That’s Out­ra­geous!


Reader's Digest (Canada) - - That's Outrageous - BY NATHANIEL BASEN


Ear­lier this year, one Florida cou­ple dis­cov­ered an un­app­tiz­ing bonus in a newly pur­chased pack­age of salad greens: a dead bat. While most bats are pri­mar­ily in­sec­ti­vores, the fuzzy sur­prise was dis­cov­ered nes­tled among the ro­maine, arugula and radic­chio spring mix. The hor­ri­fied cus­tomers sought treat­ment for ra­bies, but thank­fully nei­ther showed signs of in­fec­tion. Still no word on how the crea­ture wound up in the typ­i­cally mam­mal­free fare.


A quiet stretch of Bri­tish coun­try­side turned chaotic when 30-plus cat­tle staged an im­promptu sit-in at Hever rail­way sta­tion, a lit­tle over an hour south­east of Lon­don. The horde—which wan­dered over from a nearby farm—mobbed the plat­form, shock­ing on­look­ers and de­lay­ing train traf­fic by nearly an hour. A re­sponse team of Net­work Rail staff even­tu­ally ne­go­ti­ated the group’s re­moval. Ten­sions rose as one clumsy bovid tum­bled back onto the tracks, but the en­tire herd was even­tu­ally led safely back to pas­ture.


This past April, on a United Air­lines flight from Hous­ton to Calgary, an eight-legged stow­away made a grand en­trance. De­spite United’s strict pas­sen­ger man­i­fest, a scor­pion—around six cen­time­tres of un­doc­u­mented legs, pin­cers and stinger—bided its time in the over­head com­part­ment be­fore plung­ing into pas­sen­ger Richard Bell’s hair. Bell plucked the arach­nid from his head and placed it on his seat­back tray, then tried to move the beast and was stung on the hand. Fel­low pas­sen­gers leaped into ac­tion: one crushed the at­tacker and another, who was a nurse, gave Bell anti-in­flam­ma­tory med­i­ca­tion. Scor­pi­ons are rarely dan­ger­ous to hu­mans, but Bell re­ceived med­i­cal at­ten­tion upon land­ing just in case. It seems any poi­son car­ried must have been within TSA guide­lines.

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