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WW2 Veteran Receives License to be Buried in Chewing Gum Coffin

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  • As far as a veterans’ last wishes go, this is a pretty heartwarming one

Have you ever liked something a lot? Like a really absurdly much?

Maybe even so much that you’d want to take the thing to your grave? Well, this WW2 veteran who recently was given the right to be buried in a chewing gum package certainly has.

Alright, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s mostly true. Suttie Economy, a 94-year-old vet from Roanoke, Virginia, has been granted license by the Mars Wrigley corporation to be buried in a casket resembling the wrapping of Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit chewing gum.

Economy’s love story with the bubblegum began decades ago back at the front, wrote CNN. During World War 2, chewing gum was included in US soldiers’ rations.

“Because of wartime rationing, Wrigley could not make enough … gum for everyone,” the Mars company says on its website.

“Rather than compromise … the company took Wrigley’s Spearmint, Doublemint and Juicy Fruit off the civilian market and dedicated the entire output of these brands to the US Armed Forces.”

The gum actually served a valuable purpose in the fighting men’s rations, says War History Online. First, chewing gum releases saliva, which helped keep the soldiers’ mouth clean when brushing their teeth was probably less of a priority than, you know, fighting the war.

Second, gum helped calm the soldiers’ nerves. Cigarettes were handed out to them for the same reason, but chewing on some gum was of course a more health-conscious option.

Given the circumstances, it’s no wonder Economy developed a taste for his favorite gum brand.

Sharing is Caring

Economy survived the war, and finally returned home. But the man who came from the front back wasn’t the same as the one who had gone there.

No, we’re not talking about anything morbid. Economy just still loved the everliving crap out of Juicy Fruit.

According to his brother, John Economy, 81, Suttie would share his love for the bubblegum, handing out to anyone in his community.

“It served as a symbol for his mission to talk to people about the World War 2 memorial and to honor the deceased veterans that died for our freedom,” John said.

Sammy Oakey, Economy’s long-time friend who runs the Oakey’s Funeral Service, corroborates John’s story.

“Suttie would come in here for visitation or just come in to visit and he would always bring a bunch of packs of Juicy Fruit chewing gum and put it out for the employees to enjoy,” Oakey told CNN.

“He didn’t just do that here. He did it at restaurants and doctor’s offices, wherever he went.”

One Final Wish

For decades, Suttie Economy continued his mission to keep the memory of veterans and their fallen brethren alive through his love for Juicy Fruit. But, unfortunately, even the brightest candle must eventually burn out.

Three weeks ago, Economy was taken to Salem Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Virginia because of a heart condition. Within a week his condition luckily improved enough that he was moved to the Virginia Veterans Care Clinic.

However, Economy – who had told the ol’ Grim Reaper to shove it for the time being – understood that his time might soon be at hand. With that in mind, he contacted his friend Oakey about how he wanted his earthly remains to be laid to rest.

“His sole request for his funeral is to have his casket painted or an applique applied to it that would make the coffin look like a giant pack of Juicy Fruit,” Oakey wrote on his funeral service’s Facebook page.

“Since we are in the profession of carrying out requests, we assured him that we would make this effort.”

As logo copyrights are touchy issues, Oakey and Economy’s brother John contacted Wrigley Mars for permission to decorate Suttie’s coffin the way he wanted. Unfortunately, the company wasn’t exactly forthcoming.

“We commend you on your creativity,” the Wrigley Mars customer service responded. “As a company, it is very important that our trademarks do no lose their distinctiveness. It is for this reason we ask that you do not use our logo(s) on the casket.”

Disappointed, Oakey relayed the company’s response to Economy. He says the ailing veteran didn’t take it all too well.

“He was crushed that his one request had been squashed by the corporation that he had faithfully patronized for decades,” wrote Oakey.

Reversing Positions

It was then that Oakey wrote the already-mentioned Facebook post. The story began to gain traction on social media, with many people voicing their disappointment in Wrigley Mars.

Soon, Oakey received another email from the company. This time, though, it wasn’t from a customer service agent, but Wrigley Mars’ president himself.

“I had an email from the president of Wrigley Mars saying that they’re willing to do whatever the family wanted to do,” Oakey said.

And so, Suttie Economy got his wish. When his time comes, he will be laid down into a giant pack of Juicy Fruit.

Not only that, the company also shipped 250 packs of the gum to the funeral home for the Economies to pick up once they were able. According to CNN, they have already done so.

“I think it’s right for them to do it. It’s good publicity for them,” said John Economy.

