Exploding Toilet Causes Stinky Situation

The Colons ended up with some pretty explosive toilet bowl problems.

After a sewer line blew up inside the family's Charlotte, N.C., home — damaging almost everything inside — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities (CMUD) said it's not responsible for mopping up the mess, according to WCNC-TV News.

The utility and local mom Marilyn Colon are having a spat over who should clean up the smelly mess.

Colon's neighbors poured grease down the drain, which built up over time and led to the bathroom blast, CMUD said.

"We heard a thump," Colon told WCNC-TV.

Her toilet then suddenly blew up.

"Feces, urine, oil ... it went all through the house," Colon told WCNC-TV.

"You can see where the pressure from the water lifted the toilet bowl," Colon explained to the network.

She described the horrible odor caused by the bidet blast.

"You couldn't breathe, your eyes would tear," she told WCNC-TV, adding that the explosion destroyed almost everything in her house.

"I lost everything," Colon said.

WCNC-TV posted pics of the exploding toilet on their Web site.

The smelly situation turned into a row when Colon and her landlord phoned CMUD for aid.

The utility said it doesn't legally have to offer cleaning help but they do anyway. CMUD called their insurance adjustor and a cleaning company arrived and a restoration company promised to fix the floors.

Colon said she and her landlord won't sign on to a contract CMUD gave them to install a valve to protect again a second restroom eruption.

Colon and her 6-year-old daughter stayed at a neighbor's house trying to plan where to go next as crews swabbed the line last Monday.

"My home is contaminated," she told WCNC-TV.

— Thanks to Out There reader Robin M.

(Yawn), Oh Look, It's $853,000

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — After hearing of a newspaper account of an unclaimed $853,492 Powerball ticket from October, Steve Jones decided to do a little housecleaning. Of the three tickets he swept out from under the bed, one wound up being the prizewinner.

On Thursday, Jones took the ticket to the Louisiana Lottery Corp.'s headquarters in Baton Rouge and walked out with $597,447 after taxes.

"Someone had mentioned to me there was a story in the paper about the missing ticket," Jones said. "I buy them all the time, and after he told me that, I went into the room I sleep in and started looking. I grabbed me a mop and went up under the bed and found three of them."

Jones took the tickets to a liquor store where he buys many of his lottery tickets, and a store clerk scanned them.

"The first two were nothing, but the third ticket said I needed to go the lottery office," said Jones. "I didn't know whether it was the Match-5 winnings or something else. But when they said I had to drive to Baton Rouge, I started looking for someone to drive me."

The retailer who sold the Match-5 Bonus ticket got $8,534. Match-5 Bonus, pays a bonus to players who match the five white ball numbers but do not correctly match the red Powerball number when a record Powerball jackpot is surpassed.

Jones' ticket was to expire April 17. Winners of the lottery's draw games, such as Powerball, have 180 days after the drawing to claim their prize.

I Guess I Won't Need a Doggy Bag!

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Some Florida cities would like to throw a dog a bone — or maybe a burger and some fries. Dogs would be able to sit with humans at outdoor restaurant tables in some communities under a measure advancing in the Florida Legislature.

The bill, approved by a House committee Wednesday, would create a three-year test program to allow cities to grant restaurants that want to host dogs special permission to do so under certain conditions.

Rep. Sheri McInvale, an Orlando Republican, filed the bill after some restaurant owners complained because they were threatened with fines for allowing doggy dining. The city supports the proposal.

"We are getting a renaissance downtown," said Kathy Russell, Orlando's director of government relations. "We've got designer restaurants and designer dogs, and [people] would like to have a designer cup of coffee with their designer dog."

Dogs would only be allowed to dine at outside tables under the plan. No restaurant would be required to let the dogs in, and cities would not be required to offer the variance from the law that normally bars canines. The dogs also would have to be on leashes.

But some say giving Fido a seat at the table raises serious questions. The issue of dog bites may be a concern for individual restaurant owners, McInvale said. The bill would require restaurants to have $1 million worth of liability insurance to be eligible to be exempted from the law.

"Everybody's not a dog person, and some people are afraid of dogs," said Rep. Terry Fields, a Democrat.

