Toddler slugs whisky, gets drunk — restaurant gives family 50% off dinner

Our weekly Mishmash of the the world's three weirdest stories

Jack Rodolico By Jack Rodolico

Latitude News likes to start the weekend off by giving you a break from the 24/7 cycle of serious news. This is the Mishmash, our weekly round-up of the three weirdest stories from the global press.

Happy birthday, Sonny! Have a drink.

A family in South Wales had a rude ending to a toddler’s birthday dinner. Sonny celebrated his second birthday with a glass of whisky, which a waitress had accidentally served him.

Nina Reese, mother of Sonny, had ordered her son water and cordial as the family tucked in to a meal at Frankie and Benny’s restaurant. Presumably, the drink order was mixed up with another table. But Sonny downed most of the watered-down whisky before his mother caught a whiff of the glass.

“Because he was eating salty things,” Sonny’s mother tells This is South Wales, “I had been encouraging him to drink.”

Sonny was rushed to the hospital and monitored. The booze made him sick, but after the hangover, he was fine. Mom? Not so much.

“I immediately went into a panic and a rage. I was crying my eyes out,” says Reese. “I felt the reaction of staff at first was awful. They said it couldn’t have happened, and just went and got him some water and walked off. I felt they more or less dismissed me.”

Managers at the restaurant were apologetic and gave the ten-member dinner party 50 percent off on the bill. 50 percent? Don’t you think they could have just given a refund?

And the winner is…Miss Saudi Arabia!

It’s about time beauty pageants stepped away from their old, tired format, a format that objectifies women as sex objects and trivializes their worth and intelligence.

But Saudi Arabia seems to have gone a little too far to the other side of the spectrum. “Is that possible?” you may wonder.

In fact, it is. As is evidenced by this Saudi beauty pageant, in which women covered in a veil — head to toe — are sized up based on their “ethics.”

“The winner, Maram Zaki al-Saif,” reports Albawara, “was chosen as the new Saudi ‘Queen of Ethics’ after her notable piety apparently had a mesmerizing (sic) affect on the panel.”

This is the third annual “Miss Congeniality” contest in Saudi Arabia. The winner was awarded 10,000 Saudi Riyals (about 2,600 U.S. dollars) and aims to build a vocational rehab center for people with special needs.

Come on — is it any sillier than a Miss Universe competition?

Teenage sex shop apprentice has political ambitions

Having a job in your teenage years builds character and teaches you a work ethic that, hopefully, will stay with you for the rest of your life. We can all agree on this, right?

Where our opinions might diverge is this: Do some jobs build more character than others? Say, for example, you work for your parents? Common enough. But how about if your mother owns a sex shop, where you purvey X-rated movies, kinky clothes and an array of rubber objects meant for…

Germany’s Spiegel Online provides this humorous (or disturbing, depending on your personal level of sexual abandon) story about Leslie Pumm, a gay teen apprenticing in his mother’s sex shop. Pumm is definitely learning skills he wouldn’t get working at WalMart.

“His mother told him from the beginning,” reports Der Spiegel, “not to loudly discuss the impotency problems of customers who buy penis pumps, for example.”

The teen seems as comfortable as can be in both his sexuality and his job.

“Pumm finds that being gay is an advantage in his work. Women often open up the dressing room curtain to get his opinion on whether or not the erotic outfits they are trying on suit them. He can give a sober assessment.”

Pumm can also level a sober assessment on politics. Last spring he won third place on a German television show where contestants present and defend their political opinions.

Honestly, if this story were taking place in America, would this kid have a future in politics?