India Town Sees Dead People!

To the living let now the dead ... come alive!

One Indian man has become his little town's dead man walking.

Raju Raghuvanshi, believed dead by his family and fellow villagers, caused panic when he returned over fears he had come back as a ghost, according to the Times of India.

Children ran from him, his friends cried "bhoot bhoot" ("Ghost! Ghost!") and villagers locked their doors when Raghuvanshi returned from the hospital earlier this month to his village in Mandla district in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

Raghuvanshi's family believed he had died in the hospital and his sudden return, not surprisingly, shocked them into thinking the dead had risen from the grave.

Even Raghuvanshi's brothers, with their tonsured heads, fled in terror when he tried to greet them.

"I don't know why they are doing this to me," Raghuvanshi told the Times. "The panchayat wants proof that I am alive."

Hoping to eventually convince his family and village that he hasn't come back to haunt them, Raghuvanshi finally moved to a friend's place in neighboring Lalitpur without a job or any money.

— Thanks to Out There reader Chris M.

Theesh Ice Pops Are Really Gewd (Hic)

A panel of New York state judges decided that "Freaky Ice," ice pops spiked with malt liquor, wasn't such a "cool" idea.

The booze-sicles are designed to be squeezed out of plastic wrappers like frozen treats popular with kids — so the judges barred their sale in the state, according to The New York Post.

The "not for children" warning was too undersized and "the decidedly juvenile-sounding brand name, 'Freaky Ice,'" was inappropriate and misleading, the judges said.

In agreeing with lawyers for the State Liquor Authority, the judges wrote in their decision, "It is all too likely that 'Freaky Ice' will be confused with ice treats, such as 'freeze pops' (of which 'Freaky Ice' appears to be an alcoholic version) or popsicles."

Consumers would have had the choice of three flavors of the 5 percent alcohol treat — Passion Cocktail, Cherry Fusion and Lemon Stinger — if the Farmingdale, L.I., maker had been allowed to sell the powerful pops at groceries.

The drunken deserts were to be rolled out for the holidays, but liquor officials got involved in mid-December. Officials and lawyers with Freaky Ice Integrated Beverage Group didn't return calls from The New York Post asking if they'll appeal.

Off With Their Heads! Now When's Naptime?

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Kaylee Reynolds had a problem when she recently received a summons to serve on a jury. She wasn't old enough to read it.

The 2-year-old has quite a few years to go before she reaches the minimum age of 18 to serve on a state jury. Lucky for Kaylee, Massachusetts Jury Commissioner Patricia Reynolds seemed willing to let it slide for a while.

"We'll give her a 16-year grace period," Wood told The Standard-Times of New Bedford.

Wood guessed the mix-up could be traced to a local census form. If the form has a blank or mistaken birth date, July 4, 1776, is filled in.

"With that date we'll know it is wrong," Wood said.

Besides her questionable understanding of the concepts of guilt or innocence, there are other reasons why it's best to wait for Kaylee to serve. Her mother, Patricia, says Kaylee gets really cranky if she doesn't get her noontime nap.

— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.

Brawk! Polly Wants to Mess You Up

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Polly want a burglar? A pet parrot attacked a man who broke into its owner's apartment, and the bite and blood marks helped police identify a suspect.

The blue and gold macaw hybrid named Sunshine attacked Michael L. Deeter, 44, after he broke into the apartment, police said. Sunshine had blood on its beak and Deeter had marks on his hand consistent with those made by a parrot.

Deeter, of Williamsport, told police the bird bit him very hard after he entered James Erb's apartment and he still had the marks to prove it when he was arrested, authorities said. He allegedly got away with about $100 and a camcorder.

The crime-fighting bird also helped pinpoint the time of the break-in at 3 p.m. Saturday, when a neighbor heard it making a commotion.

Deeter became a suspect when police learned he had called Erb around 1 p.m. Saturday and learned he would be leaving for work. He confessed to breaking the glass in the door to get into the apartment, but said he was too drunk to remember anything else but his encounter with the bird, police said.

Deeter was arraigned on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft and criminal mischief and taken to the county jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

As for the bird, Sunshine did not come away unscathed — all but one of its large tail feathers had been pulled out.

— Thanks to Out There reader Robert L.

Lawmaker Promises a Golden Tomorrow

ST. LOUIS (AP) — An alderman who owns a local tavern wants to lower the penalties for public urination.

Ken Ortmann hopes to change the penalty before the Feb. 25 Mardi Gras Parade.

Ortmann said his bill would allow police to issue different citations for public urinators who try to be discreet than they might for those who are more open about it.

"There's a difference between going in the middle of the street, in front of God and country, and somebody who is behind a Dumpster," Ortmann said.

Public urination is now classified as lewd and lascivious conduct, which carries a penalty of 90 days in jail, a $100 to $500 fine, or both. Ortmann's proposal doesn't change the maximum penalties, but he hopes the actual penalty would be much less.

But public urination remains plenty offensive to residents of Soulard, where some homeowners leave their sprinklers on to discourage Marti Gras partygoers from relieving themselves on their lawns.

"That's what portable toilets are for," resident Mary Linden said. "We don't appreciate going out and seeing it — the people are often belligerent."

PU, This Pelican Passenger Is Stinky

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) — This hitchhiker is Stinky, and he needs a ride to Florida in a hurry. An Onslow County wildlife center in North Carolina is looking for help in transporting a juvenile brown pelican to a new home in Miami.

"Stinky" was found starving and injured on the beach in Surf City in December, when he was just four months old. He now has an eight-foot wing-span and smells pungently of fish after recovering at Possumwood Acres in Hubert.

But now he needs to go to a more natural setting that might prepare Stinky for the wild.

The Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami has agreed to take him. The facility is surrounded by saltwater in the middle of Biscayne Bay.

But getting Stinky a ride south is the problem. Possumwood Acres can't afford the cost of transporting the bird.

Officials say a free flight would be the optimum solution to ensure that the bird is fed the way he needs to be during travel and to limit stress.

Mr. Sandman, Yeeessss? Please Drive My Car!

NEW YORK (AP) — The Long Island Expressway is no place to catch a nap. Especially when you're driving.

But police say they found a man sound asleep behind the wheel of an SUV traveling along the New York highway Friday.

Someone called the highway patrol to report a very slow driver in the center lane. Officers caught up with the Ford Expedition about 50 miles east of Manhattan, and clocked it at 35 mph.

One officer pulled up alongside and determined the driver was asleep.

Police tried to wake him up by sounding their sirens and horns. When that didn't work, one patrol car pulled in front of the SUV and a second behind, squeezing the vehicle between them and stopping it.

Even that wasn't enough to wake the driver. Officers finally forced his door open and removed him.

He was charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

Compiled by's Andrew Hard.

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