Hello again everybody! We've been on vacation the last
couple of weeks and the Sunday Funnies has been on summer
vacation, too. Now we're back and back, tanned and ready for the
craziness of everyday life. Alot of weird things have been
happening lately, and many of them are pretty funny. Here are
some examples of just how crazy life in the real world can be:
REAL ESTATE NEWS
-- In May, New York Times columnist Dan Barry reported a
run on $6.95 St. Joseph statues at the Long Island Catholic
Supply store, attributed to a belief by many house sellers that
an upside-down St. Joseph buried in the lawn will bring a quick
and lucrative sale. The Long Island Board of Realtors told Barry
that home sales have risen recently.
[By the way - the St. Joseph statue story is well-known
in the Midwest.]
-- The Washington Post reported in April that home-buying
Asians around Washington, D.C., have turned increasingly to a
3,000-year-old philosophy of feng shui to help them select
stress-free houses that match their personal spirits in location,
dimensions and design, and that among the non-Asian practitioners
is Donald Trump.
[I guess Trump Towers must reflect the size of his ego...]
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CRIME & PUNISHMENT ---
-- Well-Organized Criminals: Two men who broke out of a
jail in Rutland, Vt., in May were captured a week later, done in
when police recovered a "things to do" list they had made to
guide them in a post-escape robbery. In Dallas in May, Travis
Crabtree, 15, was indicted for murder, done in by a list of
instructions he had written to himself for a robbery, including a
reminder to kill the victim, which he allegedly did. In January
in San Antonio, Texas, Jonathan Blaine Downey, 26, was sentenced
to 10 years in prison for assembling fertilizer bombs to kill his
enemies, done in when police found his list of 17 targets.
-- In May, Matthew Simmons, 21, had just been found
guilty in London, England, of threatening French soccer star Eric
Cantona when he leaped over a bench, grabbed the prosecutor in a
headlock, and tried to punch him, yelling all the while, "I am
innocent! I promise! I swear on the Bible!"
-- In April, convicted murderer Gene Travis escaped from
the maximum security prison in Cranston, R.I., by hiding in a
garbage truck, but he failed to escape from the truck soon enough
and was compacted with the driver's first load. (He survived and
was captured, but the garbage-hauling company had previously said
no one could survive a compacting.)
[He survived but he's only 4' 6" (135 cm) now...]
-- In March, security guards at the Mall of America in
Bloomington, Minn., along with local police and a helpful
eyewitness, apprehended a man who had grabbed a $1,400 gold chain
from the neck of another man. Police arrested the suspect, then
arrested the witness when a computer check revealed that he had
several outstanding warrants, then arrested the victim when they
found crack cocaine in his pocket.
-- In April, a court in Hebei province in China found
night watchman Qi Minggin, 61, guilty of making 180 long-distance
calls on his employer's telephone and sentenced him to life in
-- In May in Narragansett, R.I., Kevin T. McGreevy was
sentenced to 20 days' home confinement for his second
drunk-driving conviction. As usual, home confinement will be
monitored by an electronic bracelet that alerts authorities when
the subject strays more than 150 feet from his base. Unknown to
the judge who imposed the sentence, McGreevy lives in an
apartment right above the Bon Vue Inn bar and nightclub,
well within the 150-foot zone.
-- Honesty is the best policy? department: According to
police in St. Louis, Mo., burglary suspects Ronald L. Egan and
Roy G. Mullin III couldn't have been more eager to please when
they were arrested in April. The first cop on the scene spotted
Mullin and asked what he was doing there; Mullin allegedly
replied, "A burglary, I guess." The second cop spotted Egan
emerging from around back with a vacuum cleaner and asked him the
same question; Egan allegedly replied, "Burglarizing the place."
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-- On June 9, rock climber Reza Zand, 35, had to be
rescued by a volunteer search team on a 300-foot cliff near
Castaic, Calif., where he got stuck while studying peregrine
falcons. He was admonished for being poorly prepared and then
released. On June 13, a fire department search and rescue team
was called to get Zand, once again lacking sufficient rope, down
from the very same spot.
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POLITICIANS AND OTHER LIARS
-- Mark Steele, a Massachusetts candidate for the U.S.
House, is on probation for setting a business afire to collect
insurance payments (and as part of his platform lectures voters
to take greater personal responsibility).
-- Bill Yellowtail, running for the U.S. House from
Montana, was revealed to have had his Montana state senate pay
docked in the 1980s for child-support payments and to have kept
secret his expulsion from Dartmouth College for burglary
-- State Sen. Charles Davidson, who had announced for a
U.S. House seat in Alabama, dropped out after flak from a floor
speech in May in which he defended slavery as ordained by God.
-- Bill Levinger, challenging Idaho's militia-defending
U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth in the primary, appeared on a public-
affairs TV show in April, stripped down to his underwear, offered
the host $5,000 for a kiss, and played with a toy elephant and
rolls of $100 bills.
-- Losing Perspective Department: In May, Monroe County
(Tomkinsville, Ky.) judge and county executive Mitchell Page
urged officials to help make money for the county by jailing
fewer local criminals. Said Page, "We could hold more prisoners
from Adair County [and charge $44 a day for each one] if it
wasn't for the local court system filling our jail full."
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CAN'T POSSIBLY BE TRUE
-- In May, Quebec legislator Andre Boulerice denounced
voter fraud during a committee meeting, citing one particular
example of bogus names registered to vote in Old Montreal. "I
know there are famous people in my [district]," said Boulerice,
"but I doubt 'Omar Sharif' would be voting [here]," especially
since, according to voter records, he shares an apartment with
"Martina Navratilova." The next day, neighbors of the couple
reported Sharif, son of the famous actor, is indeed married to a
woman named Martina Navratilova, who is a stockbroker.
Be in touch!
© 1996 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.