Funny old world: The week's offbeat news

From the world's biggest Messi tattoo to the life-saving tomato ketchup diet...

- Messi cleans up -

An Argentine farmer has used a hi-tech tractor to create a giant "tattoo" of the face of football legend Lionel Messi.

Charly Faricelli used special software to plant the corn seeds in different concentrations in a field the size of four football pitches in Ballesteros, northwest of Buenos Aires.

"The idea was a tribute to Messi," said Faricelli, "whether he won the World Cup or not -- which thank God he did".

Messi's popularity knows no bounds, with figurines of the former Barcelona star also Catalonia's bestselling "caganer" this year. The cheeky traditional statuettes depict bare-bottomed public figures relieving themselves.

Barcelona-based Argentinian student Kevin Sakkal said his chest filled with pride to see so many squatting Messis on the shelves.

"It is a great honour that they represent us like this, even if he is shitting," he told AFP.

- Pride before a fall -

It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice, as a Hong Kong gangster found to his cost.

A video of him getting out of his Porsche to insult and swing at a minibus driver in a road rage incident went viral, his threats all the more chilling as he claimed to be a member of a triad.

But his bravado led to his undoing. Police used the video to track him down and seize 1.7 kilogrammes (three pounds 11 ounces) of what is thought to be cocaine.

- Winged Musk sells the bird -

Our hearts go out to Elon Musk, who has just become the first person ever to lose $200 billion.

Things are so bad that he is having to sell the coffee machines and the plant pots at Twitter, where he has already sacked half the staff.

But as his wealth took a record-breaking hit from Tesla's plunging share price, there was a glimmer of light for the world's second richest man.

A neon sign of the Twitter bird went for $40,000 at an auction of furniture and equipment from the tech firm's San Francisco headquarters.

- Saved by the sauce -

In a blow to parents everywhere, a man lost at sea said he survived for 24 days by eating ketchup.

Elvis Francois from the Caribbean island of Dominica found himself adrift when the weather turned foul while he was repairing a sailing boat.

"I had no food. There was only a bottle of ketchup", garlic powder and some stock cubes, said Francois.

"It was very rough. I don't know how I am alive today but I am alive. And I am grateful for that," he added.

He was eventually rescued by the Colombian navy and is thought to be in rude good health.

Francois can't wait to ketchup with his relieved family. As the Heinz ad says, "The best things come to those who wait."

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