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If strange news were sand, we'd be a dune.

Not an actual Chinese funeral stripper.

(China) - Farmers in a small Chinese town, Jiangsu, have hired strippers at their funerals to attract larger crowds, China Central Television reported. The local people believe that the more people gathered at a funeral, the more luck it will bring to the family and offspring of the deceased. So, some families hire striptease troupes to attract more people. This stripping spectacle has reportedly become one of the town's most popular nighttime events, especially among migrant workers. Some local residents even host a rival show with two performances on the each side of the street close to the mourning hall and their houses to attract viewers. With a competitive atmosphere, the dancers and singers on each side try their best to attract people's attention. Some strippers even take off the trousers of male viewers and persuade them to join in the dancing, while others bathe in public or perform nude with snakes. Dozens of troupes operate stripteases in the small town, which reportedly brings in a small fortune. A troupe boss told a reporter that he earned more than $25,000 last year, while a male singer in the troupe said he had purchased three apartments with his wages. Most of the dancers are local women, the boss said.

(Pennsylvania, AP) - A woman admitted to smoking marijuana daily with her 13-year-old son to reward him for completing his homework. Amanda Lynn Livelsberger, 30, pleaded guilty to several charges. Livelsberger, of Conewago Township, admitted in Adams County court that she had been smoking marijuana with her son since he was 11, and that she often gave it to him as a reward. The boy told police that he was required to do his homework as soon as he got home from school, and then was allowed to smoke marijuana with his mother, according to court documents. Livelsberger pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of corruption of minors, possession with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a small amount of marijuana and possession of a small amount of marijuana with intent to distribute. The plea did not stipulate a sentence. The woman also said she also smoked marijuana with two of her son's friends, ages 17 and 18, police said. The 18-year-old also told investigators he had also bought heroin from Livelsberger.

(Ontario, Canada) - A woman is dead after choking during a marshmallow-eating contest at the Western Fair in London, Ontario. The 32-year-old woman died in the hospital, a day after collapsing offstage during a Chubby Bunny competition. The contest features people stuffing one marshmallow at a time into their mouth then saying "chubby bunny" until they can't say it anymore. The person who gags, chokes or spits out the marshmallows loses. Emergency crews who arrived on the scene tried to help the unconscious woman but couldn't remove the blockage in her throat. She was revived at the hospital, but later died. The fair has since cancelled the eating contest.

(Pennsylvania, AP) - A woman pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in connection with a bizarre incident that resulted in a fake penis being microwaved at a convenience store. Leslye Creighton, 41, of Wilkinsburg, entered the plea, and authorities dropped the same charge against Vincent Bostic, 31, of Pittsburgh, who has agreed to help pay $425 to replace the store's microwave, police and the couple's defense attorney said. Police in McKeesport, about 10 miles east of Pittsburgh, said the recent incident began when Bostic filled a fake penis with his urine that they said Creighton planned to use to pass a drug test to get a job. The two stopped at a GetGo! convenience store and, after wrapping the device in a paper towel, asked a store clerk to heat it up in a microwave, police said. Authorities said they believe Creighton wanted the device heated so the urine inside would be at body temperature during the drug test. The clerk, however, believing the lifelike device to be a severed penis, called police. Defense attorney William Difenderfer said Creighton faces a maximum punishment of $300 and 90 days in jail when she is sentenced. Difenderfer called it "a humorous, but weird, case."

(Connecticut, AP) - A man who claims he had a heart attack during a dispute over an ill-fitting hairpiece that didn't match his hair color is suing the wig shop. Paul Lewis claims he suffered a heart attack after refusing to pay for the hairpiece that was not only the wrong size but also the wrong color. He is seeking more than $15,000 in damages. Lewis filed a counter lawsuit in Superior Court after Paula's Wig Boutique of Orange filed a small claims action seeking $1,200 in payment for the hairpiece. Lewis claims he fell ill after Paula Wood, the owner of the wig shop, threatened to call police because he refused to pay, according to court records. Lewis told a newspaper that Wood sold him the hairpiece in a darkened room and he didn't realize it was the wrong color until later. He said he put a stop payment on a check he issued to the shop. Wood said she has no idea why Lewis suffered a heart attack over the incident and added that he was so happy with the hairpiece when he left the shop that he "hugged me and thanked me." She added that her shop is brightly lit and Lewis left with the hairpiece during the day.

(Oregon) - An Oregon woman was recently arraigned, accused of shooting her husband after he shot her pet chicken. The Eugene Register-Guard reported Mary Kay Gray, 58, was jailed on felony assault charges. Her husband, Stanley Gray, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The chicken died at the scene. Lane County sheriff's Sgt. Clint Riley said the couple had been working around their yard and drinking. They got into an argument after Stanley Gray shot the chicken with a .44-caliber handgun. Police don't know if the shooting was intentional or an accident. "It depends on who you ask," Riley said. But sheriff's deputies said Gray shot her husband with a .22-caliber rifle in an apparent act of retaliation. "It looked like 'CSI,'" said neighbor Cheyenne Dickenson, who arrived home to find police cars parked at the end of the driveway she shares with the Grays. "There were dead chickens lying all over the place."

