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Friday, April 24, 2009

Dumb crooks, Stupid sounding lawsuits, etc.

"The Human Blockhead," a circus sideshow performer who made a living hammering nails into his nostrils, was sent to prison for killing his abusive stepfather, "The Claw-Handed Lobster Boy." That's show biz, I suppose.

A Utah man sued and was awarded $267 in damages to his car from a couple who had sex on the hood and dented it in.

Prisoners have rights too, you know. One sued another con, the prison barber, for a bad haircut. Another sued the prison over the use of white towels instead of beige. See what happens if you have too much time on your hands.

As police were chasing a fleeing suspect, he began throwing away handfuls of cocaine he had stuffed in his pants. In his haste though, the suspect accidentally unhooked his pants and they fell to his ankles. I guess you could say he was on a cocaine trip, literally and figuratively.

A lonely guy from Michigan pleaded guilty to having sex with a car wash vacuum cleaner. Well that sucks.

A Virginian was convicted of second degree murder in the hatchet slaying of his mother-in-law. He says he mistook her for a raccoon.

A lady, standing on a subway platform holding a neatly wrapped package, was jostled by a man who ripped it from her hand and raced away, laughing triumphantly. The victim was quoted in the newspaper: "Of course, I had to bring a new stool sample the next day."

Enough of this for now.

Today is my birthday...


So what has that headline got to do with what I am about to write? Absolutely nothing.

We live on a lake that has beautiful geese in abundance. But beautiful geese do not make for a beautiful yard... unless you are a goose poop affecionado. So I bought four incredibly life-like all- weather coyote cutouts and placed them in the yard. Cost: $65 plus shipping and handling.

How real are they? Well, in Ontario (where they really know geese) a woman saw one of the cutouts set up in a parking lot to scare them away. She was jogging by and heard a 'bark.' She immediately called 9-1-1 to report a wild coyote on the loose. Police surrounded the 'coyote' and began closing in before realizing it wasn't real.

My fake coyotes even alerted our neighbors who called to warn us not to go outside. So the coyotes fooled everyone... every human one, that is. The geese love them, ignore them and poop on them. I guess it's true... you just can't fool mother nature.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Life's lessons come at you if you pay attention...

On December 2nd, last year, I told one of my favorite stories:

Two men were walking on the beach, naturally littered with washed-on-the-shore starfish. Every few steps, one of the men would stop, pick up a starfish and throw it back into the sea. After this had happened about half-dozen times, the other man chided him.

"Why are you doing that? There are thousands of starfish on the beach. You can't really make a difference."

First man flipped the starfish he was holding back into the ocean. "I can to that one."

Remember? Of course you do. Well, I have something more to add:

In today's Pickles comic strip (you read the newspaper comics too, right?) Grandpa Earl and grandson Nelson are walking on the beach.

"Do you ever think about rocks, son?"

"No," says Nelson.

"Well," Earl tells him, picking up a rock, "you should."

"Take this rock here. It probably looks the same now as it did a million years ago. I bet it's been sitting here for eons."

Earl then tosses the rock high in the air and says, "WHEE!"

Then he looks at Nelson and says, "That's probably the most fun that rock has had in at least a thousand years!"

OK. So you don't get it. Starfish and rocks are not the same... in a way. But if you squint real hard, you might see that any single action to the least of us, real or fancied, belies a personal commitment to a higher plane of though that starts deep in the spirit and goes outward from there. Not every one sees this the same... but those who do are richer. I believe that.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In The News...

In Brazil, six female inmates recently escaped... with their babies... from a prison unit that allows new mothers to be with their newborn. At first, I had some admiration for these brave women who, I imagined, would run, cuddling the little ones to their breasts, while turning to return fire... but then I thought, "Hey, what kind of an example are you setting for those impressionable ones?"

In Los Angeles, authorities caught up with two scam artists. The women would take out a $1 million insurance policy on person who didn't exist, then after a tragically sad death of this imaginary person, stage an elaborate funeral, complete with flowers. The ensuing burial was in a cheap, cardboard coffin filled with either rocks or butchered meat and animal bones. A certificate of death was sent to the insurance company to claim the mil. They pulled this off seven times, it is thought. I cry when I think of the grief of those poor imaginary families.

Side note: It is speculated that as many as one in four of us has been, or will be the victim of one scam or another. Gullibility test: Help! I am trying to get my family here from Gratalupe and need just $10 more. Please send immediately!

Last item: I need a job like Mr. Pang had. Pang, a financier who is now under suspicion of being somewhat of a Madoff-like scam artist himself. He says he once was a valued merger adviser at a large, well-know financial company. The CEO of that company says he was not that valued. He says Mr. Pang was fired for stealing $3 million from an escrow account. Fired? Sounds like pretty stiff punishment to me.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Blotter...

Creative Loafing, a free weekly Atlanta 'entertainment and happenings' newspaper, has a column called "The Blotter." It features, word for word, police calls in the area. Of course, it only reports on the bizarre and unusual... for after all, that makes for the best reading. Of late:

Police got a call that a man was carrying the drawer of a filing cabinet down Dobbs, cracking it against the windows of cars. When an officer approached the man, he dropped the drawer and ran. Upon investigation, police revealed that it was the A-F drawer from a business in Birmingham, AL.

Police say they saw a 45-year-old man urinating on an ATM machine on the corner of Peachtree and North Avenue.

A woman on Lenox Road called police and told them that she saw a man standing on a street corner near a bus stop with his erect penis pointing toward the street.

Responding to a report of a man blocking the wheelchair access ramp leading to a MARTA station, police gave him five chances to move, but he refused, so he was arrested. He gave his name as Mr Timbuctoo. However, his driver's license showed that his name is not Mr. Timbuctoo. He was charded with disorderly conduct and giving a false name.

A 29-year-old woman said she went to the mall with a friend named 'Mike,' whom she met about a week ago. The woman said she withdrew $300 from a bank and put it in her purse - she planned to buy a dog . Then, she said she left her purse with Mike in his car while she shopped. (Note: She does not know Mike's last name.) She said she returned about 15 minutes later - but Mike and his car were gone. She told police she called Mike's cell phone, but he didn't answer. About an hour later, the same woman called police and said she found her purse at the International House of Pancakes - but her $300 is missing and she still hasn't heard from Mike.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Paradox?

Mixed message or subtle protest? While there is fear among NRA members and gun buffs that President Obama will tighten gun rules, First Lady Michelle struts her right to bare arms. 

School days, school days, good old golden rule days... etc.

School today is a little more complicated than readin' and writin' and 'rithmatic.

A Connecticut middle school has banned all physical contact between students. This followed a scuffle in which one student was hit in the groin. So now, the students are on alert that even touching another student in any way will result in penalties, including possible expulsion. So much for "touched you last."

And one high school has cancelled the student's monthly ice cream fundraiser that generated about $500/month to charity. It seems, said the principal,that "there's a regulation in our wellness policy that prevents an activity such as that during lunchtime."

Next thing you know, students won't even be able to bring Twinkies or a guns to class. (Note for the hopelessly naive: that's sarcasm.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Well, now that you mention it...

When police stopped a guy for running a red light, they asked him if he knew why he was being pulled over. "Could it be for stealing this car?" he asked. Well, now that you mentioned it...

And yes, not at all related, but now that I mention it, my story, "23 Down" has been accepted and will be published on April 29th at everydayfiction.com , thank you.