TIME Bizarre

13 Weirdly Morbid Vintage News Stories

What were they thinking?

In the earlier days of TIME, the magazine ran a weekly round-up of local news items of note — and, as we pointed out earlier this month, it’s proof positive that funny flubs and weird happenings have always had the ability to go viral, albeit at a slightly slower pace than they do today.

But that “Miscellany” column, in the 1920s and ’30s, wasn’t just a repository of the benignly strange. On a regular basis, it also featured deaths and killings (and, as seen above, freak accidents that result in mere permanent blindness) that we can only hope weren’t meant to be funny. Here are a few of the strangest, most macabre items we could find.

TIME Bizarre

Parents Can’t Name Their Child ‘Nutella,’ French Court Says

A judge noted that Nutella "is the trade name of a spread"

A recently-born baby named Nutella was renamed by a court in the French city of Valenciennes after a judge ruled that the parents’ decision to the name the child after a food was against the child’s interest, according to a new report in the newspaper La Voix Du Nord.

“The name ‘Nutella’ given to the child is the trade name of a spread,” the court’s decision read, according to a translation. “And it is contrary to the child’s interest to be wearing a name like that can only lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts.”

The judge renamed the child Ella after the parents failed to show up at a court appointed day in November. The baby was born in September.

[La Voix Du Nord]

Read next: The Definitive Ranking of Nutella Alternatives

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TIME Bizarre

Here Are 12 of SkyMall’s Weirdest Products

In honor of the retail catalogue filing for bankruptcy, here are some of its strangest offerings

  • Litter Robots

    SkyMall

    If you are too lazy to clean your cat’s litter box, this Jetsons-style contraption will scoop out waste and put it in a special poo drawer as a nice little gift for the next time you check.

  • Money Maze Game

    SkyMall

    Because wallets are so boring.

  • Bracelet Assistant

    SkyMall

    For people with remarkably bad fine motor skills and no friends to help them put on jewelry.

  • Pet Crate End Tables

    SkyMall

    With this fancy piece of furniture, your dog becomes a part of the ambiance. Just don’t keep anything too breakable on top.

  • Passing the Bar Game

    SkyMall

    “Fun for lawyers too,” SkyMall promises about this game that’s sure to be as riveting as a case brief.

  • Jumping Hot Dog

    SkyMall

    Wait, is that a sausage or a pill?

  • BrilliantSpa Black Diamond Jewelry Steam Cleaner

    SkyMall

    I have always wanted a special sink to clean all of my many diamonds.

  • Cobra Walking Stick

    SkyMall

    “Practical and stylish,” writes SkyMall, “our walking stick is a required accessory almost any time we venture from home.” We’d never be caught dead without it.

  • Pierogi Ornament

    SkyMall

    Folks, do your relatives a favor and buy them REAL pierogis for the holidays.

  • Wine Bottle Glass

    SkyMall

    Tell the haters you’re only having one glass. So much classier than drinking straight from the bottle.

  • Mounted Squirrel Head

    SkyMall

    Moose heads are, like, so over.

  • Dog Breed Toaster

    SkyMall

    Some people like their bread evenly toasted. Others love a really burnt spot in the middle in the shape of a four-legged creature. There’s just no accounting for taste.

TIME hockey

Angry Hockey Dad Smashes Safety Glass After Penalty Miss

"Way to go, Paul"

Sometimes people get a little too excited about sports, even if that sport is youth hockey. A parent gave a great example of this at recent tournament in York, Penn., when he became upset with a missed penalty call.

The father slaps the glass which somehow deteriorates under his hand sending shards all over the ice.

The York Daily Record spoke with the arena’s president, who said the man wedding ring concentrated the impact causing the safety glass to crumble.

“He broke the (wedding) ring,” Menzer said. “Apparently, his hand wasn’t in great shape either.”

Be sure to listen closely for the parent who drops a perfect “Way to go, Paul” after the refs stop the game while the glass is cleaned up.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Business

This Man Is Launching a $3 Million Startup to Catch Bigfoot

Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi holds a photo of what he claims to be the mouth and teeth of a deceased bigfoot or sasquatch creature during a news conference Friday, Aug. 15, 2008, in Palo Alto, Calif.
Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi holds a photo of what he claims to be the mouth and teeth of a deceased bigfoot or sasquatch creature during a news conference Friday, Aug. 15, 2008, in Palo Alto, Calif. Ben Margot—AP

The renowned Sasquatch hunter is looking to raise $3 million by selling stock in his company

We all have a dream. Carmine “Tom” Biscardi’s is to catch Bigfoot — and he’s hoping you’ll fund it.

Together with his partners, the renowned Sasquatch hunter is looking to raise $3 million by selling stock in his company, Bigfoot Project Investments, the Wall Street Journal reports.

His mission? To “capture the creature known as Bigfoot” according to the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

But investors beware! This startup is not for the faint of heart.

“This would be the kind of thing where if you believed in Bigfoot, or you thought there really was a Bigfoot and you actually had some money to burn and wanted to play with this, then go for it,” investment guru Kathy Boyle told the Journal.

And Bigfoot purists themselves aren’t exactly thrilled with this venture, which they see “as the crass commercialization of a serious pursuit.”

