The James Weird Awards

The James Weird Awards: P.F. Chang’s Brawlers, Pastafarians, and Taco Bell Art Thieves

It’s getting harder and harder to eat out these days. If you’re a baby, you could get banned from ageist restaurants. If you’re a man who happens to like wearing ladies’ clothes, you might get ejected from Pizza Hut. And if you’re a McDonald’s customer, you probably have gonorrhea. But at least you’re not alone, as the James Weird Awards, our weekly inventory of bizarre restaurant news, will prove.

• An ambulance parked at a McDonald’s parking lot in New Hampshire was stolen and apparently taken for a joyride. Police found the abandoned vehicle after it had crashed into a local house. “It seemed very odd that there was an ambulance with nobody around it,” a neighbor remarked. [WMUR]

• A Utah man was jailed for throwing peanuts and pretzels at an airline employee during a Southwestern Airlines flight. Authorities say he became enraged when he was told he couldn’t smoke his electronic cigarette on the plane. [My Fox NY]

The Thomas Crown Affair it ain’t: A band of thieves in suburban Cleveland were foiled in their plot to steal a $157 painting hanging from an area Taco Bell. The heist came to an end when the manager recognized the getaway car driver as his former employee’s. [AP]

• An Austrian man was granted permission to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his official drivers’ license photo, concluding his three-year battle with the government. Wearing the strainer, he says, is his religious right: He’s a devout Pastafarian. [NPR]

• Two of Lil Wayne’s backup dancers were charged with assault for attacking a waitress at a P.F. Chang’s in West Hartdord, Connecticut. The two women, in town for Weezy’s national tour, argued with the waitress about their check, prompting much punching and hair-pulling. [MSNBC]

• But let’s talk about something good for a change: Ten Good Samaritans in Houston worked together to help lift a pickup truck off a woman who was accidentally run over in an IHOP parking lot. The woman suffered injuries but is doing okay. [Houston Chronicle]

The James Weird Awards: P.F. Chang’s Brawlers, Pastafarians, and Taco Bell