TIME Bizarre

Why One Woman Is Going On a Free Around-the-World Trip With a Total Stranger

David Taylor-Bramley—Getty Images/arabianEye Qatar Airways aircraft takes off, Doha, Qatar.

Man finds woman with same name as ex-girlfriend to join him as he travels around the world

It’s the classic story of: Boy meets girl; boy and girl buy round-the-world plane tickets together; boy and girl break up; boy then goes on Reddit to find a complete stranger with ex-girlfriend’s name to take the trip with him — for free.

No, this isn’t a Katherine Heigl movie — although we are sure that Hollywood is salivating over film rights.

Canadian Jordan Axani, a 28-year-old who lives in Cabbagetown, Canada (yes, Cabbagetown), made headlines last month when he turned to social media to find an Elizabeth Gallagher who wasn’t his ex-girlfriend to join him on a two-week trip around the world. Axani didn’t want to waste the ticket, which is non-transferable, but can be used by a person with the same name since it didn’t require passport information.

While thousands of people offered their services, some of whom said they’d change their names for the trip, Axani has now selected a travel buddy. Elizabeth “Quinn” Gallagher, a student and homeless shelter volunteer, has signed up for a trip that sounds like some people’s dream and others’ worst nightmare.

“It definitely did seem a little bit creepy at the beginning but now that I talked to him it’s less creepy and more awesome,” she told Reuters. She’ll still pay for her other expenses.

The two plan on doing charity work… seeing sites… falling in love…

No, wait. Not that. It’s totally not a love trip. It’s a platonic trip.

“This is totally as friends,” she said. “I have a pretty serious boyfriend. We’ve been together for a while. We’re planning on buying a house and we have a puppy, so I’m not really looking for anything at all.”

But while romance may not be on the cards, the story still has a happy ending: Axani has used this experience as an opportunity to create a charity called A Ticket Forward, which will provide travel funding for underprivileged people.

TIME Bizarre

School Punishes Blind 8-Year-Old By Replacing His Cane With a Pool Noodle

Administrators have since apologized

Administrators at a Missouri elementary school punished a blind student for misbehaving on the bus Monday by confiscating his cane and replacing it with a pool noodle so he wouldn’t “fidget.”

North Kansas City School District spokeswoman Michelle Cronk confirmed that the cane—which was “school property” provided to 8-year-old Dakota Nafzinger upon enrollment—was taken after he reportedly used it to strike someone on the bus, a local Fox affiliate reports. Dakota’s father said that his son, who was born blind, sometimes lifts his cane, which might have been misinterpreted as a violent act. The Nafzingers say the school gave Dakota a pool noodle to humiliate him for misbehaving.

“Why would you do that?” Dakota’s mother asked Fox. “Why would you take the one thing that he’s supposed to use all the time? That’s his eyes.”

Dakota said he was told he would use the noodle for two weeks.

Gracemor Elementary School posted an apology on its Facebook page Wednesday.

TIME Bizarre

Bubba Watson Releases Music Video as Rapping Santa Bubbaclaus

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Bubbaclaus”

It’s tough for many great bands to stay together, and the Golf Boys are no different. After two mega-YouTube hits, Bubba Watson officially branched out on his own music video career Wednesday, dropping “The Single” from Bubbaclaus with a note that it’s “Just a little fun for my fans for the holidays!”

The lyrics are less than phenomenal, repeatedly playing off the Superman line with “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Bubbaclaus,” but the video does earn random bonus points for featuring a dunking Gumby in a Kevin Durant jersey. And it has Bubba’s hovercraft golf cart.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Golf Boys would not come together again for a third music video. It just means that for now Watson is doing his own thing as a rapping Santa. Which is not a bad way to spend the golf offseason.

This article originally appeared on Golf.com.

TIME Bizarre

Why This Company Sent Poop to 30,000 People for Black Friday

"Initially we got a dozen people who were really surprised it was poop, but it was just actual poop."

Christmas came early this year for 30,000 people who received a box of poop in the mail last week.

The sleekly designed box filled with actual excrement came courtesy of Cards Against Humanity, a fill-in-the-blank party game where players try to one up each other with phrase cards ranging from merely politically incorrect to legitimately disgusting. Costing $6 a pop, the special offer was a part of the stunt-loving company’s Black Friday sale.

“We all really hate Black Friday, it’s just kind of a horrible day,” says game co-creator Max Temkin. “It comes after this day where you’re supposed to be thankful for what you have, and then it’s just this whole huge media spectacle of people fighting each other to save $50 on a TV.”

