Sea Lion Finds Out Man Doesn't Taste Like Fish

An Alaska man took an unexpected swim Tuesday, thanks to a sea lion that clamped onto his rear and dragged him underwater.

Ray Dushkin Jr., 19, was bending over on a fishing boat when the sea lion leaped out of the water in King Cove, near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula (search) that extends southwest into the Pacific, reports the Anchorage Daily News.

"I heard an obscenity and then a splash," crew member Henry Roehl told the paper.

The monstrous marine carnivore, estimated at 12 feet long and 1,200 to 1,500 pounds, may have had as much as a 10-to-1 weight advantage over the 5-foot-9, 150-pound Dushkin.

"One shot," Dushkin said. "It happened so fast, I forgot what I was doing."

He was underwater for only a few seconds before the sea lion (search) decided Dushkin wasn't a fish. His only injury was an inch-and-a-half scrape on his left buttock, but his coveralls and pants were bitten through.

Dushkin had "a big hole in his Carhartts (search)," laughed Roehl. "Right on his derriere. Lucky he wears baggy pants or I'm sure that sea lion would have taken a chunk of his (butt)."

The young man's father, Ray Dushkin Sr., was less amused.

"The only thing I was thinking is," said the elder Dushkin, "'That sea lion was taking off with my boy, and I'll never see him again.'"

The involuntary swimmer's reaction was mixed.

"Pretty much everybody's kind of laughing," said the younger Dushkin. "It was kind of scary."

— Thanks to Out There readers Steve R. and Paula von G.

Million-Dollar Bill User Insists She's Clueless

ATLANTA (AP) — The woman who tried to use a fake $1 million bill to buy $1,675 worth of merchandise at Wal-Mart (search) said it was all just a misunderstanding — she thought the bill was real.

The United States Treasury does not make $1 million bills.

"You can't keep up with the U.S. Treasury," said Alice Pike, speaking from jail.

As reported in Out There, Pike, 35, was arrested last week at a local Wal-Mart. The bill was a novelty item that can be bought at gag shops. Pike told police she got it from her estranged husband, who is a coin collector.

Pike said she first tried to buy the merchandise with two Wal-Mart gift cards. But the cashier told her the cards only had a total value of $2.32. That's when Pike says she pulled out the $1 million bill.

"All I've got is this," Pike said she told the cashier.

"I wasn't trying to pass off the bill," she said. "That's ridiculous."

A police report says Pike tried to pay for the items with the fake bill and even asked for change.

Prosecutors must decide whether to prosecute Pike on charges of first-degree forgery.

Sure Beats Powdered Mashed Potatoes and Mystery Meat

WESTVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Girl Scouts selling cookies to inmates at the Westville Correctional Facility (search) found a captive audience.

Inmates bought about 800 boxes with chocolate and coconut Samoas being the most popular.

This year was the first that Girl Scouts sold cookies at the medium-security prison, located about 25 miles east of Gary, said Abby Schooneart of the Singing Sands Council of Girl Scouts of America.

"Some volunteers suggested it to us, and we were glad to be a part of it," Schooneart said.

Instead of cell-to-cell sales, inmates made their selections through standard order forms, and council members made the deliveries to the gate. Offenders could buy a maximum of eight boxes, said Sharon Hawk, assistant to the prison superintendent.

The sale was well-received, she said, but there was one criticism: prisoners found the cookies a bit pricey. The cookies sell for $3 a box, with a 25-cent surcharge added on at the prison.

Offenders make between 65 cents and $1.25 a day. The money made from the surcharge goes into the offenders' recreation fund, which helps pay for sports equipment, trophies, the cable TV system and the law library.

It's something the facility would like to try again, said Hawk.

"When something new comes out, it takes a couple of years to get started," she said. "We're hoping that, after awhile, they'll know it's coming and look forward to Girl Scout cookie time at Westville."

— Thanks to Out There reader Laura H.

Drug Suspect Pushes Luck With Delicious Theft

HAZLETON, Iowa (AP) — The string of charges involved methamphetamine, trespassing and fraud, but it was the snatching of Hostess Ho Hos (search) and Crumb Cakes (search) that nabbed the suspect.

Robert Lee McKiernan, 35, of Cedar Rapids, was arrested Tuesday after an incident in which authorities say he stole a box of Hostess Ho Hos and a box of Cinnamon Crumb Cakes from a barn at an Amish farm near Hazleton, in northeast Iowa.

The local sheriff's office said deputies got a description of a car and stopped it about 2 miles from the home.

Deputies found the stolen snack cakes in the car along with materials used to make methamphetamine, the sheriff's office said.

McKiernan was charged with possession of methamphetamine ingredients, burglary, theft, criminal trespass, driving while barred, driving under suspension, driving without insurance and fraudulent vehicle registration.

City Riddled Full of Holes

GLOUCESTER, England (AP) — If Dr. Foster of nursery rhyme fame went to Gloucester today, he would have more to worry about than falling into puddles.

A gang of thieves has stolen more than 40 manhole covers in the southwestern English city, leaving dangerous holes in the streets, officials said Thursday.

The cast-iron covers and grates were taken late Wednesday or early Thursday, said Gloucester City Council spokesman Marcus Grodentz.

It could cost up to $50,000 to replace the covers, with some units having to be completely rebuilt, Grodentz said.

A Gloucestershire Police spokeswoman said the thefts could be due to a recent increase in the price of heavy scrap metal.

"I have never heard of anything like this before. I have no idea why anyone would want to steal manhole covers," she said. "All I do know is that the price of scrap metal has gone up recently."

Stray Cat Has Airport Security Scrambling

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A stray cat sneaked aboard a domestic Bangladesh flight and later sent airport guards on a 2-hour chase around the runway before it was caught, reports said Wednesday.

The small cat, which meowed nervously during Tuesday's 40-minute journey from Sylhet to the national capital, Dhaka, was only spotted after state-run Biman airlines was airborne, Ittefaq and Bangladesh Observer dailies reported. Sylhet is 120 miles northeast of Dhaka.

The cat remained outside the cockpit and didn't disturb any of the 45 people on board during the flight, the reports said.

When the plane landed in Dhaka, the cat slipped through the disembarking passengers at Zia International Airport and led guards on a two-hour chase around the tarmac before it was caught.

The papers provided no further details. No officials were immediately available for comments.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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