It's said that WD-40 (search) has 2,000 uses. Here's another one: anti-drug weapon.
Bar owners in southwestern England have discovered that powdered cocaine chemically breaks down in the presence of the common lubricant, the BBC reports.
"It congeals into a mess, it then semi-dissolves it and prevents it being sniffed," said Avon and Somerset (search) police officer Graham Pease.
Pub workers across the region have begun to spray the oily stuff onto all flat surfaces in bathrooms — countertops, paper-towel dispensers ... and toilet seats. Yes, toilet seats.
For drug abusers, that's something to snort about.
"Normally people don't notice it's there until too late, so it ruins their little supply of cocaine," said Monica Walker, an employee at the upscale Bar Excellence in Bristol, southwestern England's largest city and a big university town.
Cocaine was relatively rare in Britain until about 10 or 15 years ago, but has since become entrenched as part of weekend night-clubbing culture in the new, young, hip "Cool Britannia."
"It's a much-accepted drug by our customers, but it's obviously illegal," said Walker.
Julian Bavaud, deputy manager of Bar Excellence, said the sprayed surfaces did have a slight greasy feel, but customers wouldn't be able to tell whether something had been treated with WD-40 or not.
"We don’t spray it every night, but perhaps once or twice a week," he told the Press Association, a British wire service.
WD-40 stands for "water displacement, 40th attempt," which is how the chemist who developed it referred to the substance, according to the WD-40 company's Web site.
A company spokeswoman, contacted by the Press Association about the lubricant's anti-drug use, said WD-40 wasn't meant to be ingested into the human body, whether deliberately or not.
"As far as we are concerned," she said, "it is not a use we would encourage."
Sometimes Dumbo has to — ahem — take a dumpo.
Handlers at the Palaad Tawanron elephant camp in Chiang Mai (search), northern Thailand, have constructed elephant-sized toilets for the ponderous pachyderms to do their business in, reports The Nation newspaper of Bangkok.
Thai elephant handlers, or "mahouts," are expert at getting the relatively intelligent giants to do amazing things, including paint and play music.
In addition to teaching their charges how to use the potty, the Palaad Tawanron mahouts have even taught the big beasts how to flush by using their trunks to pull a rope.
All seven elephants at Palaad Tawanron were found wandering the streets of Bangkok, and now enjoy happier lives giving tourists rides at the Chiang Mai zoo.
— Thanks to Out There reader Greg M.
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A restaurant worker tied up by two robbers used his nose to dial 911 after the thieves left.
The victim had been at Sonny's Real Pit Bar-B-Q (search) by himself after hours early Wednesday.
Five minutes after making the call on a touch-tone telephone, he hopped to the door and was able to open it for an Escambia County sheriff's deputy.
A search for the suspects, one of them armed with a silver revolver, continued today, said sheriff's Capt. Joel Mooneyham. The two men were wearing camouflage clothing and may have left with a third person in a blue crew-cab pickup truck with four doors.
The suspects used plastic zip ties to bind the employee, patiently waited 10 minutes for a time-delay safe to open and spoke with an unseen accomplice over a two-way radio, Mooneyham said. They escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.
— Thanks to Out There reader Harley W.
ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — Police want this tale of a stolen Mother Goose (search) costume to end happily ever after.
Jane Hayes said someone stole her Mother Goose costume after shattering a rear window in her minivan Monday night.
Hayes has worn the costume for the past 20 years, teaching at schools and during community events. She most recently performed Saturday at Winthrop's basketball game.
"It's not like you could wear it out and about. You'd get spotted in a minute," said Hayes, who is an environmental educator for Rock Hill's Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.
The thief also made off with $300 in gift certificates.
But it could have been worse. Hayes normally keeps Glen the Frog and Gabby Greenleaf costumes from Rock Hill's Come-See-Me festival in the garment bag, but co-workers who wore the costumes Saturday kept them, Hayes said.
Rock Hill Police Capt. Charles Cabaniss said officers appreciate Hayes' work for the community and want to get the costume back.
"It probably is a prank or initiation into some organization," Cabaniss said. "Or somebody thought it was cute. It's not cute."
— Thanks to Out There reader Melanie V.
BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (AP) — A 6-foot man allegedly on the run from Florida authorities since September was found this week curled up inside of a television.
After receiving a tip that Alfred Blane, 45, of Ponce de Leon, Fla., might be in Decatur County, police went last Friday to a mobile home near Bainbridge College, where a woman told police he was hiding under a mattress inside.
Lending the department's police dog, Thomasville officers accompanied the Florida authorities inside the residence. The officers searched the house thoroughly, even checking a freezer and washing machine, said Lt. Tim Watkins of the Thomas County Sheriff's Department.
Meanwhile, the dog kept poking around a television, an older floor model, Watkins said. When officers unscrewed the back of the television, they found a balled-up Blane inside, he said, adding that Blane is between 5-foot-10 and 6-feet tall.
Blane escaped in handcuffs from two sheriff's deputies in September as they tried to place him in the back of a police car, said Capt. Stan Sunday of the Walton County Sheriff's Office in Florida.
After being arrested again, Blane was placed in the Walton County Jail on Friday and faces numerous charges, including burglary, possession of methamphetamine, battery on a law enforcement officer and escape.
PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) — Soviet-era compact TV sets, known for bad reception and low picture quality, are finally popular — as homes for bats.
A group of disabled workers in the southeastern Czech Republic produces bat boxes from the TV sets' sturdy plywood casing, which is hard to break and easily resists bad weather.
"The TVs had two outstanding features: an extremely bad picture and extremely solid plywood casing," said Mojmir Vlasin, an environmentalist whose company disassembles old TV sets.
Vlasin said about 50 boxes made of the TV sets that dominated Czechoslovakia's market in the 1980s have been placed in the woods near the city of Brno (search), 125 miles southeast of Prague.
Each box accommodates up to several dozen bats, depending on their size, Vlasin said.
Bats use the boxes in the summer. In winter months, they hibernate in underground shelters.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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