• AUSTRIA is famous for three things – being the cleanest place in the developed world, and  being the country that gave us Arnold Schwarzenegger and Adolf Hitler. It’s perhaps fitting that it seems to be inhabited by robotic cleaning staff programmed to unquestioningly clean away anything that isn’t bolted down.
Franz Dobusch, mayor of Linz, obviously didn’t care for the ‘eco art’ on display in the town hall, a nativity scene made purely from recycled materials.
Mistaking it for rubbish, he ordered staff to get rid of it. Consequently, art critics outside the hall were treated to the rather disconcerting sight of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the three wise men and the holy seraphim all being stuffed head first into a smelly dustbin by an obnoxious, whistling cleaner.
Art fans intervened and the rescued decorations now have pride of place in the mayor’s office, where the figures stare accusingly at him. “Our Lord doesn’t belong lying on top of a scrap heap,” ranted one angry ant. It beats a cross, we suppose.

• TRYING to rob a haunted mansion but the resident ghost won’t let you get out? Who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS! Why didn’t you think of that?
That’s our message to the Malaysian thief who crept stealthily into an empty house, stole the owner’s possessions and was then jumped on by a ‘supernatural figure’ who shoved him to the ground every time he tried to leave.
By the time police investigated the break-in, three days later, he was still in there, dehydrated and gibbering.
That’s as specific as the story gets, so the ‘supernatural figure’ could really have been anything from a 70-armed demon to a kid in a bedsheet. Either way, whatever it was has ultimately put the scaredy-cat robber behind bars.
Egon and the boys are still an option but we guess there’s nothing wrong with the area having a good community spirit.

• WARNING: this a tragic story about a fatality that should in no way be considered even vaguely amusing.
A 60-year-old Japanese man, who was thrown into the air in celebration at his retirement party near Kyoto, died after his colleagues failed to catch him and he fell to the floor.
This came to light when the man’s wife filed a police complaint against colleagues, accusing them of gross negligence.
It gives a new meaning to the phrase ‘being bumped off’. Couldn’t they afford a carriage clock?

• IF you are convincing enough, you can get away with lying to a policeman. After a long shift they are often not the sharpest tools in the box and thankfully they believed us when we entered the UK claiming we were part-owners of a Thai restraunt and the three lady boys in the boot were our new waitresses.
But contrary to the impression that some of them give, coppers are not completely stupid. So when American motorist Darnell Frazier attempted to lie about his name to a police officer, he failed miserably – because it was tattooed on his neck.
Frazier, 25, was pulled up in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he told the officer he had never had a photo ID and claimed his name was Darnell Lewis. The officer, however, noticed that the man had “Frazier” tattooed in large letters on the side of his neck.
He should have gone for one of the tattoo world’s staples. The forearm anchor, upper arm celtic band or love-hate knuckles may look like utter shite. But at least they won’t get you arrested.

• IF any of you are going to have a drunken threesome in a blow-up pool with a housemate, a bit advice for you (like we’d know anything about it) – try not to be selfish or jealous.
At an Adamstown house, near Newscastle, NSW, Ashley James left the pool orgy to get a drink for a child inside the house (by the way, make sure you give him your vote in the parent of the year awards) and when he returned he accused Chad Schroder of having sex with the woman behind his back and lashed out.
An enraged Schroder fought back and the lengthy brawl ended with Schroder suffering a 3cm cut to his eyebrow and James’s nose being badly broken. Both men pleaded guilty in court to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
In news that won’t come as a huge shock, the pair have reached a mutual decision to revise their living arrangements.

• A 24-YEAR-OLD Dachshund with a 10-a-day cigarette habit was knocked down and killed – on his way to the tobacconists.
General Edi had munched half a packet of fags a day since he was a puppy, and proved that smoking kills when he was hit by a car during a walk to his favourite shop in Graz, Austria.
“Poor Edi dashed out in the road in excitement right in front of a car. There was nothing anyone could do,” said one neighbour.
We’re not coroners, but what about measures like putting it on a leash, teaching it not to run in front of moving automobiles or stopping him getting addicted to fucking fags in the first place?