QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Sinkhole costs Ohio £60,000

USA: A large sinkhole that swallowed a moving car and briefly trapped the driver cost an Ohio city about €90,000 (€67,000).

Utility workers and contractors had to clean out broken sewer lines and fill the hole that opened at a major junction in Toledo last month.

The injured driver who was rescued from the sinkhole by firefighters has recovered.

Vintage vicar advice on how to comment on wife’s cooking

ENGLAND: A catalogue of bizarre, novel, and sometimes downright offensive tips from vicars has been uncovered by the British Newspaper Archive.

The catalogue of quirky tips by the nation’s clerics includes advice to “thrash drunks” — be they man, woman or child — and to lie about your new wife’s cooking skills.

Keeping your mother’s “ripping tarts” a secret and “don’t be a mug” are more of the gems of wisdom offered.

According to the Rev AJ Waldorn of Brixton, the key to marital bliss in 1913 was pastry-based diplomacy.

In the Western Gazette, he advised: “Whatever you do, don’t spoil your wedding day by telling your wife what ripping tarts your mother makes.”

If a bride’s puddings are not up to scratch, he says, “swallow the bride’s pie, and tell her it’s a dream of delight, and then take a pill on the sly”.

The Rev WG Roberts, of Horsley St Clements, was another advocate of domestic diplomacy.

His advice from 1939 was to “never tell your wife you are going to be the boss”.

“It is a tactless remark, and is fundamentally untrue,” he says.

He adds that “a woman who tells her husband she is going to be ‘boss’ is sillier still, as it brings the whole thing to a level of brute force”.

Roberts also offers tips on choosing a wife.

He warns against judging a woman “by her lips or nose or the quality of her dimples”, highlighting that just “because a woman is well-dressed it doesn’t follow that she is clever” as “some stylishly dressed women are fools”.

Ghosts on the loose

CHINA: The gates of hell have opened and its ghosts have been let loose to roam on Earth and visit the homes of their relatives.

According to traditional Chinese beliefs, this happens every year during the seventh month of the lunar year, resulting in a raucous, music- filled celebration known as the Hungry Ghost Festival.

But not all ghosts are good. Some spirits wander the streets ravenous and envious because they died without descendants or were ignored by their kin while alive.

To appease the hungry spirits, Chinese people step up prayers, aided by giant colourful joss sticks shaped like dragons. They also burn mock currency and miniature paper television sets, mobile phones, and furniture as offering to the ancestors for their use in the other world.

For 15 days, neighbourhoods hold nightly shows of shrill Chinese operas and pop concerts to entertain the dead. The shows are accompanied by lavish feasts of grilled pork, broiled chicken, rice, and fruit.

Assange leaks parody skills

ENGLAND: In a departure from his public image as the earnest fugitive, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has donned a blond wig to star in a video parody of an Australian singing legend.

Lip-synching John Farnham’s 1986 Australian hit ‘You’re The Voice’, Assange made a pitch to Australian voters to back his troubled WikiLeaks Party in national elections to be held on Sept 7.

Assange is the newly formed party’s star candidate and is running for a senate seat in the state of Victoria despite being confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than a year. It was filmed in London in July.

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