response to a job application is to lift a few items from your prospective employer on the way out. So it went for an unnamed 36-year-old man in Gillette, Wyo., who visited a Sportsman's Warehouse on April 24, where he paid for some items with a rewards card but also left the store with some bullets and a pair of sunglasses. Two days later, the Gillette News Record reported, the man returned and asked to fill out a job application, then walked out with two more pairs of sunglasses worth $85. This time, workers called police, who arrested the man and recovered the stolen items.
The Lankenau Medical Center in suburban Philadelphia was the site of a break-in on April 20, but it was the stolen loot that leaves us scratching our heads. Two men and a woman stuffed several colonoscopes worth $450,000 into three backpacks. The scopes are used to examine colons during colonoscopies. "This is not something that a typical pawnshop might accept," said Lower Merion Police Det. Sgt. Michael Vice. "My feeling would be that it was some type of black market sales." He also told WCAU that it's not yet clear whether it was an inside job.
Why spend all that money on a real vacation when you can just fake a trip to an iconic destination? That's the service offered by Fake a Vacation, a Nebraska company that offers to superimpose you in a photo from a popular vacation spot, such as Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon, for posting on your social media pages. According to United Press International, they'll even offer you some fun facts about the place you choose to help you make your trip stories more legit. Packages start at $19.99.
Big plans for big spud
Idahoans embraced the Big Idaho Potato, a 28-foot-long steel-and-plaster potato constructed in 2012 to mark the Idaho Potato Commission's 75th anniversary. It's been traveling the country ever since, promoting Idaho's biggest crop, and the plan was for it to be retired this year, when Big Idaho Potato 2.0 arrives. But Kristie Wolfe had better idea. The tiny house builder has converted the sculpture into a single-room hotel (aptly called the Big Idaho Potato Hotel), reported USA Today. It features a queen bed, two chairs and a bathroom with a whirlpool and skylight; Wolfe lists it on Airbnb for $200 per night. "It's a way of inviting people to experience Idaho in a unique way," remarked Frank Muir, CEO of the Idaho Potato Commission.
News of the Weird is compiled by the editors at Andrews McMeel Syndication. Send your weird news items to WeirdNewsTips@amuniversal.com.