A rider on the New York City subway employed a novel way of protecting his personal space on Feb. 7, Fox News reported. The seated passenger removed a bottle of ketchup from his bag and squirted a squiggly perimeter on the floor around his seat, apparently hoping to keep fellow straphangers away. Twitter erupted with funny comments after one user posted a photo: "Gotta protect yourself from the mustard demons they can't cross the barrier" and "What brand of ketchup though?" New York City Transit got a taste of the problem and promised to clean it up right away.

The litigious society

Lacie the Norwegian Forest cat is at the center of a heated two-year dispute in Brewerton, N.Y., that has now gone to the state Supreme Court. Original owner Carol Money accuses adoptive owner Danette Romano of refusing to let Lacie sleep in bed with her, a key provision that Money says was in the adoption agreement both parties signed in April 2018. Syracuse.com reported that according to the lawsuit, Money regularly visited Lacie in her new home after the adoption and found the cat to be skittish and fearful, and became very upset after Romano's husband allegedly admitted, "We don't let Lacie sleep with us." By Dec. 20, tensions had increased to the point that Romano complained to the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office and had her lawyer send Money a letter ordering her to stop contacting Romano. Money's lawsuit accuses Romano of breach of contract and lying about her intention to let Lacie sleep in her bed, and demands the return of the cat.

Unclear on the concept

In a report published on Feb. 18, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reveals school districts struggling to comply with the state's requirement that every school have "a good guy with a gun" are challenged to find enough qualified applicants. Among recent hiccups: Near Orlando, a safe-school officer sent her husband a nude video she recorded in a school bathroom while on her lunch break. In Hillsborough County, a school guardian thought her gun was unloaded when she shot through a mirror as she practiced in front of it for her firearms certification. Another officer pawned his service weapon and ballistic vest; his supervisor discovered he was carrying a pellet gun in his holster. Bob Gualtieri, sheriff in Pinellas County, remarked: "The reality is there is no perfect in the world."

The entrepreneurial spirit

The Spanish Civil Guard raided an underground cigarette factory on Feb. 13 and 14 in the southern province of Malaga and found a facility with a complete production line capable of producing 3,500 cigarettes an hour as well as beds and living quarters for the workers, the Associated Press reported. Access to the plant, located 13 feet under a horse stable, was disguised by a cargo container. Twenty people, from the U.K., Ukraine and Lithuania, were arrested, said police, and more than 3 million cigarettes, some hashish and marijuana, as well as weapons, were seized.


Vincent Putrino, captain of the cross-country/track and field teams at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and his teammates craved Chick-fil-A for lunch on Feb. 22, but the only location closer than an hour and a half away was at the Albany International Airport — beyond the security checkpoint. So, reported News10, the 18 teammates pooled their money (about $5.50 each), bought a one-way ticket to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ($98, the cheapest they could find), and sent Putrino in to collect the bounty. Putrino purchased $227 worth of food, then left the airport and joined his teammates for their midday meal.

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