Highlights from the "Quick Takes" feature in the July 12/19, 2008 issue of WORLD magazine.
Dead to rights
Better dead than Dobrescu? That's what villagers in a remote Romanian town have said. Small-time Romanian politician Georghe Dobrescu knew unseating popular Voinesti Mayor Neculai Ivascu would be a difficult task. Under Ivascu's rule for more than two decades, townspeople in the northeastern Romanian town had grown accustomed to the incumbent. How entrenched was Ivascu? Even as the sitting mayor died of liver failure just as voting began, Ivascu's corpse still garnered 23 more votes than Dobrescu. "I know he died, but I don't want change," one townsperson told Romanian television. The local elections board declared Dobrescu the winner by default, though Ivascu supporters are contesting the decision.
-- That must be the ultimate in humiliation: losing an election to a dead man!
Most folks wouldn't pay attention to one woman's plan of sailing solo around the British Isles. But something about Hilary Lister is different. The 36-year-old Canterbury woman is a quadriplegic and can only move her head, eyes, and mouth. Using just puffs and sips into a straw, Lister can navigate her 20-foot vessel specially adapted to her disability. "It is the ultimate freedom for me," she told the Telegraph. "I get out on to the water and suddenly my physical inabilities no longer matter."
-- Inspiring; sort of like the story of Team Hoyt.
Big hopes for citizens of Fairhope, Calif., turned to paranoia as city officials finally cracked open a city safe that had been sealed since 1971. City fathers advertised the safe's opening at the new Fairhope Museum of History, hoping to find old city records or other interesting Fairhope artifacts. Instead, when the locksmith finally cracked the case, onlookers were perplexed to find the safe filled with decades-old marijuana. What officials later learned: The safe had last been used by police to store evidence for drug cases.
-- I'm not sure what to say about this, other than it's pretty funny.
Newborns Sean William Maynard (10 pounds, 14 ounces) and Abigail Rose Maynard (12 lbs, 3 oz.) of Winston-Salem, N.C., may not break the record, but don't tell their mother that. Born June 20 to Joey and Erin Maynard, the twins tipped the scales at a combined 23 pounds and 1 ounce—4 pounds, 11 ounces shy of the record-setting hefty twins born in Arkansas in 1927.
-- So, can any of you moms out there top that?
Burger King's newest whopper doesn't just bear a big patty, but a huge price tag, too. Selling for nearly $200, the hoity-toity burger debuted in select London stores for customers with enough in the back pocket to loosen their belts. Burger King'smundanely named "The Burger" comes with a Wagyu beef patty imported from Japan, white truffles, premium slices of ham, Himalayan rock salt, and champagne-soaked onion rings. To help squelch the possible guilt of a $200 burger, the fast-food chain promises to donate the roughly $120 profit for each sandwich sold to children's charities in London.
-- This is proof of the truth of P. T. Barnum's famous dictum: "A fool and his money are soon parted!"