Stan’s strange but true: February

STAN BOWES, from Diggle, has uncovered some more interesting and entertaining, strange but true facts for us – you just couldn’t make them up.

BARCELONA’S ANTONI Gaudi – best known for the Sagrada Família – was unconventional in many ways: not least that he often went around dressed shabbily, with no identity papers.

Sadly, this hastened his death.  In 1926 he was knocked down by a streetcar.

Taxi drivers refused requests from bystanders to take the vagabond to hospital.  Eventually a policeman did commandeer a taxi, which took him to the pauper’s clinic where he received only palliative treatment.

When his true identity was discovered, his condition had deteriorated too much to save him, and he died a few days later.

IN 2005, people at a Dutch convention centre were busy putting the last touches to a chain of 23,000 dominoes, ready to be toppled later in a record attempt – until a sparrow flew in through a window and demolished them.

An angry mob cornered the poor, frightened bird, and killed it.  The senseless killing caused outrage around the world, causing Dutch authorities to declare the bird a national treasure.

Its stuffed body can now be seen in Rotterdam’s National History Museum, perched on top of a box of dominoes.

Improve your vocabulary:

Dwarrows: How often have you agonised over the plural of dwarf ?  Should it be dwarfs, or dwarves?  Fret no more.  There is a much better word in the Oxford English Dictionary.  You’ve guessed it – dwarrows. [Except, of course, that no one will know what you are talking about.]

Chork: To make a noise like walking in waterlogged shoes.

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