But, as Suttie wasn’t ready to go quite yet, he is going to continue spreading his love of Juicy Fruit. And that’s a good thing too. Those 250 packs of gum aren’t going to hand themselves out.

Want to tell your strange story? Tell us about it and it could be featured on Oddee. You can remain fully anonymous.



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Odd

Alien Monolith Discovered in Utah Desert

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  • Dear extraterrestrials, please stop leaving your weird metal constructs on public land.

Are we alone in the universe? Or do alien creatures occasionally – or maybe even regularly – descend from the skies to walk on Earth?

Some people certainly think so, and not all of them are UFO-hunting crackpots either. For example, you could go read our story of the ex-U.S. military boss who thinks we should have a defense plan against UFOs.

But if aliens do visit Earth, why don’t we ever see anything they might’ve left behind? Sure, there’s an occasional purported alien artefact – in addition to whatever what was involved in the Roswell crash – but if there were regular extraterrestrial visitors to Earth, you’d think they’d leave behind otherworldly sandwich wrappers or something.

But now we may have just found something. State officials in Utah have discovered a strange object sticking out of the ground in the middle of the desert.

What they found sure looks alien. It’s a 10-foot-tall shiny metal monolith, jutting out of Utah desert.

Anyone who’s watched 2001: Space Odyssey should be having chills right about now. The find is eerily similar to the black ominous rectangle responsible for human evolution that was depicted in the movie.

But what on Earth is the strange object? Is it even from Earth?

Photos courtesy of Utah Department of Public Safety.

A Strange Discovery

The strange object was discovered on November 18 by officials from the Utah Department of Public Safety, who were giving a helicopter ride to their colleagues from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

They had taken to the air to perform a count of bighorn sheep in a part of southeastern Utah. As they were flying over the Red Rock Country – a particularly famous desert landscape – one of the biologist onboard the chopper noticed something on the ground.

Between the red rock faces, something metallic was shining.

“One of the biologists is the one who spotted it and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” the helicopter’s pilot Bret Hutchings told KSL TV.

“He was like: ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’ And I was like: ‘What?’ And he’s like: ‘There’s this thing back there – we’ve got to go look at it!’”

Not one to turn down such an enthusiastic request, the pilot identified a suitable landing spot. He brought the craft down, and the officials began to walk toward the thing they’d found.

And there it was. In the middle of nowhere, hidden between tall cliffs, stood a rectangular, polished silvery metal monolith.

“I’d say it’s probably between 10 and 12 feet-high,” Hutchings said.

The Out-of-place Oddity

Not only was the monolith itself strange, but its location made it even more eerie. There was no immediate indication of who had brought it there.

The officials found no footprints or car tracks. It was as if the thing had fallen out of the sky and buried itself in the ground.

What’s weirder, the soil around the spot is particularly hard-packed. It would’ve taken some serious effort to dig and cut a hole big enough to hold the monolith upright.

Yet, there was no sign of such activity either.

“That’s been about the strangest thing that I’ve come across out there in all my years of flying,” Hutchings told KSL TV.

“We were kind of joking around that if one of us suddenly disappears, then the rest of us make a run for it.”

The crew couldn’t figure out the purpose of the object, either. They speculated that it might have some space-based applications.

“We were, like, thinking is this something NASA stuck up there or something. Are they bouncing satellites off it or something?”

Maybe it was NASA. Or maybe it was… Aliens.

Alien Artwork?

Well, probably not. At least the helicopter crew doesn’t think so.

The thing is definitely an artificial construct, but the helicopter crew figured that it’s more of an art piece than any alien object.

“I’m assuming it’s some new wave artist or something or, you know, somebody that was a big Space Odyssey fan,” Hutchings said.

Whatever the monolith’s purpose, Utah Bureau of Land Management is currently determining whether it warrants a further investigation. Meanwhile, they’ve decided not to reveal the object’s exact location to the public.

“It is in a very remote area and if individuals were to attempt to visit the area, there is a significant possibility they may become stranded and require rescue,” Utah Department of Public Safety said.

Yeah, right. That sounds exactly the kind of story they’d come up with to keep us in the dark about alien encounters!

Speaking of aliens, if the monolith is of extraterrestrial origin, its owners might be in for a hefty fine if Utah officials catch them trying to retrieve their metal rectangle.

“It is illegal to install structures or art without authorization on federally managed public lands, no matter what planet you’re from,” the Department of Public Safety reminded.



