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Dispatches Quick Takes

Quick Takes

(Illustration by Rachel Beatty)

Belgian ingenuity

Unable to use a McDonald’s drive-thru for a lack of a car, one Belgium woman came up with a creative solution: She’d build one. Nathalie Moermans tried to go to a local McDonald’s restaurant only to be turned away because the fast-food chain was only serving customers at the drive-thru. Moreover, Moermans was told she couldn’t simply walk through the car lane because doing so would violate safety protocols. So on May 1, Moermans debuted her homemade cardboard car and tried to entice her 16-year-old daughter to go with her to the restaurant. “My daughter was embarrassed, but I told her that she would have good memories later, and she got ready to go out of the house,” Moermans told Newsweek. The gimmick was enough to satisfy the McDonald’s employees who obliged the pair and fulfilled their order. Employees and police also reportedly took pictures of the cardboard contraption.


 

Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency via AP

Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency via AP

The smell test

Officials in a Swedish town concerned about the coronavirus decided to dump massive amounts of chicken manure in a park where about 30,000 residents gather every April 30 for an annual celebration. A member of the Lund, Sweden, local council defended the decision, saying the rank smell from the manure would discourage residents from attending the Walpurgis Night in the park. “It will stink and so it may not be so nice to sit and drink beer in the park,” Gustav Lundblad told the Sydsvenskan. He acknowledged the bad smell could migrate out of the park.


 

Handout

Handout

A big discovery

Four years ago, someone stole Matt Kraft’s tomato. Now, the Ontario restaurateur has it back. The theft from Kraft’s East Side Mario’s restaurant in Peterborough, Ontario, made waves in 2016. Two giant decorative tomatoes had greeted patrons of the casual Italian chain for years until thieves stole the smaller of the fruits. After years of receiving tips that led nowhere, Kraft said he received a call in April from a jogger who spotted the red decoration in a local park. Kraft, in gratitude, reportedly offered the jogger a free dinner for four and some wine.


 

Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Hunting and pecking

Police in Walker, La., are warning residents about an “aggressive chicken” they say has clucked at and pecked a number of bank customers. According to a May 2 social media posting, police in the small Louisiana town have received complaints about an aggressive bird attacking customers trying to use a walk-up ATM machine. According to authorities, the culprit is about 1½ feet tall and weighs 6 to 8 pounds. Police say they were close to catching the chicken on May 1, but the bird fled on foot.


 

iStock

iStock

You can’t take it with you

In a statement released May 6, the Internal Revenue Service said deceased individuals who received a government stimulus check will not be able to keep the money. Working quickly to distribute coronavirus relief funds, officials with the IRS said the agency inadvertently sent checks to a number of people who had died recently. An IRS statement advised families either to return the stimulus check directly to the Treasury Department or, if the funds had been deposited, send a personal check for the amount back to the government.


 

iStock

iStock

Drinking and riding

A California resident was arrested after helping himself to wine out of a tanker truck. Police say Gabriel Moreno climbed aboard the tanker truck near Modesto and clambered under the rig, all while wearing nothing but underwear. And while the truck sped down Highway 99, Moreno managed to loosen a valve and allow the bulk wine to flow. While the driver’s dashboard display indicated he was losing liquid from the tank, Moreno was allegedly filling his belly with wine, drinking straight from the valve. The driver called the California Highway Patrol and then stopped so officers could make the arrest. The trucking company said they lost a total of 1,000 gallons—most of which ended up on the highway.


 

Scott White

Scott White

Paw patrol

A Canadian couple can thank one of their pets for their survival during a fire in their Newfoundland home. On April 26, Scott White’s slow cooker caught fire in the kitchen setting off a dull haze of smoke throughout the kitchen. But while the family dog slept through the event, Joey the cat jumped into action. “Usually, Joey doesn’t bother us when we sleep, but I could sense him pacing around the bed and I woke up with a paw on my face,” White told HuffPost. Sensing trouble, White checked the house, found the fire, and got everyone—including the sleeping dog—to safety.


 

Paul Willis

Paul Willis

Delivery delayed

Better late than never. In May an Iowa resident finally received the postcard his sister mailed him in 1987. Paul Willis said his sister sent the card after a Grand Canyon hike nearly 33 years ago. The card bore two postmarks: one from San Francisco dated December 1987 and one from Des Moines dated April 29 of this year. Willis called his local post office for an explanation and was told the postcard was likely found recently during a coronavirus-related deep cleaning of a mailroom.