MORE: The 13 most influential toys of all time

And so Cards Against Humanity decided to create a media spectacle of its own by pulling all of its products off its site and only selling “Bullshit” — which Temkin says sold out in less than two hours. (This isn’t the company’s first stunt — for last year’s Black Friday, the game was sold for $5 above the normal price.)
“We also had the idea of issuing people a one penny off coupon, but that felt weird because it was still a deal,” he says. “That’s sort of still doing Black Friday.”

But how did the makers of Cards Against Humanity get the poop in the box? “Well, we didn’t do anything that anyone else couldn’t have done,” Temkins says. “We went on Google and were like, ‘Can you buy bullshit? Can you sell bullshit?'”

The team found a cattle ranch in Texas that sold pasteurized bull feces for shipments and understood “what we were trying to do.”

Writing on the package boasts that while the box was made in China — “It’s the same manufacturer that does packaging for Apple!” Temkin says — the poop was made in America.

And now, says Temkins, “It’s sent, it’s out, it’s done… Initially we got a dozen people who were really surprised it was poop, but it was just actual poop.”

LAist journalists broke the poop apart to see if there was hidden inside, only to find that it was simply feces.

While the promotion is over, some people are even selling their “Bullshit” packages at a 600% markup of $36 on eBay.

Cards Against Humanity made 20 cents on each $6 box of holiday bullshit. The profits will go to Heifer International, a charity that aims to eradicate poverty and hunger by providing livestock to developing communities.

Read next: Lance Armstrong Played Cards Against Humanity and Got *That* Card

TIME Bizarre

Torpedo-Dragging Seals and 6 Other Real Ideas for the U.S. Military

Illuminated coils of projector used to create lase
Fritz Goro—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Illuminated coils of projector used to create laser light, in 1963

The U.S. Navy has successfully tested a laser ray gun. The idea happens to be more than 70 years old. Here are other suggestions for the America's fighters, given when the government put out a call for inventions in 1941

Fans of science-fiction, lasers and guns were probably excited to learn on Wednesday that the U.S. military has successfully tested a laser ray gun. The weapon took many years and tens of millions of dollars to develop, but the future, apparently, is now.

Or maybe not.

Back in 1941, the U.S. government and the National Inventors Council put out a call seeking ideas for new weapons. Nearly 30,000 submissions came in and, as TIME noted back then, some of them were accepted for possible development by the Army and Navy. One of the ones that wasn’t accepted was a plan for a “death-ray gun” by an inventor out of St. Louis, “who landed in the hospital after the gun’s first testing.” Clearly, the 70-plus years that have elapsed between then and now were long enough for the death-ray gun idea to mature — but that wasn’t the only idea on the list of rejected weapons inventions. They included:

  • A bomb filled with skunk musk which, dropped on an enemy ship, would so nauseate the crew that the vessel could be boarded, towed to port, fumigated, and added to the U.S. Navy.
  • A shell filled with sneezing powder which would explode in the face of the enemy and incapacitate him.
  • A nozzle for the last coach of every railroad train to squirt black paint on the rails and make them invisible to enemy bombers.
  • A propeller, motor and wing attachment for trucks that would fly them swiftly to the scene of combat.
  • A tank fitted with an auger for drilling itself into the ground to lie in wait or hide from the enemy.
  • A submarine chaser composed of separately powered units linked together, which could wriggle through the water, coil itself around a U-boat, crush it.
  • A harness permitting trained seals to tow torpedoes to their destination. (Seal would flip clear just before contact.)

On the other hand, who knows what the future may hold?

See the story in its original format, here in the TIME Vault: Crackpot Holiday


Hallmark Removes Holiday Gift Wrap That Looked Like Swastikas

Hanukkah-Swastika Wrapping
Andy Holzman—AP Cheryl Shapiro displays the Hanukkah gift wrap with a swastika-like pattern she found at Walgreens in Northridge, Calif., Monday, Dec. 8, 2014

After a customer complaint that the Nazi symbol appeared to be embedded in the design

Hallmark Cards has scrapped a blue and silver gift wrap after customers complained that the design looked like a Swastika. Hallmark recalled the paper after receiving a complaint from a customer at Walgreens in California, who found the wrap in a Hanukkah display.

Hallmark spokesperson Julie Elliot told the Associated Press that the gift wrap was intended for holiday use and wasn’t specifically Hanukkah themed, despite being blue and silver. Elliot said that Hallmark did not intend to offend anyone, and the company will stop making and selling the wrap.


TIME technology

TGI Fridays’ Seasonal Mistletoe Drone Literally Cut Off Part of Someone’s Nose

Just the tip

For those who don’t relish the thought of being forced to make out with a table mate over a plate of garlic parmesan buffalo wings, TGI Friday’s “mistletoe drone” promotion was conceptually flawed from the get-go.

How could we have known, though, that the real reason why mistletoe drones shouldn’t exist is because they will literally cut the tip of your nose off.