Tiffany Hickem, who shuttles her 9-month-old shelty Delaney between her home in Delray Beach and Gainesville where Hickem is a student at the University of Florida, would love to take the puppy to restaurants.

It would mean fewer hours Delaney would have to hang out at home all alone.

"Anytime I can take her out and do something with her, even if it's while I'm doing something, it gives her a chance get a little more socialized," Hickem said.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is against the bill because different restaurants will have to follow different laws depending on what city they're in. The restaurant lobby probably won't howl too loudly about the proposal, though.

"Our membership is somewhat split on this," said the FRLA's general counsel, Richard Turner, who, for the record, has a puppy at home.

The bill has one more committee stop to make before it can go to the full House for a vote. A similar measure is awaiting Senate committee hearings. Some lawmakers still have questions — albeit humorous ones.

"Does it mean if we pass this bill, it would eliminate doggy bags?" asked Rep. Julio Robaina, R-Miami.

Tackling the Giraffe Overpopulation Problem

JERUSALEM (AP) — Vets at the Biblical Zoo have a tall order — stopping a baby boom among giraffes.

After the giraffe population tripled to nine in recent years, outgrowing the zoo on the edge of Jerusalem, the most fertile female — Shavit — has been put on birth control. The 5-year-old has been injected with birth control hormones, delivered by dart, after giving birth twice in four years.

Zoo spokeswoman Sigalit Dzir said Thursday that while the babies are cute and female giraffes make good mothers, there isn't enough room for more. Zoo keepers are also worried about inbreeding.

The zoo recently moved two giraffes to a zoo in Singapore, but American and European zoos don't want animals from Israel because of the risk of foot-and-mouth disease, Dzir said, adding that it's also difficult to transport giraffes overseas.

Shavit has received an injection of hormones that will prevent her from getting pregnant for at least a year. During the year, Shavit will be monitored, and the Biblical Zoo will share its information with other zoos around the world, including those in Berlin and San Diego.

Other zoos also administer birth control, but dart delivery is unique, said Dr. Nili Avnimagen, the zoo's head vet.

Hawking Holy Hardware

MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — Thomas Haley was unloading supplies for his job at Hardy's Hardware when he said something odd caught his eye: the face of Jesus Christ on a piece of sheet metal.

Now, Haley and a co-worker are hawking the holy hardware on eBay, hoping potential bidders will agree that the blurry oil stain on the sheet metal does, indeed, resemble Jesus.

"I mean, it hasn't done anything miraculous as of yet, but seeing it is kind of groovy," said Haley, 23. "Just seeing it brightens people's day."

Haley said he was unloading a supply truck two weeks ago at the Manchester hardware store when he turned a corner and was awe-struck by the holy likeness gazing back at him from the $15.49 piece of sheet metal.

Since then, Haley and 18-year-old co-worker Jonathan Jackson have shown the piece to a few other workers and customers, and even took it on a short pilgrimage to a nearby hair salon. They say several people agreed with their assessment, although a few suggested it looks more like legendary rock singer Jim Morrison of The Doors.

"Some people said, 'Are you sure it's Jesus?' and I think, 'Who else would come to give us a sign, Groucho Marx?' " Jackson said. "I think it's a good thing. Maybe it's trying to give some people hope."

The online eBay auction for the potentially pious sheet of metal started Wednesday, but no potential buyers had placed the minimum $19.95 bid as of Saturday afternoon.

The auction is scheduled to end March 1 unless someone pays the "buy it now" price: $10,000.

Haley said that whatever money is raised will be split between him, Jackson, another worker, and two customers. But he's still a little ambivalent about the sale.

"I feel kind of bad just pawning off Christ," Haley said.

Brrr! Is It a Little Chilly in Here?

PINEROLO, Italy (AP) — The men's bronze medal match Friday was interrupted by a streaker.

Midway through the United States' 8-6 win over Britain, a man wearing what appeared to be a strategically placed rubber chicken ran onto one of the covered sheets of ice not being used in that session. He danced around for a bit but never tried to approach any of the players.

Curlers probably feel a little safer than most athletes — it's hard for intruders to run across ice, especially if they're naked. John Shuster said he never felt in danger.

"Olympic security's been amazing here," he said. "We weren't worried at all."

A couple of security officials from the venue hovered near the streaker for several seconds before finally covering him and leading him away.

Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.

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