All week, the nation’s fireworks displays and barbecues were disrupted by troubling reports from across the land: a competitive eater in existential crisis in New England, a banana-shaped car roaring through the upper Midwest, freeze-dried cauliflower powder posing as vegetables in cupboards throughout America. But, alas, there were still more odd tidbits this week, and it’s all here in the James Weird Awards.
• A Nebraska man got swept up in a machete attack while waiting outside an area restaurant. The victim reportedly saw a man "coming at his cousin with a machete" and jumped in to help, suffering minor wounds in the process. [Omaha World-Herald]
• A group of children near Cleveland grew up a little bit faster this week when their lemonade stand was robbed by a gang of teenagers. The young capitalists lost $13.50 in the heist, although apparently one of the teens "tossed back some of the cash" from the getaway car. [AP]
• A Florida man is registering a complaint to the Florida Bar regarding Casey Anthony attorney Cheney Mason, who was caught making "a lewd gesture with both hands at spectators who gathered outside the restaurant" he went to once the trial ended. Interestingly, the man filing the complaint was once an attorney, too — until he was disbarred. [Orlando Sentinel]
• Think passive-aggressive notes on the fridge are bad? A Utah woman was charged with attempted murder for serving her roommate a smoothie laced with antifreeze. The victim suffered a stroke but lived. [Salt Lake Tribune]
• A restaurant in London has started helping finicky customers decide what to order by projecting images of select dishes onto their plates. The projection system can also be used to play Battleship in between courses. The future is now! [Columbus Dispatch]
• Restaurants in Idaho are on high alert after widespread reports of scammers posing as health inspectors in order to get free meals. One public official offered local business some helpful advice: "We don’t sit there and ask McDonald’s for a Big Mac." [Times-News]