Your Hobby Stinks

Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. But Janie Peel is not some people — she collects old toilets.

But Peel's potties aren't your everyday johns. They're antique outhouses, and she's got three of them in her backyard — with room for a dozen more.

The Associated Press reports that Peel, who's always been fascinated by the restrooms of yesteryear, collects them because she can't stand to see old school buildings demolished.

"The one thing I can usually rescue without losing friends is the outhouses," Peel said.

Before the pristine, moving-water goodness that is modern plumbing became the norm, outhouses were state-of-the-art facilities, especially in country homes.

"Some of them might be 100 years old," Peel said. "But there's no way to know for sure."

Peel even picks favorites out of her weathered WCs. Currently, she's fondest of a two-holer with a tin roof and cedar posts for corners. The side is peppered with shotgun pellet holes just level with where an occupant would have been sitting, doing his or her thing.

She says she's unsure weather the bullet holes are a result of violence or ventilation.

"It has a lot of character," she said. "You have to wonder about the conversations that might have taken place in there."

Conversations indeed.

Back in the day, the alfresco facilities sat atop deep holes that served as simple septic tanks, but Peel's collection is just for show.

"I've identified two others, but I'm still trying to get permission to get them," she said.

Got Samurai Skills? That Spot Is Yours

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — What started as your everyday parking lot melee turned into a serious swordfight, Wal-Mart style after a 46-year-old woman busted out the cutlery in response to a squabble over a parking space.

Cops say that Sharlott Till and her husband were hovering over a coveted spot in the busy lot when another car butted in front of them, NBC 4 in Jacksonville, Fla., reports.

As is par for the course in parking lot etiquette, Till and the other driver exchanged a few choice words.

But it seems the action didn't stop there. Till then allegedly produced a 27-inch sword hidden in her walking cane and began swinging it about.

According to police, Till later told them that she was trained in the use of a sword, and only wanted to give the other driver a little scare.

No one was hurt in the incident, and Till's been accused of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Thanks to Out There reader Tim B.

Ladies and Gentleman, the Earl of Poppycock

LONDON (AP) — A mystery detainee who allegedly created a bogus identity as an English nobleman by assuming the name of a dead baby is actually an American who went missing from Florida more than 20 years ago, his relatives say.

The man being held in a jail in Kent, England, goes by the title of the Earl of Buckingham but he is really an Orlando native named Charles Stopford, his father, Charles, and sister Rebecca Davis say in a documentary to be broadcast Sunday on Sky One television.

The relatives said they saw photos of the fake lord on the Internet along with a story in The Times this week and concluded he is Stopford.

"When I first saw his photo, I cried and I was excited because I was 100 percent positive it was him," Davis said in an excerpt of the documentary aired Saturday.

The elder Stopford said he has no idea why his son suddenly vanished from Florida in 1983.

British media have dubbed the man "The Real Jackal" — an allusion to Frederick Forsyth's novel "The Day of the Jackal," which made famous the trick of using information from a baby's tombstone to create an identity.

In this case, the detainee was arrested in January 2005 as he tried to enter Dover, England, from Calais, France, across the English Channel. Police ran a passport check and saw that the person with his name was supposed to be dead, The Times said.

He is alleged to have taken the name of Christopher Buckingham, who died in 1963 at the age of 8 months, and used it to obtain documents to live as a British subject.

For the past decade he has been calling himself the Earl of Buckingham, a title that has been extinct for more than 300 years, The Times said.

The man served nine months in prison over the false passport incident. But after completing the sentence, he has remained in jail because he refuses to reveal his true identity, the paper said.

"As far as we are concerned, he still claims to be Christopher Buckingham," Kent police spokeswoman Kelly Betts said.

The fake earl apparently speaks with a perfect British accent, she added.

He has two English children by a woman he is now divorced from, and all three are said to be stupefied by news that he is not the man they thought he was.

The Gipper Got His Big Mac On

NORTHPORT, Ala. (AP) — Customers will get more than a burger and fries at the Northport McDonald's where President Reagan chomped down on a Big Mac during a 1984 stop.

They'll get to see a bronze bust of the former president, inside a case with a halogen light shining on it 24 hours a day. Along with a plaque, there's a framed photo showing Reagan biting down on his Big Mac.

"We just felt like we wanted to put something back to carry on that remembrance," said Rick Hanna Sr., the new owner of the fast-food restaurant.

The president's stop at the McDonald's, on Oct. 15, 1984, followed a speech on the University of Alabama campus. With news media on hand, he ordered a Big Mac, large fries and sweet tea and sat down to eat with locals Charles Patterson and Greg Pearson.

A plaque put up by previous owners was often stolen. But when Hanna tore down the old building and renovated, he decided to keep the memory alive, The Tuscaloosa News reported Monday. Atop the case are the words that bring back the historic moment: "President Reagan ate here."

The Speeder of the Pack

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Hey buddy — where's the fire?

A motorcycle rider clocked at 176 mph east of here was charged with speeding and reckless driving, the state Highway Patrol says.

Capt. Mark Bethke said Vitaliy Poberezchnik was on Interstate 94 — in a 75 mph zone — when he was clocked cruising at a blistering speed.

"I can't recall in my years with the Highway Patrol, that we've ever had a speed that's ever been that high," Bethke said.

He said Poberezchnik turned his motorcycle back toward Bismarck, and a trooper was waiting for him.

Poberezchnik was given a $505 ticket for speeding, and he has 14 days to pay the fine, Bethke said. He is slated to appear in court June 6 on the reckless driving charge.

Poberezchnik could not be reached for comment.

Thanks to Out There reader Bill P.

Sing, Sing a Song ... Sing Out Loud ... Sing Out Strong

SUWANEE, Ga. (AP) — A high school student was suspended for five days after singing a spoof of "On Top of Ol' Smokey" that includes lyrics about shooting a teacher.

Beth Ann Cox, 16, a junior at Peachtree Ridge High School, said she had been humming the song during German class but denied singing loudly or directing the lyrics at her teacher, Phil Carroll.

"I'd had a song stuck in my head all day, like the tune of it," she said. "This kid in front of me asked me about the song. So I told him the words. I didn't say them loudly."

The song includes the lyrics: "On top of Ol' Smokey, all covered with blood, I shot my poor teacher with a .44 slug."

Administrators pulled Cox out of class later Friday and asked why she had threatened her teacher. She was suspended Monday.

Cox has had differences with the teacher in the past, said her mother, Suzanne Cox.

"We feel that Dr. Carroll has some kind of a vendetta out for our daughter. And he used this to take a stand against her," Suzanne Cox said.

Sloan Roach, spokeswoman for the school district, about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta, said the suspension was "appropriate disciplinary action" for disrupting class.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

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