But, officer, I'm one of the top 100 drivers in the world!
Italian Formula One racing star Giancarlo Fisichella has lost his driver's license after speeding 2.5 times the limit on the outskirts of Rome, according to the Electric New Paper.
To make matters worse, the incident happened only six days after the Renault driver appealed to Italy's teens in a newspaper, asking them to refrain from street-racing after a 16-year-old's high-speed death in Rome.
Cops caught Fisichella, 32, early Sunday cruising at 148 km/h (95 mph) in a 60 km/h (35 mph) zone, Italian news agency ANSA reported.
The regretful racer, who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix this year, told the media that he was in the wrong but had a darn good excuse.
"I was rushing back home because our babysitter had called myself and my wife to inform us that our son had a high fever," Fisichella told the Electric New Paper.
"I apologize and I am ready to pay. I know that I made a mistake," he added. "My commitment to road safety remains strong."
— Thanks to Out There reader Peter L.
Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Fire!
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Police accidentally hit a naked man in the genitals with a Taser after he was caught breaking windows and asking women to touch him, authorities said.
Jeremy J. Miljour, 26, tried to run away when sheriff's deputies approached so one of them shot their Taser, said Cpl. Matt Chitwood. But one of the gun's prongs accidentally hit Miljour's genitals and got stuck, Chitwood said.
"The Taser is relatively accurate, but when someone is moving like that, it doesn't matter if you have a Taser, or a pistol. [Officers] can't aim," Chitwood said.
Miljour was treated at a hospital before being taken to the Lee County jail. He was charged with indecent exposure, resisting an officer and criminal damage.
— Thanks to Out There readers Doug M., David R. and Beth M.
You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Some vandals in Omaha earned their way onto Santa Claus' naughty list over the weekend.
The Salvation Army's Tree of Lights — festooned just days before with 20,000 lights and a red star — has been stripped of its finery.
Police say vandals climbed the fence around the 55-foot-tall, 14,000-pound tree, slashed several electrical cords and yanked off strings of lights.
"We simply don't understand the reason behind the vandalism, and it saddens us," Lt. Col. William Harfoot with the Salvation Army said. "The tree is a symbol of hope for the less fortunate in our community."
The red star atop the tree is supposed to start blinking once the Salvation Army reaches its $2.2 million fund-raising goal.
The lights and the red star are being repaired. And Omaha police will be trying to find out who earned lumps of coal in their stockings.
No Fancy Footwork Required to Bag This Bonehead
AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — A sheriff's deputy didn't have to use fancy forensics to track a burglary suspect near Austin. He just matched up footprints in the snow.
Mower County authorities answered a burglar alarm Friday night at the ABC Bingo parlor in Mapleview just outside Austin where a television had been stolen.
Sheriff Terese Amazi said a deputy found a 25-year-old Austin man walking along a county road about a mile away. The treads of his sneakers matched the footprints in the snow and, she said, he had the television with him.
Amazi said the man was arrested and was in jail on Monday. She said he will probably face felony burglary charges and misdemeanor theft charges because the television was valued at about $100.
— Thanks to Out There reader Beth M.
Little Shop, Little Shop of Horrors
WASHINGTON (AP) — Its scent has drawn comparisons to garbage and spoiled meat, but that isn't stopping crowds from flocking to see — and smell — an unusual plant in bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden.
The titan arum plant, nicknamed "corpse plant" for its rank smell, is attracting thousands of visitors during the day or two it remains in bloom.
"It's quite spectacular: the color and the form and the strong odor," said John Kress, chairman of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History's botany department, which owns the plant. "I think that's what most people come to see. Or smell."
The long, conical bloom of the titan arum is believed to be the largest flower that doesn't grow on a tree. It has been known to grow 12 feet high in its native habitat on the island of Sumatra.
The specimen at the botanic garden, which began blooming early Sunday, is about 5 feet high.
Now that it's in bloom, the plant has also started emitting a smell that's drawn comparisons to garbage, spoiled meat and rotting fish. But the plant's stench is actually the key to its survival: Carrion beetles and other pollinators in its native Sumatra are attracted to the smell, Kress said.
"These beetles usually lay their eggs in rotting animals, so this plant pretends to be a dead animal," he said.
The smell also seems to be attracting visitors to the botanic garden. About 2,000 people had come to the garden to see the plant by Sunday afternoon, and at least 10,000 were expected by day's end.
Visitors are also interested in the plant because there are few chances to see one, Kress said. There are only about a dozen of the plants in the United States, he said.
A typical titan arum plant only blooms about once every five years. The one at the U.S. Botanic Garden is blooming for the first time at age 14.
Garden visitor Charles Miehm said he came to see the plant because it seemed like a rare opportunity.
"It's not as rancid as roadkill, but it's got a pretty potent smell," he said.
— Thanks to Out There reader Aimee H.
— Click in the photo box above to see a pic of the corpse plant.
R.I.P., World's Ugliest Dog
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Sam, the tiny dog whose hairless body and crooked teeth earned him a reputation as the World's Ugliest Dog, has died.
The pooch died Friday, just short of his 15th birthday, his owner said.
"I don't think there'll ever be another Sam," Susie Lockheed said, adding: "Some people would think that's a good thing."
As earlier reported in Out There, Sam won the ugliest dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this summer for the third year in a row. The pedigreed Chinese crested had made appearances on TV in Japan, on radio in New Zealand and in Britain's Daily Mirror tabloid. He also had met Donald Trump on a talk show set.
Lockheed said she initially was terrified of Sam when she agreed to take him in as a rescue dog six years ago on a 48-hour trial basis. Although she fell in love with him, his appearance repulsed her then-boyfriend and prompted the man to break up with her.
Later, however, Sam became a matchmaker by bringing together Lockheed and her current beau, who saw a picture of the two on an online dating site.
Lockheed said she had Sam euthanized after she learned Sam's heart was failing.
She said she's felt a little lost ever since and is sleeping with Sam's favorite toy — a stuffed bear he picked up and carried home.
— Click in the photo box above to see a pic of the late world's ugliest dog.
Sure to Wake You Up in the Morning
AINSWORTH, Iowa (AP) — Marjorie Morris just wanted to pour coffee into a canister. What she found in the package of freeze-dried coffee left her shell-shocked.
Morris, 77, of Ainsworth, found a dead baby turtle in the 2-pound package of Folgers coffee earlier this month.
"I thought it was a toy at first," said Morris, 77, of Ainsworth.
Morris said she had been making coffee from the same package for a month before she made the discovery.
"It's a responsibility of the company to check their shipments closer," she said. "It could be much more serious."
Morris said she doesn't plan to file a lawsuit against Folgers.
She said a customer service representative for the company dismissed the find, explaining that because many Folgers plants are based in New Orleans the turtle might have ended up in the coffee as a result of Hurricane Katrina.
Sussane Dussing, a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble, the company that owns the Folgers brand, said it's too early to say how the turtle ended up in the coffee.
Dussing said she wasn't aware of other similar incidents and that Morris' discovery would be investigated.
Morris, who has kept the turtle, said she would continue to drink coffee, but that she is now a more mindful consumer.
Things could have been worse, she said.
"It could've been a snake."
— Thanks to Out There reader Tisha R. and Mary M.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
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