Man Taken for Crazy Carpet Ride

Someone stole the rug out from under Brian Capps — and he wants it back.

Capps returned home from work to find someone had broken into his home, torn out his 3-year-old beige bedroom carpeting and replaced it with “ugly” but new frieze carpeting, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

"Oh, man, what is this?" he remembers asking.

Newton County Sheriff's Deputy Sammy Banks arrived at Capps’ $400,000 home within five minutes and started laughing. It was the strangest call of his 28-year career.

"I said 'I got a problem. Somebody's broken into my house and stolen my carpet.' And before I could get the rest of it out, he started laughing and asking me if I was serious," Capps said.

Capps’ family had left his garage door ajar so his 90-pound black Labrador, Abby, could come and go. ("Some watchdog, huh?" he joked.)

The intruders scuttled beneath the improvised “doggie door” and broke open the kitchen lock.

"They were pretty determined," Capps said.

While the deputy looked for other signs of intrusion, Capps listened to a message on his answering machine: “Brian, I think you got my carpet.”

He then noticed a letter stuck to the laundry room door: “We have made a mistake. Please call.” Next to the message was a Covington flooring company’s phone number.

After sorting out the details, Capps learned that a neighbor with a similar-sounding address had ordered the frieze carpeting. In addition, the homes are in the same subdivision and the new carpet’s rightful owner left instructions for the company’s employees to enter via the garage and proceed through the kitchen door.

"We have a sense of humor about it, and we want to make it right," said Brian Burns with the company Floors & More Inc.

"I'm getting calls from my friends now, like, 'You know, I'm going to be out of town until Monday and I'd like to come back to some new carpet.’"

The Capps attempted to get the original reinstalled, but it had been tossed and the line discontinued.

That was two weeks ago. Capps plans on asking the company to replace the new carpet in the master bedroom and, for consistency's sake, in the other downstairs bedroom and closets.

"It's a funny story," said Capps, whose house has been on the market for two months, "but I don't think the new owners will go for the mix-and-match thing."

Thanks to Out There reader Nancy B.

New Mexico Proposal Out of This World

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Ross Savedra fought aliens to rescue his girlfriend, then popped the question in an out-of-this-world proposal.

Savedra, 32, staged his elaborate proposal Sunday afternoon for Ariana Ash, 23, with the help of family members and Roswell's UFO Museum.

Savedra and Ash were touring the museum when a silver-suited, masked alien from an exhibit called "alien autopsy" suddenly abducted Ash from in front of a group of tourists. Savedra dashed through the crowd, fought two aliens and rescued her.

Then he dropped to his knees, presented her a ring and asked her to marry him.

They embraced in a cloud of shiny colored confetti tossed by onlookers and were applauded by tourists who had been tipped off by the aliens — Ash's brother-in-law and stepfather.

"By the way, everyone, she said yes," Julie Shuster, the museum's director, announced over the sound system.

Savedra, a Roswell native, chose the museum for his proposal because of its uniqueness. Shuster said it was a first for the museum.

"She's always calling me her alien man," Savedra said of his fiance.

Savedra and Ash, of Albuquerque, have been seeing each other for about three years.

Ash's family traveled secretly to Roswell to witness the proposal after a month of planning beforehand.

Her mother, Margie Farrar, and sister Naomi sneaked through the museum behind the couple, waiting for them to get to the alien autopsy display and working to keep Naomi's young daughter from getting a glimpse of Ash and yelling for her.

"It was fun," said alien Nick Caffey, Ash's brother-in-law.

"It was great," said the other alien, John Farrar, her stepfather.

Ash had celebrated her birthday in Roswell, but her family couldn't let her know they were in town, Farrar said.

"We had to call her on our cell phones, even though we were in the same hotel, upstairs," he said.

Is That a Banana in Your Pocket or …?

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — A man caught with six eggs from endangered species in his underwear as he was preparing to fly to Bangkok was fined $20,000 Monday by a judge who rejected his claim that he only wanted to surprise his girlfriend.

Wayne Frederick Floyd pleaded guilty in February to exporting regulated native specimens without a permit or exemption, an offense that carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Although Judge Martin Sides called it a commercial venture, he said he didn't mandate jail time because the eggs had come from a collection of birds at Floyd's home and hadn't been taken from the wild.

Floyd was about to board a flight from Sydney to Bangkok, Thailand, last November when a customs officer frisked him and noticed a suspicious bulge around his groin, the New South Wales District Court was told. A strip search revealed six eggs hidden inside a stocking in his underwear.

The judge rejected Floyd's claim that he was trying to take the eggs overseas "to surprise his girlfriend."

Two of the eggs never hatched. The others contained two gang gang cockatoos and two galahs, both listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which includes species facing extinction unless trade in them is controlled. A galah, or cockatoo egg, can fetch tens of thousands of dollars when sold overseas.

Click in the photo box at the top of this story to see a picture of the eggs.

Va. Proposes Floating Johns to Flush Away Pollution

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Virginia officials want to make it easier for water lovers to find relief away from shore.

The state Department of Health is planning a floating restroom — a sort of a barge with bathrooms bolted on. It would be used by operators of small boats without bathrooms, riders of personal watercraft such as Jet Skis or in areas where people go tubing, said Anne Smith, a consultant with the department.

"They could just park and get in," she said.

Connie Barbour, a fisherman and an owner of Long Bay Pointe Bait and Tackle in Virginia Beach, said he doubts people would do that. He said he has seen people on small boats use buckets in an emergency.

"Unfortunately, more than likely, they dump it over," he said.

That's what state marine workers are trying to stop. The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality recently released a report saying some state waterways are polluted with fecal bacteria, which can come from solid human or pet waste.

A floating restroom could cost from $40,000 to $80,000.

Of course, in a hurricane, someone would have to pull the floating facility to shore, Barbour said. "That would be the last thing you'd want flipped over," he said.

Park Sends Motorists Off With 'a Little Traveling Music'

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — It could be magic for some, but the use of loud Barry Manilow music to drive away late-night revelers from a suburban Sydney park is getting on the nerves of nearby residents.

In a move reminiscent of U.S. efforts to use music to drive former Panama strongman Manuel Noriega from the Vatican Embassy in 1989, the local council in Rockdale, in Sydney's southern suburbs, started a six-month trial of high-volume hits by Manilow and Doris Day to chase away car enthusiasts who were gathering on weekend nights at Cook Park Reserve.

"Barry's our secret weapon," Rockdale Deputy Mayor Bill Saravinovski said. "It seems to be working."

But some people living near the park are less than enthralled. They say the barrage of "Copacabana," "Could It Be Magic" and "Que Sera Sera," blasting from 9 p.m. to midnight every Friday, Saturday and Sunday is driving them crazy.

"I don't know how I will cope," said Moya Dunn. "I just can't sleep when it's on, and to think there's going to be another six months of this."

Click in the photo box at the top of this story to see a picture of Cook Park.

Compiled by's Heather Scroope.

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