News of the Weird

Wednesday May 29, 2002

‘I got hit by a goose’ 

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — If only Shawn Hacking hadn’t forgotten to duck, he might never have been goosed. 

The 13-year-old was knocked off his skateboard last Thursday after a Canada goose heading for a nearby pond misjudged its landing and slammed into his face. 

“I was stunned,” said Shawn, who hobbled home with two badly scraped knees, a sprained wrist, a ripped shirt and a red face where the bird’s wing slapped him. 

“It was so funny, but I felt sorry for him at the same time,” recalled Shawn’s skateboarding buddy Brent Bruchanski. “It flew out of nowhere and then . . . Wham bam!” 

The goose just kept going, added the boys. 

When he got home, Shawn’s mother Kim Hacking was a little horrified at first with how badly he had been roughed up. 

“When he came in, he said, ‘I got hit by a goose,”’ she said. “I thought that was some kind of car or something.” 


Man gets his neighbor’s goat  

NEW GLASGOW, Nova Scotia — It was supposed to be a prank to get back at the owner of a goat that was munching on neighbors’ flowers. 

But the joke wound up costing a Nova Scotia man $330 in fines after he pleaded guilty in the goat-napping case. 

Authorities say the theft took place after Percy the goat’s owner got into a disagreement with a neighbor over the animal running loose and chewing on flowers. Vera Myers returned home the next day to find her pet missing. 

Michel Andre Daviau, 41, admitted he took the goat as a prank while on a fishing trip and says a neighbor encouraged him to take it because it was a nuisance. Daviau told the judge it was all a joke and he didn’t think it would come to this. 

Provincial court Judge Clyde MacDonald says it was no joke to the goat’s owner, who was deprived of her pet for two days. 


Boy chooses cash over Britney  

YAKIMA, Wash. — A 13-year-old boy decided he’d rather have $475 in cash than see teen pop queen Britney Spears in concert. 

After twisting off the cap from a bottle of Pepsi, Andrew Benson discovered he had won four tickets to a Spears concert and $200 in spending money. His musical taste runs more to rap artists so the choice wasn’t too difficult. 

Andrew called the toll-free number on the cap and traded in the prizes for $475, which he plans to share with his nine brothers and sisters and four cousins. 

His mother said she will pitch in another $25, so he can start with an even $500. 

Andrew said he felt lucky after he spent $1 on a Pepsi at the school store. 

“This might be a winner,” he recalled telling his friends. 

There are 4,800 bottle caps offering tickets to Spears’ Summer 2002 Tour concerts, and the odds of winning are 1-in-51,163, according to PepsiCo. 


FLOYD, Iowa (AP) 

— An Iowa family has a new pet and it has a wing span of more than 3 feet. 

John and Margaret Majerczyk said they have seen all kinds of animals wander onto their property in the 26 years they’ve been in rural Floyd County, but they had never befriended a large turkey before. 

The bird is most likely a young turkey vulture, which is often called a buzzard. 

The Majerczyks named him Buzz. 

The bird follows John into his auto restoration shop and tags along with Margaret out to the clothesline. The animal is there when the Majerczyks awake in the mornings, often sitting on a flower box peering into the house, waiting for someone to come out. 

And he anxiously awaits feeding time, which consists of about a half-pound of hamburger a day. When he’s not eating, Buzz roosts in a dead tree or struts around the yard playing with whatever he can find. 

Margaret Majerczyk said she was “a little shocked” when Buzz started following her around the yard. 

At first, “I didn’t know what to think,” she said. “I was leery. At first I thought it was injured and couldn’t fly. But then it does fly.” 

Fred Heinz, director of the Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board, said the vulture may have had prior human contact. He may have been blown out of a nest and been fed by someone else, because most turkey vultures are wary of humans.