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 [ BACK]  [NEXT]                       Issue #040 - 05/18/1997

Driven Over the Edge

'Car & Driver' doesn't like to talk about it...

Hi, everyone!
     I wasn't quite sure where this week's Funnies would wind up. 
I had been working on one that just didn't seem to be getting
anywhere - it's still in the 75 page state of raw, unrefined
comedy ore.  And didn't seem all that hilarious just yet, either. 
Well, maybe it's me, but I do try to have these things be a
little more compact.  Anyway, so I'm already on deadline and had
a million things to do.
     In the course of a normal afternoon, I ended up in the
parking lot at the local Walgreen's drugstore.  When I came out,
there was a wreck of an Oldsmobile that had parked more-or-less
randomly next to my van, not coming anywhere close to being
within the lines and so far forward that the fence in front was
dented out.
     Of course, that's not so funny.  Happens all the time.  But
what caught my attention was that the young woman driving the car
was wearing a jacket for the 'Accurate Driving School'.  So, is
she an instructor or just a bad student.  I didn't quite have the
nerve to ask...  But I did finally have a topic for Funnies this
     Thanks this week to drivers: Dan Butler, Peter Adler, Bob
Martens, Helen Yee and Howard Lesniak.  Ladies & Gentlemen, start
your engines...
     Have a great week (& drive carefully),



     The research department here at SUNFUN Central tried to find
out who logs the most miles to get to work every day.  So far as
we've been able to find out here, the champion commuter is a Navy
Department secretary named Bea Perry, who for 25 years made a
daily, 340-mile (550km) round-trip commute from her home in
Trenton, N. J., to Washington, D. C.  But, Associated Press made
a good case for Geraldine Howell, who has delivered newspapers 6
days a week for nearly 40 years in West Virgina.  Her route
covers over 200 miles of mountainous back roads and takes over 9
hours to complete (on a good day).



   - Eight cars were damaged after a truck spilled around 200
     gallons of human waste on Interstate 270 near Columbus,
     Ohio. The road reopened four hours later after firefighters
     cleaned up the half-mile long spill. (SF Examiner, 04-09)


   - Last July, Owensboro, Kentucky, Road Department driver Sam
     Holinde, drove his 20-ton dump truck across a bridge,
     ignoring the "Limit 3-ton" sign.  He got about half-way
     across before the bridge collapsed.  The fall was short, and
     Holinde suffered only minor injuries. 


   - A city official in Culemborg, Netherlands, bought six sheep
     in July and stationed them on a busy road at rush hour in
     order to slow down commuter traffic. [Cleveland Plain
     Dealer-Washington Post, 7-26-96]



     A Spartanburg, South Carolina man managed to steal a police
cruiser and led police on a chase lasting several miles, even
though his hands were handcuffed behind him.  David Thornton, 28,
had been arrested for cocaine possession and carrying a gun, and
was placed on the driver's seat of a squad car while police
searched his car.  He managed to slide into the driver's seat of
a police car and drive for several miles while being chased,
eventually crashing the squad into an apartment building.
     "I don't see how he can do it," Cpl. Steve Sulligan said.
"This guy made turns, crossed the median, you name it. Apparently
he was using everything he could to steer - his knees, his
elbows," Sulligan added.



     In February, escaped Tennessee inmate James Sean Stuart, 30,
was captured on Interstate 65 near Athens, Alabama, after leading
dozens of police officers at speeds up to 155 mph.  Stuart told
police he had wanted to turn himself in and was driving fast
because he "wanted to get far enough ahead so there wouldn't be
any question" that he was giving up on his own. [Tuscaloosa
News-AP, 2-15-96] 



     Ronald Biggs, 38, of Elkins, West Virginia was arrested for
drunk driving after he crashed into a parked 1997 Mitsubishi
Eclipse.  At the time, Biggs was holding a 40oz bottle of beer
while driving his 14 HP Cub Cadet riding lawn mower.
     "He said the car shouldn't have been there, that it was in
the way," said Sheriff Deputy Rob Elbon Jr. 
     Biggs was charged as a motorist and cited for six offenses:
hit and run, drunken driving, driving without a license, improper
registration, no insurance and failure to maintain control.

