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Can you get 5 out of 5? It's our Strange Rochester Quiz

Columnist Steve Lange quizzes you about some of the weirdest area stories.

Oddchester - Steve Lange column sig
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Wait, wait, don't tell me. Because, really, I probably don't want to know.

How well do you know some of the area's strangest stories? A quiz. See the answers at the end.

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1. For one 10-day period in 2004, as part of a scientific study, 20 Rochesterites spent nearly 24 hours a day wearing …
A. "complex" underwear.
B. "Jeff Kiger for Mayor" T-shirts.
C. peregrine falcon costumes (in an attempt to scare off downtown crows).
D. absolutely nothing.

2. In 2014, a would-be burglar kicked open the door of Rochester's Hooked on Fishing bait and tackle shop, but was frightened away after …
A. he activated the store's wall-hung Billy Bass, an animatronic fish that sang "Take Me To The River."
B. he realized that night crawlers sell for 50 cents per dozen, and there was no money in the cash register.
C. he feared the store was infested by insects, after hearing the chirping of crickets, which are also sold as bait.
D. he got a treble hook caught in his thumb.

3. In 2009, when a tornado knocked out power to Austin, a 25-year-old man who allegedly shoplifted $1,000 worth of groceries from the Austin Hy-Vee was caught after he…
A. was recognized the next day, returning produce that he deemed "criminally overripe."
B. attempted to make a getaway with a stolen grocery cart.
C. shared a cab home with the store security guard.
D. called Austin police to complain that the store had been "dangerously dark in the aisles."


4. In 2010, two women allegedly stole four calves in Wabasha County, and made their getaway …
A. by wearing cow costumes and walking, as a herd, back to their farm.
B. by loading the calves into a 1997 Honda Civic.
C. by attempting to ride the calves six miles to their home.
D. by placing the calves in two stolen grocery carts from Hy-Vee.

5. Authorities were forced to deal with an unusual suspect after …
A. In 2016, police followed a stolen a cement truck for 70-plus minutes at speeds over 70 mph throughout Dodge Center. The driver, it turned out, was an 11-year-old boy.
B. In 2013, Rochester International Airport personnel asked police to check on a female who was attempting to check in for an American Airlines flight. The female, who turned out to be 11, had taken a cab to the airport and attempted to book a flight to run away.
C. In 2016, a semi-truck drove across a Mankato parking lot and across a street before it smashed into a car and hit a tree. The driver, in fact, was a golden retriever who had accidentally shifted the semi into gear.
D. All of the above.


1. Answer: A. A Mayo Clinic study, published in early 2005, followed 20 Rochester residents who spent nearly 24 hours a day for 10 days wearing "complex underwear" equipped with "sensors that monitored energy expenditure."
2. Answer: A. In the end, nothing was stolen, except for the robber's dignity.
3. Answer: B. The man was apprehended 10 blocks away following a chase that reached speeds up to 4 miles per hour.
4. Answer: B. The women, ages 20 and 22, reportedly tried to sell the calves at a local livestock association, but authorities were on the lookout. When police searched their vehicle, a 1997 Honda Civic, they found "two wire cutting tools, some tan baling twine, and what appeared to be calf or cow hair."
5. Answer: D, all of the above. Although, when it came to the dog driving the 18-wheeler, the "accidentally shifted the semi into gear" was the explanation from the human police. We like to think it was very intentional. Also, when I was 11, I could barely get my pedal car to go forward.

How many did you get right?
5 correct: You could be the Answer Man.
3-4 correct: You could fill in for the Answer Man when he's on vacation.
1-2 correct: You could write questions to the Answer Man.
0 correct: You didn't get any of the answers, man.

Steve Lange is the editor of Rochester Magazine. His column appears every Tuesday.

Opinion by Steve Lange
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Highlights of events in 1997, 1972, 1947 and 1922.
Highlights of events in 1997, 1972, 1947 and 1922.
Highlights of events in 1997, 1972, 1947 and 1922.