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A woman and her son doing yard work at their home in Texarkana, Texas, in March "cleverly" dealt with a menacing snake by dousing it with gasoline and setting it afire, but of course it slithered away -- under brush next to their house. Moments later, according to an Associated Press dispatch, the home caught fire and burned down, and their neighbor's house was heavily damaged. [Daily Mail (London), 3-26-2013] [Associated Press via Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald, 3-22-2013]

Some Third-Worlders eat dirt because they are mentally ill or have no meaningful food. However, diners at Tokyo's upscale Ne Quittez Pas eat it because it is a trendy dish prepared by prominent chef Toshio Tanabe. Among his courses are soil soup served with a flake of dirty truffle, soil sorbet and the "soil surprise" (a dirt-covered potato ball). (Spoiler alert: It has a truffle center.) Tanabe lightly precooks his dirt and runs it through a sieve to eliminate the crunchiness. [Village Voice, 2-4-2013]

From the Blotter: (1) Arlington County, Va., police reported in February that a resident of Carlin Springs Road told officers that someone entered her home and stole chicken from her simmering crock pot -- but only the chicken, leaving the vegetables as they were. The report noted that they had no suspects. (2) Prison guard Alfredo Malespini III, 31, faces several charges in Bradford, Pa., resulting from a marital dispute in March, when, presumably to make a point, he tried to remove his wedding ring by shooting it off. (The ring remained in place; his finger was mangled.) [ArlNow.com, 2-22-2013] [Associated Press via WCAU-TV (Philadelphia, 3-15-2013]
 
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