An Indiana man is lucky to be alive after passing out drunk in a trash can and being tipped into the jaws of a garbage truck. William Bowen later told police that he had been drinking with friends until 3 a.m., but had no memory of climbing into the trash can. Bowen was seconds away from a horrific death in a compactor when a sanitation worker heard him stir amid the garbage and switched off the machine. “I’m just glad it turned out the way it did,” said garbage man Larry Green. “We didn’t have a body that was dead. We had a body that was talking.”

Security staff on American Idol are mindful of the need to keep judge Paula Abdul away from the young male contestants, says The National Enquirer. The show was rocked by scandal in 2005 when contestant Corey Clark, 24, claimed to have had an affair with the 42-year-old Abdul. Abdul denied the allegation, but staff now make sure she has no contact with any of the male would-be singers. Her code name among the security guards is “Mrs. Robinson.”

A Chinese man says his turtle is addicted to cigarettes. Li Yun, from Shansi province, says the pet acquired the habit after finding a smoldering cigarette butt that Li had left in the garden, and now expects at least half a pack of prelit cigarettes every day. “Whenever I smoke,” says Li, “the turtle lifts its head out of the water and stares at the cigarette. If I don’t let it smoke, it swims around crazily in its little pond, scratching the sides.”