Still, Biscardi isn’t worried. He maintains a “haters gonna hate” attitude: “When you’re king of the mountain, everybody’s trying to knock you down,” he told the Journal.

Strong words from a man who held a news conference in 2008 claiming he’d found the legendary beast — but it turned out to be a rubber gorilla costume.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

TIME Bizarre

New Hampshire Lottery Releases Bacon-Scented Scratch Ticket

It'll certainly gives new meaning to the phrase "bringing home the bacon"

The New Hampshire state lottery is now offering a lottery ticket that smells like bacon.

The new tickets, which are scratch-n-sniff and read “I Heart Bacon,” were released Jan. 5. Winners can take home $1,000 and the odds of making at least a dollar are one in 4.12, the website says. Plus, you know, it just smells delicious.

To promote the new ticket, bacon trucks will visit various locations in the state, handing out free samples of applewood smoked bacon as well as offering lottery tickets.

Last week, around 700,000 tickets were sold, MarketWatch reports, making the bacon lottery the best selling $1 ticket.

TIME Bizarre

5-Year-Old Hit With ‘No-Show Fee’ for Skipping Birthday Party

Cupcake on Pink background
Jason Verschoor—Getty Images

His parents found a $24 invoice in his book bag

A 5-year-old boy was given an invoice from a classmate’s mother after he failed to show up to the classmate’s birthday party.

Derek Nash said his son Alex was confirmed to attend a birthday party at a dry ski slope when he realized Alex was double-booked and scheduled to spend time with his grandmother, the BBC reports. Nash said he didn’t have the contact information of Julie Lawrence, the classmate’s mother, and later found the £15.95 invoice (about $24) in his son’s book bag.

“I can understand that she’s upset about losing money,” Nash says. “The money isn’t the issue, it’s the way she went about trying to get the money from me.” Nash said he has been threatened with small-claims court if he does not pay.

“All details were on the party invite,” Lawrence said in a statement to the BBC. “They had every detail needed to contact me.”

[BBC]

TIME Bizarre

A Florida Teen Impersonated a Doctor for a Whole Month

"I am really getting old because these young doctors look younger every year," one physician thought

A teenager in Florida managed to fool an entire medical center into thinking he was a doctor for a whole month before he was found out.

The teen wore a white coat that read “Anesthesiology” on the back as he walked through the corridors of St. Mary’s Medical Center in Palm Beach, KCTV 5 News reports.

“He presented himself with a patient of our practice and introduced himself as Dr. Robinson,” Dr. Sebastian Kent said. “The first thing I thought was, ‘I am really getting old because these young doctors look younger every year.'”

The teen was discovered after being caught in an examination room with a patient while wearing a mask and a stethoscope.

His mother told police he had an undisclosed illness and had not been taking his medication. Both police and the hospital decided not file charges.

[KCTV 5 News]

TIME Sports

Seattle Suburb Banishes Cheese from City Hall Ahead of Packers Game

Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts after completing a pass during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game on Jan. 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers reacts after completing a pass during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game on Jan. 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Al Bello—2015 Getty Images

"Due to the relationship between the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and cheese, the possession of and/or consumption of cheese or cheese flavored products shall be banned in Bainbridge Island City Hall "

The city manager of the Seattle suburb of Bainbridge Island is taking drastic measures to make sure city hall is giving the Seahawks its full support for the NFC Championship game against the Packers by banning cheese from the building.

According to executive order 121212, a nod to the team’s fans “12th man” moniker, cheese shall be neither consumed nor possessed in city hall on the Friday before the game, and workers are encouraged to wear their Seahawks jersey and enjoy a tailgating inspired lunch.

Section 1. All executive branch departments and divisions of the Local Government shall authorize employees to celebrate Blue Friday on each Friday prior to any games of the Seattle Seahawks by wearing Seahawks jerseys, logo gear, team colors and gathering at lunch or breaks for tailgating type foods and non-alcoholic beverages.

Section 2. On Sunday, January 18, 2015, the Seattle Seahawks opponent in the NFC Championship game will be the Green Bay Packers, a.k.a. Cheeseheads. Fans of the Green Bay Packers are frequently seen wearing obnoxious wedge-shaped foam hats painted yellow.

Section 3. Due to the relationship between the Green Bay Packers, their fans, and cheese, the possession of and/or consumption of cheese or cheese flavored products shall be banned in Bainbridge Island City Hall on Friday, January 16, 2015.

Showing support for your local team is always a shrewd move for a politician, but taking delicious cheese away from constituents could easily backfire.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME Bizarre

Here’s What Happens When You Set Off Fireworks Beneath the Surface of a Frozen Lake

A whole new way to go fishing

Ever wonder what it would be like to set off a rocket beneath the solid surface of a frozen lake? Probably not, but now you can find out anyway, so why not.

A YouTube user named Nils Bremer kindly shared this video, which shows him standing on a dock atop the surface of an icy lake in Sweden. He uses the end of a broom to crack a small hole into the ice, and then quickly pushes a lit rocket into the hole.

This is certainly one way to go ice fishing.

Read next: This Is the Awesome Sound You’ll Hear When You Skip Stones on a Frozen Lake

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