Brooklyn Daily photographer Georgine Benvenuto’s face was on the receiving end of a grinch-like “Mobile Mistletoe” drone when its spinning blades “literally chipped off a tip of my nose,” she told the publication, apparently while triaging her bleeding nose. “It took off part of my nose and cut me here, right under my chin.”

According to Brooklyn Daily:

Drone operator David Quiones said an accident like this had never happened before, and even blamed our reporter for the bloodshed.

Quiones had encouraged our reporter to let him land the smaller of the two aircraft on her hand, but she flinched when the 10-inch drone touched down — and he said that is what caused the four-bladed flying machine to careen into the face of our photographer nearby. But Benvenuto insisted that the responsibility lies with the man operating the controls.

The operator was unconcerned, telling Brooklyn Daily, “If people get hurt, they’re going to come regardless. People get hurt in airplanes, they still fly.”

Just remember that ethos next time you are taking a dronie or getting drone bottle service at the club.

TGI Fridays told TIME in a statement, “This was an isolated event during a demonstration for the reporter and photographer only, given by the licensed operator of the drone during the last day of this particular promotion. Of course, safety is our first priority and we are sorry that this isolated incident occurred.”

[Brooklyn Daily]

TIME Bizarre

Airline Executive’s Daughter Who Complained About Nuts Apologizes

A flight attendant served macadamia nuts without asking

The daughter of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang Ho resigned from a management position at the airline in the face of widespread criticism over her order that a pursuer on a recent flight deplane because a crew member had violated the airline’s procedures for serving nuts.

According to a Bloomberg report, a flight attendant served Heather Cho, the chairman’s daughter, macadamia nuts in a package and without asking her. The airline’s policy calls for nuts to be served on a plate with the customer’s permission, a rule that the flight’s pursuer didn’t know when asked by Cho.

“I am sorry for causing trouble to the passengers and the people,” Cho said in a statement, according to the New York Times. “I seek forgiveness from those who were hurt by what I did.”

A South Korean transportation regulator said that it is investigating an incident to see if any laws were violated. The airline says that it took the plane less than two minutes to return to the gate, Bloomberg reports.

Heather Cho, the chairman’s daughter, was traveling from New York to Seoul last Friday. While she quit one leadership role, she remains a vice president at the airline.


TIME Bizarre

Man Arrested After Allegedly Using McChicken Sandwich as Weapon

McDonald's To Alter Dollar Menu With Higher Priced Items
Scott Olson—Getty Images A McChicken sandwich sits with typical Dollar Menu items sold at a McDonald's restaurant.

He didn't like the sandwich

One man’s picky eating habits have landed him behind bars.

Marvin Tramaine Hill II of Des Moines, Iowa, was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly using a McChicken sandwich from McDonald’s as a weapon against his pregnant wife, reports The Des Moines Register.

The 21-year-old reportedly chucked the fast food item at his wife (after she woke him up around 1 p.m. and offered him a McChicken) because he didn’t like the sandwich.

Hill admitted to police that after throwing the McChicken the first time, he picked up the sandwich’s bun and continued to throw pieces of it at his wife. The woman eventually fled to the bathroom to avoid Hill’s attack and clean herself up.

The husband followed his wife into the bathroom and filmed her with his cellphone, according to the The Des Moines Register, capturing her trying to knock the phone out of his hand. Hill later shared this video with the police.

When officials arrived on the scene, they found Hill’s wife with mayonnaise on her face and a swollen nose. Police said Hill claimed it was his wife who attacked him and showed the video from the bathroom as proof, but officers believe Hill used the video to entice his wife into appearing aggressive to cover up his own attack.

Hill was arrested for domestic assault and taken to Polk County Jail.

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Bizarre

These Pillowcases Smell Like Bacon

bacon pillowcase
J&D’s Foods

This bedding retails for just $12.99

By now, we know the whole world is bacon-crazy, so let’s forgo all the pomp and puns and wishes of “savory dreams” and just cut to the chase: bacon-scented pillowcases are for sale.

From J&D’s Foods, the two-man operation that turned Bacon Salt into a bacon empire, you can now purchase pillowcases that smell like cured meat. These bacon-scented pillowcases, if cared for according to included instructions, claim to maintain their aroma “for 6-12 months or more.” They can even handle multiple wash cycles, though the company advises you to wash them separately from the rest of your clothes, lest you end up with a wardrobe that makes you smell like a short order cook.

Unfortunately, this bizarre bedding—which retails for just $12.99—is currently sold out, because everything that finds its way to Internet fame sells out. But their website promises “new product will be available next week (before holiday shipping deadlines).” Sounds like a lot of people will wake up on Dec. 26 smelling like a headful of bacon.

This article originally appeared on Food & Wine.

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