It’s been awhile since I have done this, so I figured why not. Here’s a summary of some of the more offbeat, underreported items that I found of interest.
- An Indiana eighth grader won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by spelling the word guerdon, which ironically means reward. My favorite moment came in an earlier round, however, where he was given the word numnah, which is the blanket that goes between the saddle and the horse. But it is hard to hear, and the poor boy thought the word he was given was numbnut. With a look of incredulity on his face he repeated it to the judge and the crowd went nuts. Upon finding out that it was indeed a different word, his response was “well that’s a relief”.
- Rush hour traffic outside of Chicago, Illinois was lagging two weeks ago because a tractor trailer overturned and spilled its cargo over the interstate. Two lanes were closed while officials tried to clean up the mess. The cargo? Fourteen tons of double stuff Oreo cookies.
- For almost two decades this county clerk has handed out marriage licenses to hundreds of couples in California while being unable to get married himself. Turning people seeking same-sex marriages to the website that allows them to become domestic partners, he has been waiting for quite some time for the recent state legislation that allows same sex marriages. And good for him–he’s taking a bit of an advantage by using his position to be the first in the office the first day that he is allowed to marry his partner. So to Stephen Weir and John Hemm I wish many blessings that your union is now sanctified by marriage. I know you’ve been “married” for many years now, and I’m so glad that this opportunity gives you the means to show your commitment and love one step further. Congratulations, and good for you for sneaking in early. I would too, if I were in your shoes. May you have many more years of happiness together.
- A candidate for this year’s idiot awards: These two guys robbed a convenience store. Instead of a ski mask or pair of pantyhose over their head to cover or distort their features, these two geniuses came up with something else to wear . . . ladies thongs. In a fashionable teal and navy that just covered the nose, mouth, and chin, these two didn’t make it very far before the police apprehended them. Even better, they still had the loot in their possession–in the pink backpack carried by one of the nitwits.
- Working in a former teahouse we served Sapporo beer to seem more “Japanese”. (Yeah, right. About as Japanese as a Mexican restaurant!). Sapporo is now brewing 100 specialty bottles of “space beer”, made with zero-gravity grain. I can’t think of what would make it different from regular beer (apart from the price tag), but wouldn’t it be cool if it acted like the Fizzy Lifting Drink from Willy Wonka?
- As if the customer service wasn’t bad enough, or the employee discrimination, now you have to worry about scorpion bites? Yep, that’s right. A young girl was reaching for a watermelon for a family picnic when she was stung by a scorpion. Her dad thought she was making it up until he saw it scurrying about. My mama would have called me a liar and taken me home, then grounded me for making a scene! She’s just fine, had about the same venom as a bee sting.
- Some people are very generous towards their alma mater in their wills. Take this guy, for example. Over a million dollars cash in addition to his condo, cat, and every thing else that he owns. Total value is over six million. Not really sure if I could do this, just leaving a blanket ‘everything I own’ caveat. I mean, what would Virginia Tech do with my dozen kites or my folder of receipts to file or my collection of items crocheted by my great aunt? I mean, sure, the DVD collection might bring in a bit of cash and the piano could be sold, and I do have some nice furniture, but still. It’s kind of embarrassing to know that the stockpile of toilet paper and paper towels that I purchased at Sam’s recently is part of an endowment to my former college. But hey, good for that guy. Shows his dedication.
- A 159-year-old safe that has been presented to many to crack open baffled locksmiths and MIT grads for ages before this guy got it open. Next question–what was in the dang thing? It could be Capone’s vault for all we know, how disappointing!
- Who says prayer doesn’t work??!! These guys were in deep trouble and prayed for a safe landing. Their prayers were granted–as they landed by a sign that said “Jesus is Lord”. Irony? I think not.
- I know most of us hated our senior high school photo. But someone at the book production company must have been bored to alter this many–heads on different bodies, heads on naked bodies, heads with body parts missing, heads with exaggerated features, etc. Funny, but not appropriate. When I was a senior, I remember one of my friends had her photo in their twice–because they airbrushed her braces out and then couldn’t figure out who she was. Lots of other problems with that one too, I seem to remember, including the electronic keyboard in the front cover that didn’t work. Yeah, cheesy. Don’t think they used them again.
- And finally, not a news article but something I found atrocious. A B&B where I used to work just had the worlds biggest stereotypical redneck wedding. Bride was not attractive, groom was tall skinny country boy. Now remember it costs at least twenty grand to get the plastic fork treatment out there, so it’s not cheap. Evidently the three prettier-than-the-bride bridesmaids were very proud of the fact that they wore no underwear. As the alcohol flowed, people were taking bets on how long the wedding would last. The more alcohol, the shorter the time frame. From what I understand the limit had gotten to three months, and then was promptly rescinded as someone caught the groom having sex in the parking lot–with one of the pantiless bridesmaids, no less, and not his new wife. I bet that divorce will be just as expensive as that wedding!