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5 Weirdest Stories Of 2011

To the outside world, San Diego has a laid-back rep, but there were times this year when America’s Finest City may have also been the weirdest.


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A Gumby Robbery Was Attempted at a 7-Eleven.

When Jacob Kiss wore a Gumby costume into a Rancho Peñasquitos 7-Eleven in September and allegedly attempted a robbery (something he later said was just a prank), he became an international sensation and a permanent fixture on “dumbest criminals” clip shows. He also gave Gumby his biggest publicity boost since Eddie Murphy did the character on Saturday Night Live back in the 1980s. As of press time, San Diego police haven’t filed charges against him.

Mysterious Surfing Madonna Appears on Encinitas Railroad Trestle.

Back in April, a mosaic featuring the Virgin of Guadalupe surfing a wave was mysteriously attached to a railroad trestle in Encinitas, and immediately caused controversy and mixed emotions. Art-lovers felt the work was a masterpiece that deserved to be preserved. Attorneys argued that if it stayed on public land, it might violate constitutional amendments. Surfing theologists argued that the Madonna’s goofy-foot style wasn’t an accurate depiction of how a religious icon would surf a 10-foot wave. Former Microsoft employee Mark Patterson came forward as the artist and helped remove it from the trestle without destroying it. 

Potrero Rancher Owns World’s Shortest Cat.

Tiffani Kjeldergaard, a rancher and marijuana activist in Potrero, has been the cat’s meow ever since October when Guinness World Records declared her cat, Fizz Girl, the world’s shortest feline. The Munchkin cat, a breed known for its short legs, measures 6 inches tall from floor to shoulder. It’s a big honor for a tiny cat, but there is reason to give “paws”: She is only getting the honor because her predecessor, Itse Bitse, a Himalayan-Siamese mix who measured 3.75 inches high, suddenly went missing.

San Diego Mom Sues Chuck E. Cheese’s for Promoting Gambling.

Real estate agent and mother of two Denise Keller sued Chuck E. Cheese’s for $5 million in May because she felt the games at the family-oriented pizza restaurants promoted gambling. The lawsuit caused an outcry from moms all over America who felt Keller was ruining a good thing since Chuck E. Cheese’s serves beer. A week after filing suit in federal court, Keller dropped the federal suit, so she could re-file in Superior Court. At this point, all bets are off.

San Diego Septuagenarian Becomes Oldest Member of Porn Hall of Fame.

At an age when most men are spending their days reminiscing about the good ol’ days (when Matlock and Diagnosis: Murder were still on the air), 71-year-old Dave Cummings is still working hard—as a porn actor. In March, this former lieutenant colonel, a Bronze Star honoree, who served as an Army unit commander during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and taught at West Point before moving to San Diego, became the oldest member of the XRCO Hall of Fame, an honor given to the adult industry’s biggest and brightest stars. 

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