It’s an odd, odd world

$23 quadrillion for cigs

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire – A New Hampshire man says he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over 23 quadrillion dollars.

Josh Muszynski checked his account online a few hours after the purchase and saw the 17-digit number – a stunning $23,148,855,308,184,500 (twenty-three quadrillion, one hundred forty-eight trillion, eight hundred fifty-five billion, three hundred eight million, one hundred eighty-four thousand, five hundred dollars).

Muszynski told WMUR-TV that he spent two hours on the phone with Bank of America trying to sort out the string of numbers – and the $15 overdraft fee.

The bank corrected the error the next day.

Bank of America said the card issuer, Visa, could answer questions. Visa, in turn, referred questions to the bank.

Dangerous wedding

ROME – A romantic wedding in the Tuscan countryside ended with injuries after an attempt to launch the bride’s bouquet from a plane brought down the tiny aircraft.

Italian police say two people were hurt in the crash of the ultralight plane after the bridal bouquet they launched got caught in the aircraft’s rear rotor.

The flowers blocked the engine, bringing the plane down by a youth hostel.

Police in the nearby town of Piombino said Tuesday the pilot was lightly injured in Saturday’s crash, while the passenger who threw the bouquet had several broken bones.

The bride and groom were not aboard the plane.

Bat man

BAY MINETTE, Ala. – Authorities in south Alabama say a gas station employee used a cricket bat to chase away a would-be robber who brandished a toy gun.

The Baldwin County Sheriff’s office says the suspect entered Bee Gee’s gas station near Bay Minette Saturday afternoon and tried to use the fake weapon to steal money.

Sheriff’s Cpl. Mike Gaull tells the Press-Register of Mobile that the employee noticed the gun had an orange tip on the barrel and grabbed the cricket bat. The suspect then ran out of the store without any money.

The 22-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery.

Hitchin’ a ride

SAGINAW, Michigan – Authorities say a parolee who robbed a Michigan bank was caught when he tried to hitch a ride from an undercover police detective.

Mark E. White was arraigned Friday on charges that include bank robbery and making a false bomb threat. He is being held at the Saginaw County Jail on $755,000 bond. It was not clear whether White had an attorney. Police did not immediately return a message seeking comment Saturday.

Authorities tell The Saginaw News that White flagged down Saginaw Township Detective Scott Jackson on Wednesday after the bank robbery a few blocks away.

White was paroled June 16 after serving time for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and violating an earlier parole.

Truckin’ luck

BLACKFOOT, Idaho – A long-haul trucker from southeastern Idaho has created a new trucking-themed board game inspired by his hours on the road.

“My Truckin’ Luck” was created with input from truckers, state troopers and mechanics nationwide, Randy Cox told the Idaho State Journal for a story published Friday. The game is named after a popular expression among drivers.

“The state police were amused, but didn’t really offer anything that we could use,” Cox said.

Cox, of Blackfoot, said players start in Washington State, then use dice to determine where they’re headed. A chart on the board helps them determine the all-important issue of how much gas they’ll need.

“At first we had a map,” Cox said. “We had all the interstates connecting at the right places, it was a monstrosity. We played for two hours and weren’t even close to be finished.”

The final version includes a log book, weigh stations, truck inspections and hazardous road conditions.

Cox said he invested $45,000 in the game and printed 2,700 copies. The game sells for $29.95.

The truck driver said he was also considering other versions of the game, including one based on the History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers” and another that he said will be an Old West version.

“Every one of these games can be made into a learning game,” Cox said. “By all indications, this is going to do very well for us.”

“My Truckin’ Luck” is recommended for ages 14 and older.

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