Nationwide Insurance has created the "Hambone Award" which, for the past five years, it's been giving to the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. It seems to be like a Darwin Awards for animals, except they only give awards to animals that recover from their mishaps, not the ones that die. (Are Darwin Awards given to animals? I'm not sure.)
The Hambone Award was named after a "dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to find him."
The most recent winner is Curtis, a 5-year-old Boxer, who ate an entire BBQ skewer during a birthday party. He was rushed to the hospital, but doctors couldn't find the skewer. It was only a year later, when he was taken back to the doctor because he still wasn't feeling well, that surgeons found the skewer, which had become a "baseball-sized mass" encapsulated by the body, located between the dog's stomach and pancreas.
ARMY ORIGINALITY — To boost morale, the Army Materiel Command recently held a contest to name its new national headquarters. More than 524 names were suggested, and the AMC's official Contest Committee to Name the New Building solemnly studied the offerings. At last, Maj. Gen. Charles T. Horner, the AMC chief of staff, announced with pride: "The name of the new AMC building is the AMC BUILDING." The lucky winner, Francis Sikorski, received $100 in appropriated monies for his shrewd suggestion.
The AMC Building - 5001 Eisenhower Ave. via Flickr.
I first encountered the story of how the AMC Building got its name in Chuck's 1989 News of the Weird book. Later, I also noticed it in National Lampoon's True Facts. So because I'm amusing myself over at about.com by telling the story of some classic weird news stories in more depth, I recently decided to try to find out if there were any more details to the AMC story. For instance, what other names were submitted in the contest? Were all the other entries so bad that the committee decided it had to choose the most obvious name possible? Or was this really just "army originality" at work.
But after a lot of digging, I've come up empty.
The story of the name-choosing contest is mentioned in the Army Materiel Command's own official history (pdf), published in 2013. So I contacted the AMC and asked them if they knew of any more details to the story. Their pr rep contacted the historians, who returned the answer that, no, that's all there is to the story. No other details survive. So we'll never know exactly why the "AMC Building" was the winning entry in the "Name the new AMC Building" contest.
But I can report that the AMC Building no longer houses the headquarters of the AMC. The AMC moved out of the Eisenhower Ave. building in 2002, relocating its headquarters first to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and later to Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, where it currently can be found.
Back in 1992, Emanuelle Del Vecchio had an idea for a great new business — a drive-through condom store. She called it "Condom Hut" and set up shop in a former Fotomat booth.
Unfortunately the booth was located in an area of Cranston, Rhode Island populated by very Catholic Italian-Americans, many of whom took great offense at the idea of people being able to buy birth control from the comfort of their motor vehicle.
Local residents began protesting the store. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence condemned it for "promoting sexual activity, not abstinence." A rock was thrown through its window. Graffiti was spray-painted on its front. And eventually the business folded.
America was just not ready for a drive-through condom store.
Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.
Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.