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Coast 25: 46 of the weirdest things we've ever published

Cats! Naked people! So many angry, spiteful politicians! We've covered them all in these past 2.5 decades. Here are some of the highlights.

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The prophet in Clayton Park
Bill Deagle says he knows things they don’t want you to know about 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing and other government secrets. Now he lives in suburban Halifax, with an internet radio broadcast and orders from god to get the truth out there.

Celine Dion’s cancelled Halifax show

After the diva cancelled her HRM appearance because the local venue couldn’t handle her “elaborate production needs,” Michael Fleury had some questions for manager/husband René Angélil. “What the hell is wrong with Haligonians?” was Angélil’s response.

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The art of darkness
“From vampire-obsessed teens to role-playing gamers to those attracted to the romance of an earlier age, the goth underground is growing.”



Cover up
Breaking up is hard to do, especially when your love’s name is tattooed on your arm. Carsten Knox went looking for solutions on behalf of Halifax’s inked and dumped.

Coast readers share their passive-aggressive roommate tales
“We put onion salt on his toothbrush several times. He didn’t notice. Finally, after he used most of my expensive shampoo I snapped. I urinated in the shampoo bottle, there was only about an inch left of shampoo. I shook it all up to mix it in. I bought new shampoo that I kept in my room. He continued to use the urinated shampoo. He never clued in. I never told him.”

Spryfield’s Boogie Nights
With one film under his belt, local producer/actor/cabbie Steven Zeagal had his sights set on becoming a star in the porn industry. (Spoiler: It didn’t quite work out for him.)
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The Coast’s Olympics coverage
Getting our pasty, doughy editorial team to pump out several blogs a week on the Summer Olympics was always going to misfire. It didn’t help that “blogs” were a newfangled idea still unknown to our paper-and-ink journalists. “falconry introduced as new sport” reads one lowercase headline, accompanied by a blurry bird photo. The entire article is a single word: “Guh.”

Neal Ozano searches for Halifax’s gayest drink
“‘Your gayest drink, bartender,’ I say to the bartender at The Company House as I climb onto a bar stool. She pauses and looks at me, heterosexual poser. I’m out on the town with my queer friend Lee-Anne, former bartender at the now-defunct gay-friendly restaurant Mollyz, trying to find the gayest drink in Halifax.

“‘Seeing as I’m gay and all, I usually drink beer,’ the bartender says. ‘All gays drink beer.’

“‘Then pass me your gayest beer,’ I say, waving my hands. The gayest beer, in her opinion, is Labatt’s, so I ask for a Moosehead Lager.”

What’s with the mysterious badger protest?
“Anyone have an idea what the badger protester with the blank sign is upset about?” asks Coast reader Nicole. “I haven’t a clue,” responds Tim Bousquet.
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Malware on reallivestreetshit.com
Google flagged the page for installing malicious software without user consent. “Jimmy Melvin Jr. was unavailable for comment, but we hope that someone warns him, lest he be accused of unethical behaviour.”

Brindi
’Nuff said.

Naked Sushi
Eating raw fish off of naked people used to only be a delicacy for the Japanese elite, but writer Lizzy Hill brought the art of Nyotaimori to Halifax in 2010.

Clearwater’s John Risley gets a son-in-law
A rare bit of local celebrity gossip from Tim Bousquet, after lobster billionaire John Risley’s daughter Sarah tied the knot with British deckhand Guy Barnett.

How to pick up, or put off, a sailor
Fleet week tips from exotic dancers and a female sailor on dealing with horny seamen.

Disrespecting the flag
Turns out dissing the official Halifax flag is punishable by up to $500 or 30 days in jail. Who knew?

“Sue Uteck not amused by fake Twitter account”
Shot.

“Parody preserved: Google saves FakeSueUteck”
Chaser.

The Harry Potter-themed Back to School issue
Featuring Alison Lang’s guess at what would be on Harry’s Halifax-themed iPod, local wizarding options from Lizzy Hill and Hilary Beaumont’s Hogwarts house fashion tips. We would like to say we learned a lesson that what’s popular in the moment tends to age poorly, but recent B2S issues have featured Pokemon Go and “Harbourdale” because we just can’t help ourselves.

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Goldendoodle heist in Halifax

Six dogs among stolen property; victim says police response doggone “useless.”

Barry Dalrymple scared of lone Occupier
The city councillor and former RCMP officer strongly opposed inviting a member of Occupy NS to a Fall River community meeting lest the occupiers get a look at the local hall’s big-screen TV and well-stocked liquor cabinet. “I am not willing to put our hall and our community in jeapordy [sic] on this,” wrote Barry.

Babylady catnapped
The 18-pound cat was a north end staple; prancing around The Coast offices, hanging around The Company House and sneaking inside Alteregos. The latter activity was an endless source of frustration for cafe owner Michelle Strum, who eventually had to put up a sign—“Please don’t let the cat in”—after dealing with a never-ending grief from health inspectors. The mostly homeless cat was eventually taken by a customer who lives in Dartmouth. An in-depth radio documentary from the CBC covered the resulting neighbourhood uproar and we covered the uproar about the documentary.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper endorses Tuxedo Stan
It was impossible not to love the little black-and-white furball who ran for mayor in 2012. Sure, his campaign was mostly to draw attention to the city’s feral cat crisis, but we still think he’d have made a better mayor than Mikey Savage. Anderson Cooper seemed to agree.

“Bye, Bye, Peter Kelly Goodbye”
Halifax musician Aaron Hartling channelled Don McLean for a send-off to the city’s scandal-prone mayor.

