When his .38-calibre revolver failed to fire at its intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder: he peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. Happily for most concerned, this time it worked.
The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and, after a little peremptory hopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company, suspecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine out and lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.
Surprised while burgling a house in Antwerp, Belgium, a thief fled out the back door, clambered over a nine-foot wall, dropped down the other side, and found himself in the city prison.
In Bermuda in 1975 a man on a motor scooter was knocked down and killed by a taxi. Exactly a year earlier the same driver in the same taxi, carrying the same passenger, had knocked down and killed the motor-scooter rider's brother, on the same street, riding the same scooter.
An American tourist in South America had the decidedly grave misfortune to be attacked by Killer bees as he stood on the bank of the Amazon. Seeking refuge, he leaped into the river - and was devoured by piranha fish.
A Malaysian monkey that had been trained to gather coconuts from trees demonstrated a pressing need for a refresher course when it leaped onto the shoulders of a passer-by in Kuala Lumpur and tried to twist his head off. The passer-by was treated at a local hospital for a sprained neck.
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a sixteen-year-old youth was charged with beating up his fifteen-year-old wife after the latter hid the caps to his toy pistol.
A man who shovelled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. understandably, he shot her dead.
After shooting and wounding his wife and young son, Louis Pillar of Rheims, France, told police that a three-week strike by television technicians was to blame. 'There was nothing to look at,' he explained, 'and I was bored.' Fortunately his wife did not seem to mind being shot at. From her hospital bed she said 'I don't blame my husband. It really was very boring in the evenings.'