Stop that crazy ice-cream jingle or I'll ...
That's essentially what West Hartford, Conn., police say a suburban homeowner told an ice-cream truck driver Sunday evening.
To be more specific, the angry resident waved a pair of hedge clippers and threatened to quickly make the driver less of a man if he didn't turn down the truck's speakers, cops told the Hartford Courant.
Police said Matthew Flynn, 46, was trimming his hedges at about 6:30 p.m. when a Melly's Ice Cream (search) truck ambled by, speakers blaring in order to lure calorie-craving children.
Flynn allegedly blew his top and charged out into the street, running out in front of the truck and making it stop.
He then yelled at the teenaged driver, according to police, asking him to turn down the tunes and not drive down his street again, since no children lived on the block.
To make his point clear, he allegedly held up the clippers and threatened to trim two very dear and personal items from the ice-cream vendor's nether regions.
"He's making the chopping motion with the hedge trimmer," said the arresting officer. "He may have taken it a little farther than necessary."
In neighboring Hartford, a neighborhood movement was launched against Mr. Softee trucks in 2002, going all the way to court. The residents lost, which may or may not have been a factor in Flynn's behavior.
Flynn was charged with threatening and breach of the peace and given a Tuesday court date.
There was no word on whether a specific ice-cream jingle — "Pop Goes the Weasel," "London Bridge" or maybe "The Entertainer" — set him off.
— Thanks to Out There reader DG F.
POMEROY, Iowa (AP) — The north-central Iowa town of Pomeroy is in a pickle.
The mayor and four of its five City Council members quit last week, leaving city government at a standstill.
They resigned on Friday. They gave no reason, but their resignations came after a conflict over the status and pay of a former city clerk during a special council meeting on Thursday.
Councilman William Sankey, who's the only one left, says the town is shut down, and it can't make paychecks or pay its bills.
The city employs one police officer, a maintenance employee and a clerk.
Sankey says he thinks the soonest city government can be up and running is after the November general election. He plans to hold an informal town-hall meeting this week about the next steps the city should take — once he figures out what those are.
— Thanks to Out There reader Scott T.
BROWNSVILLE, Ore. (AP) — It could have happened to anyone: Charles Gastorf and his wife, Cheryl, forgot to pay the $10 tab for 10 bags of steer manure (search) during a recent shopping trip to their local Wal-Mart.
The two say that in the confusion of shopping on that March day they simply forgot to add in the cost of the manure.
When the Gastorfs explained their forgetfulness to Lebanon City Attorney Tom McHill, he dropped shoplifting charges against them.
That could have been the end of the story — except for the letter from the world's largest retailer that soon arrived in their mailbox, demanding $175 in civil damages.
That's when the Gastorfs learned about a little-known Oregon law that allows retailers to pursue civil penalties regardless of whether a person is found guilty or innocent of theft.
The Gastorfs — who live in a manufactured home and are retired — spoke to an attorney, who told them that challenging the action in court could cost them several thousand dollars, much more than the $175 civil claim.
So the Gastorfs paid Wal-Mart the money.
"We wouldn't want to embark on a life of crime at our ages and become manure thieves. I mean, if you were going to steal something, would you steal manure?" Gastorf said.
But Shardon Weber, a spokeswoman for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, told The Albany Democrat Herald that the company has decided to refund the Gastorfs' $175.
"It simply seems like the right thing to do," she said.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — Skunk Hollow's "Toilet Town" is safe, thanks to a friendly neighbor who agreed to host the garden of petunias planted inside toilet bowls.
Lee Jackson was ordered to move the offending flowers because they were on city property in Grand Rapid's Skunk Hollow neighborhood.
So Dorothy Scherf, 70, told Jackson he could move his unorthodox garden onto her front yard.
"He's a good neighbor," Scherf said, "and I was just trying to be a good neighbor."
Jackson, 59, along with a half-dozen other men, moved about 40 toilet bowls to Scherf's lawn and put 10 on his own property late Wednesday.
He put a sign reading, "Toilet Town has moved to a secret location" where the flower garden once stood.
"We really put a stick in City Hall's rear end," Jackson said. "I'm probably going to have some super repercussions when the authorities see that sign."
City Hall didn't play along, responding matter-of-factly that Jackson had done all they asked.
Grand Rapids police commander Jim Martinetto said they removed the sign, because it, too, was on city property. He also said he was tired of answering questions about Jackson and suggested the press find some real news.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — No way, mate!
Officials at Australia's Parliament House on Friday overturned a day-old ban on guards and attendants using the word "mate" to address lawmakers and visitors after the new rule sparked outrage among prime ministers past and present.
The U-turn came after Australian Prime Minister John Howard (search) said it was "absurd" to require security guards at the country's Parliament House to stop addressing visitors and lawmakers as "mate".
One of his predecessors called the ban "rampant pomposity."
On Thursday, guards and attendants at the building in Canberra were told to stop using the common Australian expression of endearment following a complaint from a senior civil servant, media reported.
"These things are all a matter of context, and that's why it's impractical and absurd to try and ban something," Howard, who in the past has used the term to describe President Bush, told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
Hilary Penfold (search), secretary for the Department of Parliamentary Services, said the ban was intended to ensure staff do not offend visitors.
By Friday afternoon, staff had been issued fresh written instructions to "be aware when a degree of informality may be acceptable and when a more formal approach is required."
Former prime minister Bob Hawke (search) was enraged by the ban.
"It's pomposity gone mad," Hawke told ABC radio.
Hawke, a former union leader famous for his down-to-earth approach and for holding a beer-drinking record while studying at Oxford University, said the term had been useful to him at official functions.
"It gets you out of all sorts of embarrassing situations," he said. "It's got a nice neutrality about it. I mean, it doesn't imply any intimacy, it shows a reasonable level of respect. I think it's one of our great words."
SARANAC, N.Y. (AP) — A 43-year-old North Country man has made the Guinness Book of World Records in a new entry for longest eyebrow hair.
Frank Ames of Saranac in Clinton County measured in at 3.078 inches, or nearly eight centimeters.
Ames says of his record-setting left eyebrow, "I don't know why it grows like that; it just always has."
The quest began almost two years ago when a co-worker at Bombardier Corporation (search) noticed the bushy brow and suggested he try for a record. Ames discovered that no such category existed.
He tells the Plattsburgh Press-Republican he made a phone call and was sent a bunch of forms to fill out and rules for officially getting recognized.
Ken Joy, a machinist and measuring expert at Bombardier, measured the hair in February 2004. This was witnessed by Plattsburgh Mayor Daniel Stewart and the entire Common Council.
Now Ames is on page 24 of the 2006 Guinness edition, in the "Body Parts" section.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.
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