The staple news diet of a motoring journalist is a mixture of horsepower, torque, how fast a car can make you lose your driving licence and exactly what the government is cooking up to inflict on the remaining people who are still able to afford to drive.
But every now and then we’re able to break free from the shackles of car launches to write about some crazy goings-on that, whether we allude to or not at the time, are one sandwich short of a picnic (and usually involve animals).
So what better way to celebrate than by looking at the maddest, craziest, oddest, weirdest and strangest news to befall Recombu Cars so far.
Enjoy. (Happy New Year.)
Woman blindly follows sat-nav through six countries
It was always going to be tough living in the shadow of this story. One woman from Belgium had only one job to do, which was to pick up her friend from the station in Solre-sur-Sambre ─ a 76 mile round trip. Nothing crazy about that.
Except 67-year-old Sabine Moreau blindly followed her sat-nav through six countries before she realised she had gone the wrong way, ending up 900 miles away in Zagreb, Croatia. While that was comedy gold in itself, the crazy bit was that she stopped on numerous occasions to refuel and even parked in a lay-by to have a nap. Not even the road signs along the way, which changed languages as she crossed Europe, made the women think twice.
Woman run over three times by her own car
What’s the saying? Once, shame on me ─ twice, shame on you. Well, there’s not a rhyme for three, because, presumably, nobody is that stupid to repeat the same thing again. Except for a Canadian women who managed to knock her car into reverse as she got out.
As the car lurched backwards, the unfortunate woman was knocked under the car by the driver-side door, which was still open. As the car circled back around, she tried to get back into the car but stumbled and was driven over again. Before the neighbours turned up to drag her away, she had tried one last time to commandeer the rampaging vehicle, which resulted in being run over one last time.
Sheep dog keeps injured owner alive for four days after crash
They say a dog’s love is unconditional and never has this been truer than in the case of Herbert Schultz and his loyal companion Boydy. Schultz had been driving around in an Australian mountain range when he crashed his 4×4, which proceeded to end up trapping him.
With no passers-by to come to the rescue, it was down to Boydy to keep his owner warm when temperatures dropped to 4-degrees Celsius during the night, sparing the crash victim from hypothermia. As if to add to the bizarreness, it was reported that horses decided to trample on Mr Schultz, proving not all animals are as nice. Fortunately, he survived the ordeal.
Pet dog kills owner by running him over
We reported on a number of mental instances where a man’s best friend turned out to be his worst enemy. But of all the stories we’ve covered, the worst instance saw Florida resident James Campbell step out of the pick-up his wife was driving to open the gate to their home.
Upon jumping out, reports say their beloved bulldog decided to jump into the car and knock the vehicle into gear. Campbell was then crushed against the gate and was later pronounced dead at the scene. An unlikely occurrence, indeed, but was the dog really to blame? Police were investigating.
Police warn of jaywalking otters
It sounds like the stuff of fairytales, but police really did warn residents in the small Welsh village of Aberdyfi to watch out for two otters that had become uncharacteristically sociable. Or to quote the police warning, “Don’t squash the otter”. Sounds like a euphemism if you ask us.
Goats arrested for vandalising police car
Usually the world blames the poor and football fans for hooliganism and vandalism. But not in India, oh no. In the city of Chennai police arrested goats after the horned-quadrupeds decided to stand on top of a police car, causing scratched paintwork, dents and damage to the windscreen and wipers.
Of the 12 goats involved in the attack, only three were apprehended. Since the attack, inhabitants in the area have lived in fear of revenge.
Woman unknowingly live-tweets husband’s car crash death
Losing a loved one is one of the hardest things to go through in life, which makes this particular story even harder to stomach. Caran Jonhson had just heard about an accident on the Interstate 205 in Vancouver of the US, to which she tweeted, “This accident sounds horrible”.
At this point, panic began to set in as she realised her husband Craig hadn’t come home from work. As reports somebody had died in the accident began to filter she feared for the worst. An hour later, she announced on Twitter: “It’s him. He died.” Christ.
Man part-exchanges testicle for Nissan 370Z
It takes balls to replace a body part for money. Literally, in fact, if like Las Vegas resident Mark Parisi you decide to donate a testicle to medical science for a not-so-small sum of US$35,000.
The famous cheapskate, who has been involved in many dangerous tests, said he would use the money to buy, of all cars, a Nissan 370Z. We like fast Nissans as much as the next man, but can you really put a price on your manhood? We thought not.
Mars Rover draws a penis on red planet
Most men are happy to admit they never really grow up. Cementing this notion was the story about the Mars Rover team using a US$2.5billion space exploration vehicle to discover life on the planet of Mars. A noble and fascinating venture, it must be said, until scientists decided to break up the time by drawing a giant penis using its tracks.
It’s not clear how many races of alien life were offended by the prank ─ mainly because we’re still searching for something that could be offended. “Mars Rover = $800m. Team to operate = $1bn. Drawing a penis on the surface of another planet: priceless,” a Reddit caption read.
Pensioner kills wife by accidentally reversing over her
Like the dog killing owner story above, a number of unlucky people have accidentally run over a loved one ─ in some cases with tragic consequences. One example involved elderly Huddersfield resident Kenneth Wood driving into his wife while trying to park up.
Mrs Wood suffered head injuries after being reversed over and was pronounced dead shortly after. The couple had been married 39 years when the incident happened.