     [ He was lucky - they could have also charged him with
     illegal disposal of yard waste. ]



     Stock-car racing legend Richard Petty, while running for
North Carolina secretary of state, paid a $65 fine last September
for improperly bumping a car that wouldn't let him pass in the
left lane on Interstate 85.  According to a state trooper, Petty
said if the driver got in front of him again, he was going to
knock his "rear end" off the road.  Petty told a reporter, "Now
if it had been a NASCAR [racing] showdown, [the driver] would
have been over in the ditch somewhere." 

     [ No more Mr. Nice Guy... ]



     This particular bumper-sticker campaign has been observed on
the backs of big 18 trucks. The bumper stickers are placed in
pairs on the right-and left-hand sides of the trailer's rear, to
help encourage drivers approaching from behind to observe good
traffic practices by passing on the left, not the right.

           <<              >>

           pass            fail

           right           wrong

           to be           not to be

           the good        the bad and the ugly

           the ecstasy     the agony

           go ahead        make my day

           live            die

           pass            pass on



   - A 27-year-old Norwegian passed his driving test while drunk-
     and then immediately had his license suspended for drunk
     driving. "It must be the shortest time anyone has held a
     driver's license," said a driving examiner. The ex-driver
     was also jailed for three weeks.

   - A Kissimmee, Florida woman lost her driver's license  after
     crashing her vehicle into the examination office at the end
     of her road test. Elizabeth Rodriguez, 24, not only failed
     the test but she may be restricted from obtaining a license
     for at least a year. Rodriguez pressed the gas pedal instead
     of the brake, hit a pedestrian and crashed into the office
     building. The pedestrian suffered minor injuries and was
     transported to a local hospital. (UPI)

   - A 20-year-old man riding down a hill in a shopping cart
     collided head-on with a car in Mottala, Sweden, at a closing
     rate estimated by witnesses as 50 kmh (30 mph).  He was
     charged with careless driving. "He was rather drunk, and his
     trolley wasn't showing the appropriate lights," said a
     police inspector. (Reuter)

   - On October 15, 1966 a 75-year-old McKinney, Texas male
     driver drove on the wrong side of the road four times, was
     responsible for four hit-and-run offenses, caused six
     accidents and received 10 traffic tickets, ALL WITHIN 20



     A 17-year-old pizzeria employee was arrested for drunk
driving at night after the store closed, and his boss was charged
with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  According to
the boss, "It is hard to pay people and I let him drink beer at
[the pizzeria], so that he will work for free." [Huntington, West
Virginia Herald-Dispatch, 5-2-96] 



     While a bus driver stopped for a drink at a local roadside
liquor store near Harare, Zimbabwe, 20 mental patients escaped
from their bus on the way to Bulawayo Mental Hospital.
     Afraid he would be fired, the bus driver simply offered free
rides to people along the way.  When he had twenty passengers, he
delivered the entirely sane bus load to the mental hospital,
informing the staff they were easily excitable. 
     It took the medical personnel three days to uncover the
deception. The real mental patients are still at large. 
("Financial Mail" of South Africa)



     After a four-day trial in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, in
March, Sarah M. Milliken, 48, lost her lawsuit against the state
Department of Transportation for her alleged continuing back
injuries.  She claimed she suffered the injuries in 1991 when her
car skidded out of control on an icy spot in the road.  A
videotape supplied by her ex-husband, showed her a year after the
accident at a Biker convention in Daytona Beach, Florida.  On the
tape, she was seen in a bathing suit wrestling with another woman
in a vat of coleslaw.
     [ Maybe she should have ordered the applesauce... ]

© 1997 by Bill Becwar. All Rights Reserved.