Mr. Smith goes to City Hall
District 12 candidate Bruce E. Smith loses it when Tim Bousquet mocks his middle initial, maxing out the news editor’s voicemail with complaints about his political coverage.

Bill Karsten objects to live-tweeting
“Tim, I saw your crap on twitter last night, and I have had about enough of your twisted lies and shit! I’m asking you right now to stop it. I don’t care what umbrella use use to cover your ass....Stop it!”

“The Sydney Crosby of dog handlers”
No offence to Meagan Campbell’s feature on canine behavioural hotshot Colton O’Shea, but it’s something of an in-joke at the office to describe any young star in an obscure field as “the Sydney Crosby of X.”

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Patricia Arab serves hot dogs to Muslim voters
It wasn’t just that the Liberal MLA served the chicken hot dogs to Muslim guests at the annual Fairview Community Barbecue while telling them the meat was halal. It’s that the Maronite Catholic thought she could turn the sausages halal simply by uttering a prayer over them.

Halifax’s most notable smells
The closure of the Ben’s bakery on Pepperell Street brought some reminiscing about fond odours wafting through the city streets. We asked readers for their favourites and mapped the results—everything from the sour ferment of the Oland brewery to fresh-cut grass on Citadel Hill.

Fireworks fuck-up
It was a simple assignment. In advance of Natal Day, our editorial team gathered some corner store fireworks to test them on the Halifax Common and find out which had the most bang for your buck. The first couple blasters were relatively serene until The Bandit shot out several screaming, exploding bursts of light. We ended up scaring a poor Bernese Mountain Dog puppy out for a walk and earned a well-deserved tongue-lashing from his owner. We’re still sorry, Sadie.


Does this bench look like a swastika?
Well, does it?! Point Pleasant Park thought so.

16 times we’ve all been Andrew Younger
Our first and only foray into Buzzfeed-style gif parties was also the only effort we really wanted to put into covering Andrew Younger mess of a personal scandal. The bizarre legal proceedings after police arrested a former Liberal researcher for an alleged assault on the MLA at the Dingle eventually got Younger booted from caucus and left us with plenty of gif-able content.

Stay woke: Mattress price guide
Public service journalism at its finest. We priced mattresses and delivery fees from local shops and online retailers as part of our Back to School guide.

The donair emails
Yes, we FOIPOP’d all of city hall’s donair files. We got back nearly 200 pages filled with HRM’s greasy manoeuvres to make the humble hangover cure Halifax’s official food.

Mark Lever gets snippy
“You have no idea what it takes to put out a paper,” the president and CEO of Canada’s largest independently owned newspaper, The Chronicle Herald, snapped at Twitter trolls. Lever was firing back at local tweeters upset to hear about the paper’s latest layoffs and newsroom strike. “Why do you ALL make this so personal?” cried the boss.

Matt Whitman
All of it.

Halifax Transit takes a bath
Never has this journalist’s eyes lit up like they did reading the words “rubber ferry tub toys” on a city tender. Halifax Transit tried ordering 1,000 of the bath-time toys to sell to tourists and harbour ferry fans. Sadly, those plans were scrapped several months later after the request for proposals came up dry.

Rating election signs
There were a lot of bad campaign signs littering HRM’s streets during the last municipal election. Podcast host Chris Parsons, radio producer Matt Brand and illustrator Elizabeth MacMichael keenly joined together with us to roast the hell out of the design choices from these so-called political leaders.

Halifax’s development horoscope
Sometimes as an editor you’re deathly sick with the flu but still need a Halloween story to fill some space. Fuck it, you say. Let’s talk to an astrologist and try to figure out the municipality's horoscope.

Dal kids riot at homecoming
Nearly two dozen drunken college kids were arrested after 1,500 Dalhousie tigers took over the streets and rooftops of the south end. Editor Jacob Boon spent his Sunday saving location-based Snapchat vids to broadcast all the “highlights.”

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Parker Donham interviews Jesse Brown
It was a hate-read for the ages as the fiercely opinionated Parker Donham went toe-to-toe with CANADALAND host Jesse Brown about the death of local media.

Police surrender passwords
Contained within a social media monitoring manual given freely to The Coast by Halifax Regional Police were usernames and passwords for the department’s Facebook, Twitter and Hootsuite accounts. Whoops! The cops secured their info after we informed them of the mistake.

Jacques Dubé’s Beaverton parody
We’re still not exactly sure what was going through the Halifax CAO’s mind when he spoofed an article from the online parody site by inserting the names of himself and city staffers. The revisions made it seem like one manager in particular had a homicidal bloodlust for Dubé, prompting a harassment complaint and a leave of absence while council sorted through the mess.

Eggnog taste test
Both the best and worst way to spend a December afternoon in editorial.

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Fake news!
Nicholas Kingsland made his living sharing hyper-partisan news stories about American politics on social media. That is until Facebook removed his followers and shut down several of his pro-Trump pages. The Halifax man contacted The Coast—repeatedly—hoping to share his plight but only if we paid him for the story. We didn’t and wrote about it anyway.

Stephanie Johns’ hodgepodge recipe
“At this point, I have no choice but to attempt to quiet this daily harassment and give everyone my hodgepodge recipe,” wrote our beloved arts editor.

Shubenacadie sham!
The legend of Shubenacadie Sam is built on a wildlife park of lies. Nova Scotia’s beloved weather-predicting groundhog has died and been replaced multiple times, revealed a year-long investigation from The Coast. (The province emailed us back after Groundhog Day so we waited to publish for 12 months. Worth it.)

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