Scotland the weird: 11 odd news articles from 2014

Scotland had a hell of a year for odd news. Picture: Jane Barlow
Scotland had a hell of a year for odd news. Picture: Jane Barlow
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IT’S been a busy 12 months for Scotland - Commonwealth Games, the referendum on Scottish independence, the Ryder Cup - and of course, the usual medley of bizarre news stories.

We’ve rounded up some of the stranger news stories from the last year.

1. Drunk passenger attacked plane crew with false leg - July 2014

A flight from Tunisia to Scotland had to be diverted after a drunk passenger attacked cabin crew with her prosthetic leg.

The woman demanded ‘cigarettes and a parachute’, and slapped a young girl before unfastening her leg and swinging it at the flight attendants.

The crew managed to put her in handcuffs while the pilot of the Thomson Airways flight from Enfidha to Edinburgh made an emergency landing at London Gatwick.

One holidaymaker said that the other passengers started singing the ‘Hokey Cokey’ when police boarded the flight to escort the woman off the plane.

Twitter user @sarahwilsonx posted at the time: “Can’t believe we’re stuck in London because some crazy drunk woman with one leg started a bloody fight.”

2. Scottish fish ‘invented’ sexual intercourse - October 2014

In October, scientists managed to trace the history of vertebrate sexual intercourse to an ancient armoured fish that lived in the lochs of Scotland 385 million years ago.

The first creatures to use this form of reproduction were the first jawed fish, called Microbrachius dicki (stop sniggering).

Microbrachius means “little arms” and refers to the genital limbs that locked male and female fish together when mating.

Not a bad addition to the already-impressive list of penicillin, television et al.

3. Airport security suspect explosive; find haggis - January 2014

Great chieftain o’ the pudding race, or a potentially deadly explosive device?

Airport security staff thought the latter when Ian Blake passed through Birmingham Airport on his way from Inverness to Dublin prior to Burns’ Night on January 25.

The poet and novelist told how he was pulled aside and told ‘We think you have a suspected plastic explosive device in your luggage, sir.’

In another twist, Mr Blake was also carrying a sgian dubh - but staff failed to notice the decorative knife.

Thankfully, all was sorted and Mr Blake was allowed to carry on with his journey.

4. Commonwealth Games teacake prop goes to auction - July 2014

Remember the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony? Remember the teacakes?

They were so popular that one went under the hammer towards the end of July.

The official Games auction site described it as a ‘unique and rare piece of Scottish sporting history’.

5. Scot spotted celebrating Uruguay win over England - June 2014

The ‘Auld Enemy’ were beaten 2-1 by Uruguay in the World Cup this summer, with Luis Suarez scoring a double to see off Roy Hodgson’s men.

But viewers were a little surprised when one of the South American team’s supporters appeared to be sporting a See You Jimmy hat, Saltire and Scotland away top.

Step forward Mark McConville from Glasgow, who was doing charity work in Brazil - as well as backing the Uruguayans.

6. Aberdeenshire teens charged over mass gnome theft - May 2014

Finding two teenagers who had stolen more than 30 garden gnomes wasn’t a tall order for police in Aberdeenshire in May.

A search of a car near Banff yielded a haul of garden sculptures, including a 2ft statue of Oor Wullie and a gnome in a police uniform.

The two teenagers were charged in connection with the theft of the gnomes.

7. Drunk man ‘attacked house while holding genitals’ - August 2014

In August, a man admitted causing a bizarre disturbance in the West Lothian village of Bridgend - after he was seen shouting sexual and homophobic insults while hitting the doors and windows of a house ‘while brandishing his private member’.

No word on what the house had supposedly done to incur the wrath of Charles Arthurs, who - according to his defence lawyer - hadn’t committed a breach of the peace ‘since the 1990s’.

8. Man seen running down M8 in tartan boxers - June 2014

Traffic near Shotts was stopped in the morning of June 6 after a man, clad only in a pair of tartan boxer shorts, was seen running down the M8 motorway.

The unidentified man was lifted by police - but not after he’d jumped onto the bonnet of one car and crossed the central reservation onto the other carriageway.

9. Hostel blasted for calling guest ‘retard’ online - July 2014

In Glasgow, a hostel boss sparked a storm online after branding a guest a ‘retard’ for leaving a bad review.

Basil Fawlty-esque hostel boss Todd Pedersen defended his comments, saying: “It was totally ridiculous. She didn’t ask anything or make a peep while she was here and was asked when she left and said everything was OK.

“Four hours later I saw the review on the webpage and it was just ridiculous. Saying things that were totally wrong.

“If she would have just come and asked, everything would have been sorted out, but she didn’t.”

10. Darkened shed treatment for lovesick Scots moose - September 2014

How do you calm down a lovesick moose during rutting season?

Shut him in a darkened shed.

It sounds like a joke, but six-year-old Hercules led his owners on a wild moose chase in September, after breaking free from his Perthshire enclosure in a bid to find a mate - his second escape in a week.

Manager of the estate where Hercules lives said at the time: “He’ll be going into solitary. We’re going to lock him in a darkened shed until the rut is over so he can’t escape again.”

11. Boy, 9, sends Aberdeen FC £400m ‘transfer list’ - May 2014

Last word goes to nine-year-old Boyd Gibson, who sent Derek McInnes a list of potential targets as he sought to assist the Aberdeen boss in his search for new players.

After McInnes confirmed that attacking pair Scott Vernon and Josh Magennis could leave the club, Boyd suggested Lionel Messi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale as possible alternatives.

Then-Kilmarnock forward Kris Boys was also listed, as were Mario Balotelli and Samuel Eto’o.

Hopefully young Boyd was happy with the likes of David Goodwillie and Shay Logan.

Never change, Scotland.