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 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                       Issue #061 - 10/12/1997


Life is just one accident after another...

Hello, Group!
     Most of us have had an accident now and again, but there are
people out there who seem to actively seek misfortune.  Bad luck
seems to stick to them like iron filings to a magnet.  In many
cases, they don't realize that they bring on the trouble
themselves.  Typical is the kind of driver who thinks that
everyone else on the road drives like an idiot.  Why, the other
drivers won't even get out of his way when he's driving on the
wrong side of the road or when he wants to drive 60 in a 35 zone! 
Now, some accidents are really - well - accidental.  But some
make you wonder if Freud wasn't right when he claimed, "There are
no accidents."
     One thing that is no accident is that we have a large number
of folks to thank this week, including (deep breath now):
Caterina Sukup, Paul Roser, Beth Butler, Dale Frederickson, Peter
Adler, Carol Becwar, Bob Martens, Akiko Ogino, Howard Lesniak,
Sue Yan, Nnamdi Elleh and Naomi Ogawa.  Thanks to all for your
support and contributions.  Now, let's all be careful out
     Have a great week!


     One example of a guy who went out of his way to look for
trouble is the man who drove his car onto the ice-covered
Augustenborg Fjord in Denmark last January.  He was really
determined to get somewhere.  Unfortunately, the ice proved too
thin to hold his car, which broke through into the shallow water. 
The car sank out of sight, but the man escaped unhurt and
attempted the crossing again a few minutes later in a four-wheel
drive vehicle.  That vehicle broke through the ice and
disappeared beneath the ice, too.
     It shouldn't be too much of a surprise that the man tried to
cross again a short time later, this time with a tractor.  He
didn't get quite as far with that before it sank underneath him.
But that didn't stop him from trying again with _another_
tractor.  Same result.
     The police had showed up by this time, and prevented the
loss of any more machinery.  It took authorities most of a day to
fish the four vehicles out of the water.  (Copenhagen Berlingske
Tidende Newspaper)
          [ If once is an accident and twice is
          stupidity, what's four times? ]


     Utility workers were astonished during a recent thunderstorm
to find a gray tom cat trapped on top of a utility pole.  The
cat, frightened by the lightening, jumped onto the wires trying
to escape, receiving a 7,500-volt jolt and starting a small fire
on the pole.  Then the tom fell forty feet (13 meters) to the
ground.  The cat was unhurt, but 1,000 homes in the area were
left without electricity.  Rescuers took the cat in, and named it
          [ He must have used up a couple of his nine
          lives on that one! ]


     Here are some foods spilled onto the roads in various
trucking accidents over the past few months...

   - A few hundred thousand apples spilled on a highway near
     Brighton, Michigan.

   - A tractor-trailer full of Hills Brothers ground coffee in
     downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

   - A truck load of french fries in Prince Edward Island,

   - Fortune cookies and duck sauce on State Road 20 near
     Charlottesville, Virginia.

   - Five tons of chicken innards on Interstate 64 in Hampton,

   - Twenty tons of canned Campbell's soup scattered onto on
     Interstate 5 in San Diego, California.

   - A truck hauling computers collided with another truck,
     spilling spaghetti sauce and ranch dressing on I-35 in
     Austin, Texas.

   - A giant garoupa fish nearly seven feet long and weighing
     over 200 pounds fell off of a truck in Hong Kong, causing a
     major traffic jam.  (Reuter)

And, maybe just a little too late...

   - 22 tons of plastic garbage bags which were dumped on the
     road by an accident in Columbus, Ohio.


     A man in Lynnwood, California set off eight commercial 'bug
bombs' (seven more than recommended) in his small apartment in
order to kill cockroaches.  What he didn't do is put out the
pilot light on his stove and hot water heater.  The resulting
explosion blew out all of the windows and caused structural
damage to the 20-unit apartment building as well as igniting a
small fire.  The cockroaches didn't seem to mind too much. (AP)


     The US Coast Guard was called out to rescue 16 people from a
sinking 40-foot yacht last April near Long Beach, California.  It
seems that a commercial porno movie was being filmed on the yacht
and no one on board had noticed that the boat was taking on


     Police chased down a white Mazda that was travelling down
the Pacific Coast Highway near Redondo Beach, California and
arrested the driver for drunk driving.  So what attracted the
officers' attention?  It might have been that the vehicle was
speeding and weaving down the road.  More likely, it was the top
half of a stop light pole, including the lights, lying across the
car's hood.  According to Redondo Police Department Officer
Joseph Fonteno, the driver attempted to convince the police that
the light pole was, "... With the car when I bought it."  (AP)


     Rescue workers attending an awards ceremony in Sydney,
Australia recently had plenty of reason to regret their bravery. 
It wasn't that they felt bad about having helped rescue people
trapped in a mudslide at a popular ski resort last July.  It was
just that they felt bad - very bad - after the ceremony.  New
South Wales health authorities are investigating hundreds of
cases of food poisoning among the 1,600 people who attended the
awards banquet.  (Reuters)


     In a statement at a recent press conference, Soviet and US
space agency spokespersons said, "We have concluded joint
investigations concerning this potentially tragic collision
between the MIR and its supply ship.  Each nation's team has
arrived at the identical conclusion:



     Police surrounded a bank in Albuqurque, New Mexico recently,
and arrested - a surprised 61-year-old grandmother.  Only after
the woman was arrested was it determined that she had never
intended to hold up the bank, nor did she have any money except
her own.  An unknown prankster had written the message, "This is
a holdup.  I have a bomb," on the back of a deposit slip and left
it in the pile of blank forms in the bank, where it was used by
the woman.  Seeing the message, the bank clerk activated the
silent alarm.  "We were just stunned with all these guns pointed
at us," the woman said after being released.  (Reuters)


     These latest claims are from the General Accident Insurance
Company in England:

   - "Please find enclosed a list of freezer contents. This is as
     accurate as it can be as a full infantry was not made on
     disposal of the goods."

   - "The car in front stopped suddenly and I crashed gently into
     his luggage [rack]."

   - "I left my car unattended for a minute, and whether by
     accident or design, it ran way."

   - "I knocked over a man. He admitted it was his fault as he
     had been run over before."

   - "A pedestrian hit me and went under my car."

   - "I collided with a stationary tramcar coming the other way."

   - "I blew my horn, but it would not work as it was stolen."


     The Romeo, Michigan Peach Festival is famous for its 'all-
you-can-eat' buffet, and two men heading for this year's buffet
weren't going to let anything stand on their way.  John St. Clair
and Henry Kirst were at the banquet for over an hour before they
casually mentioned that they had come directly from the wreckage
of their single-engine plane, which had crash landed in the woods
outside of town.  Uninjured in the crash, they left the upside
down wreckage of the plane and calmly hitched a ride to the
banquet with a passing motorist.  (AP)


     The following is a courtroom exchange between a defense
attorney and a farmer with a bodily injury claim. It came from a
Houston, Texas insurance agent.

Attorney: "At the scene of the accident, did you tell the police
          constable you had never felt better in your life?"

Farmer:   "That's right."

Attorney: "Well, then, how is it that you are now claiming you
          were seriously injured when my client's auto hit your

Farmer:   "When the constable arrived, he went over to my horse,
          who had a broken leg, and shot him. Then he went over
          to Rover, my dog, who was hurt bad, and shot him.  When
          he asked me how I felt, I just thought, under the
          circumstances, it was best to say I've never felt
          better in my life.

© 1997 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.