Apparently true stories gleaned from the weird and wonderful world of the tabloids.....


An Austrian circus dwarf died recently when he bounced sideways from a trampoline and was swallowed by a hippopotamus. Seven thousand people watched as little Franz Dasch popped into the mouth of Hilda the Hippo and the animal's gag reflex forced it to swallow. The crowd applauded wildly before other circus people realized what had happened.


An elderly woman at a unit for sufferers of senile dementia passed round a box of mothballs thinking that they were mints. Eleven people were taken to hospital for treatment.


An India man who eight months ago decided to spend his life in a tree has died. He fell out of it.


Following drinking binge in Christchurch, New Zealand, Koto Salaki passed out - so his buddies stripped him and shaved off his eyebrows as a joke. Getting no reaction, they proceeded to cut off his ear and glue it onto his forehead. Doctors managed to sew it back on.


After a heavy drinking session in Weymouth in August 1990, 51 year old Philip Pyne fancied a kip on a bench. To stop himself rolling off, he put 12 nails through his trousers and in the process, drove several of them through his leg. Fortunately he was discovered by police.


When 65-year-old Les Edwards shoveled some coal on to his living-room fire in January 1985, a sudden explosion rendered him deaf and blind. The mystery blast was traced to the accidental inclusion of a detonator in the coal mix. The National Coal Board admitted negligence.


An operation at Nottingham hospital in January 1989 ended prematurely when the patient exploded. The casualty, an 82-year-old woman, was undergoing electrosurgery for cancer. The blast was attributed to an unusual build-up of stomach gases ignited by the sparks.


A 20-year-old man was given a concrete enema by his mischievous lover. Surgeons had to meticulously remove the cast which, of course, formed the shape of a rectum, perfect in every respect except for the imprint of a ping-pong ball which was apparently used to retain the enema.


The Cinnamon family from Washington were surprised when several ball sized chunks of green ice crashed through their roof and landed on the floor beside them. The ice soon melted, giving off a revolting odour. The Cinnamons were not happy to later discover that the ice was frozen human waste from the leaky sewage system of a passenger jet.


Phreakers, or 'phone hackers, managed to break into the telephone system of 'Weight Watchers' in Glasgow, and changed the outgoing message to 'Hello, you fat bastard'.


The defence in an Irish murder trial hung on whether the accused, Thomas McGann, could draw a gun from his pocket without shooting himself. Demonstrating in court, his lawyer shot his own foot, and died 12 hours later. McGann, however, was acquitted.


Police in France are looking for a man who has been robbing banks dressed as a giant aubergine. During an armed robbery in Marseilles, he was asked by the manager 'Are you serious?', to which he replied 'No, I am an Aubergine', and fired a shot. The man escaped with the cash leaving a real aubergine on the counter.


In April 1993, suspected drug dealer Alfred Acree tried to evade capture in Charles County, Virginia, by running into a wood. The police had no trouble following him because he was wearing a pair of 'Light Gear' trainers, with battery - powered lights that flash when the heel is pressed.


During a 'smash and grab' on a Zurich jeweller in October 1980, a thief had his finger cut off by broken glass as he grabbed a tray of rings . The police identified the finger from their fingerprint records and arrested the thief within a few hours.


In Ireland, a man staggered into the emergency room of Belfast Hospital with a wind-up turtle attached to his testicles, explaining that his young son had dropped the toy into his bath. "A mechanical joint connected to his tender bits and jammed solid," a nurse said.


When a crook decided to steal the central heating system from an empty house in Fulham, he removed a pipe connected to the gas supply, then lit a match so that he could see. Although the house exploded, he continued with the job and even returned the next day, only to be arrested.


A totally wrecked cream-coloured Ford Orion was found at the bottom of a 100 foot cliff face near Scarborough in North Yorkshire early on the morning of 22nd June. It was thought to have left the road at a sharp bend between Osgodby and Cayton. There was no sign of the driver, but a pile of human excrement was found in the driver's seat.