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Eel Refuses to Die, Busts out of Heron in Aliens Reenactment

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  • If you’re body-horror adverse, tread no further, it’s as gruesome as you think.
  • Snake eels are hard-to-kill with hard heads and iron wills, they often burrow back out of the predators who consume them.

Nature is a brutal, unforgiving place. The fact the sun goes down at 3:30 in the afternoon should be reason enough to accept that as fact, but if you’re unconvinced (or a masochist), I present to you the eel. Researchers published a study in the Memoirs of the Queensland Museum journal about snake eels. They’re hard-headed, tough-to-kill guys who burrow out of the stomachs of the fish who eat them.

Make Sure Your Food is Dead

Photo by Roman Klimenko on Unsplash

Not to victim-blame here, but if you’re not going to chew your food, then you have to accept that some horrific things can happen–like your brunch shreds your innards. In these circumstances, the snake eels rarely make it back out into the world. The predator’s immune system encloses them in a cyst or abscess, where they’re mummified. Presumably, the predator dies as well. 

 

John Pogonoski, one of the snake eel researchers, told Live Science that their colleague once found a snake eels writhing around inside of a fish they caught and were about to eat. That sight alone would put me off food for a good long while. 

 

A few weeks ago, Sam Davis, an engineer by trade who takes wildlife photos to relax, got the shot of a lifetime. He took a series of pictures of a Delaware heron flying around with a snake eel wriggling out of her neck. Traumatizing. 

Just Out for a Nice Flight

Photo by Thomas Millot on Unsplash

Both the heron and the eel look remarkably casual in the photos, which are worth checking out on Live Science. Pogonoski even gave the heron even chances of surviving the encounter, as long as the wound didn’t get infected. The fact an eel-sized hole in the neck isn’t an instant death sentence for an animal is further evidence of how brutal it is. 

 

However, the eel may have been in worse shape following its madcap dash for freedom. They require specific salinity if you remember our story about the freedom fighter dumping 100 eels into a Brooklyn lake. So if the two animals finally parted over land or a freshwater lake, the snake eel would still die. 

 

Chew your food, folks.



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Man Leaves 42,000% Tip For Servers of Shuttered Restaurant

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  • Want to be a hero this holiday season? Be like this guy and tip generously for your takeout.
  • The anonymous man tipped $3K on a $7 beer the day before the restaurant shuttered for coronavirus.

If you’ve been following the ongoing devastation from the pandemic, restaurants are heading into a long, cold, dark winter. Usually, corporate holiday parties, family get-togethers, and drunken revelers fill their dining rooms this time of year. With the increasing danger from COVID, states are making the tough decision to halt indoor dining hoping to tamp down the ever-increasing daily record for total cases.

Restaurants are Suffering

Photo by Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash

Alongside the restaurant owners devastated by the pandemic are the restaurant workers. Servers and bartenders depend on tips for their survival, and with takeout only, they’re struggling to make ends meet. For one restaurant in Cleveland, the struggle became insurmountable.

Nighttown opted for a voluntary shut down to protect its employees and guests in the face of rising infection rates in Ohio. Their last service, for the time being, was brunch on Sunday.

An unnamed gentleman stopped by for a single beer, which came to $7.02. He filled out the receipt, told the server to split the tip with the rest of the waitstaff, and carried on with his day. Brendan Ring, Nighttown’s owner, ran after him when he saw the amount. The guest left a whopping $3,000 tip on his seven-dollar beer.

Ring chased down the man to make sure he didn’t mean $3, $30, or even $300. The anonymous hero said it was no mistake when Ring caught up with him and that he’d be back when Nighttown reopened.

You, Too, Can Be A Hero

Photo by Jay Wennington on Unsplash

For a country struggling to pay its mortgage or put groceries on the table, $3,000 is make-or-break money. According to the Associated Press, four servers worked the brunch service, but $750 might be their rent for the month.

The landscape of the restaurant industry is dramatically changing. If you only eat at Olive Garden and PF Chang’s, you may not notice. But 100,000 restaurants closed between March and August of this year, and the number’s just going to keep growing. It’s not the big chains feeling the pinch of the recession either, it’s all the awesome neighborhood spots with the best dumplings, wings, or tacos.

Even for long-established neighborhood spots, increasing rent, razor-thin margins, and having to shutter or limit service for months at a time without sustained relief from the government has just been too much.

Takeout will be the only way we can enjoy our favorite spots this winter, so show your neighborhood restaurants some love.

And if this guy can leave $3000 to help a restaurant in his community, then we can all leave at least 25 percent when we pick up our takeout.

 



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