1990: Customers of a laundromat in Anchorage, Alaska frequently complained that the slot machine in the establishment never paid out any money, even if a winning combination came up, and one of them eventually called the police about it.
The police initially agreed that it seemed like theft to never pay out winnings, so they confiscated the slot machine. But then the owner of the laundromat explained that the machine was deliberately fixed to not pay off, because gambling was illegal in Alaska. Furthermore, a small sign next to the machine said that it was "For Amusement Only". Perhaps, he conceded, the sign was not prominent enough, but it was there nevertheless.
Upon hearing this, the police decided the slot machine was legal and let the owner take it back.
Turns out this isn't the only time a merchant has run into trouble using the word 'bananas' as slang for 'dollars.'
In 1986, the discount electronics chain Silo ran a TV ad offering a new stereo system for only "299 bananas." Thirty-five people showed up with the appropriate number of bananas, expecting to get a stereo. The store gave 33 of them stereos, and credited the other two for the cost of the bananas.
Silo’s Seattle manager donated his cut of the bananas (10,000) to Woodland Park Zoo, but found that the demand there was limited: the zoo only needed 1,000 of them per week for its elephants, monkeys, gorillas, and hippos, and was unable to feed them uncontrolled amounts of any particular food. The vast majority of the fruits were, in turn, passed along to local food banks.
Parker became known as the "Hanging Judge" of the American Old West, because he sentenced numerous convicts to death. In 21 years on the federal bench, Judge Parker tried 13,490 cases. In more than 8,500 of these cases, the defendant either pleaded guilty or was convicted at trial. Parker sentenced 160 people to death; 79 were executed.
I'm not aware of many famous snails. Gee Geronimo, as far as I know, may be the only one. Back in the 1970s, the Guinness Book of Records declared him to be the world's biggest snail. His owner was Christopher Hudson. Gee Geronimo died in 1976.
Christopher Hudson with Gee Geronimo source: 1978 Guinness Book of Records
Connellsville Daily Courier - Nov 27, 1976
Hudson was apparently more in love with his snails than he was with his wife.
New Miss Gum Spirits of Turpentine continued to be crowned for over half a century. I'm not sure exactly when the contest ended (I'm assuming it has because I can't find any info about recent winners), but it continued at least into the 1990s.
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.
Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.