(Germany) A wife, aged 65, chopped off her dead husband's penis in the hospital so she could keep it in a pickling jar as a souvenir. Uta Schneider used a butcher's knife to hack off the "treasured" manhood. She wrapped it in foil and put it in a lunchbox next to gherkins. She was spotted by a nurse and arrested in Stuttgart, Germany. She is accused of mutilation. Uta was wed to Heinrich, 68, for 35 years. She told police, "It was his best asset and gave me so much pleasure. I wanted to pickle it for eternity. He would have wanted it. We called it his joystick. I wanted it to remember him by."

(Bratislava, Reuters) - A Slovak driver who crashed into a bus shocked rescuers who found him unconscious and half-naked with a vacuum pump on his penis. Police said the 42-year-old man, driving an old Citroen in the Slovak town of Levice, had ignored a "give way" sign. "It's very likely he had auto-sex while driving. The matter is still under investigation. After the accident he was found lying in the seat, his pants were off and it (the pump) was on his penis," police officer Peter Polak. "I've never seen anything like this, nor have my colleagues," he added. The man was taken to hospital with head injuries.

(Pennsylvania) - Meow. A Pennsylvania judge is being asked to decide whether that word, "meow," is a harmless taunt or grounds for misdemeanor harassment. Police have charged a 14-year-old boy with that crime. Michael Loughner is accused of meowing whenever he sees his 78-year-old neighbor, Alexandria Carasia. The boy's family got rid of their cat after Carasia complained that it was using her flower garden as a litter box. Now, she said, the boy makes meowing sounds every time he sees her. He said he's only meowed at her twice. "I've had to put up with this for three years," Carasia said. "As I walk by, I see Michael and his mother. He got on the porch and hid behind the bamboo screen and starts meowing. If I don't make this stop now, they're going to keep doing this to me. I shouldn't have to worry about walking out of the house and being harassed by this young kid." Loughner said that he went out to hold his dog so it wouldn't leave the yard as Carasia walked by. "She was walking through and she kept looking at us," he testified. "I grabbed the dog so it wouldn't leave the yard. When I put my head down, I meowed." He said that was one of the two times he's ever meowed at the woman. "As she walked in front of the house, nothing was said," the boy's mother, Sally Loughner, told the court. There is a history of disputes between the neighbors. Sally Loughner told the court that she ended up sending her cat to live with family members so that she could "keep peace in the neighborhood." Defense attorney David Martin Jr. asked that the case be dropped. "This should never have been filed," Martin said. "This is not something that police should be wasting their time with or wasting the court's time."

When Marcelino P. Castro plunged a dildo into his rectum in the wee hours of the morning, he could not know it would lead to his arrest. But then the dildo became stuck, and Castro began a ride that took him through the UCI Medical Center's emergency room and may land him in prison. According to officials, Castro, a janitor from Mexico City, arrived at work that day, called his boss and offered this story, "I was raped. I am so embarrassed. It was two guys. I was cleaning in the restroom when two large, dark men, possibly Samoan, came in, put a rope around my neck and began strangling me, and put a damp cloth over my mouth so I couldn't breathe. When I woke up I was alone in the restroom with my pants down to my knees." Alarmed, Castro's boss immediately called the authorities. Fire trucks, paramedics and police rushed to the scene of the alleged crime. Castro repeated his story to at least 12 individuals, according to a felony complaint. He told two police officers he was clueless about what his assailants did to him while he was passed out, except that he awoke with a sore bottom. At the hospital, doctors ordered a rape kit examination. The day after the incident, Castro was more certain. Now he was positive he'd been "raped by two Samoans." They'd "put a damp cloth with a chemical smell over my mouth," he told investigators. "When I woke up I was alone in the restroom." But Castro's stories didn't add up, according to veteran prosecutor Dennis Bauer. An investigation by Orange police, the DA's office and the fraud division of the California Department of Insurance concluded there had been no rope, no Samoans, no rape. "It was fiction," said Bauer. The 12 felonies Castro faces equal the number of alleged false statements he gave. Prosecutors believe he attempted to use his dildo encounter as a way to fraudulently obtain compensation from his employer. "Mr. Castro is accused of sexually experimenting with a dildo, getting it stuck and later making a series of false statements out of embarrassment and shame," said Bauer. He noted that Castro faces more than just possible prison time if found guilty. "There's about $30,000 in restitution we think he should pay for wasting everyone's time."

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