July 18, 2023 at 1:10 a.m.
A Fork In The Road
Quirky News Tickles My Fancy
Recently I received a couple of vintage news clippings from a friend. She, like me, clips unusual news items that beg to be shared.
Her first story was about a South Carolina woman who stole a vehicle after throwing a snake at the driver, then crashed through barricades set up for a pole-vaulting exhibition.
Yes, it seems the suspect, who was released later from the hospital, demanded the keys and threw the live serpent at the driver. The suspect then drove the stolen vehicle with the snake still in it, into the barriers.
The thief was charged with carjacking, malicious damage to property and five traffic violations. The snake was released into a nearby woods.
The second item involved a Florida woman with a condition known as “Foreign Accent Syndrome.” I’ve never heard of this, and I suspect you haven’t either. Only a couple dozen cases have been reported over the past century.
It seems the person in question had a stroke and suddenly started talking with an unmistakable British accent. She couldn’t help from calling elevators “lifts” and bend her words into a cockney accent.
These articles prompted me to review my own clipping collection.
One is a letter to the editor from a Charlotte man who said that he gladly tells his age: 47. It’s a blessing to be 47, he said, because a lot of people don’t make it to that age.
His quote, “If you’re not aging, then maybe you have a problem. The problem is you might be dead.”
From the heyday of supermarket tabloids comes this stunner: “Farmhand makes his own false teeth from stones in his driveway and does root canal on himself with a drill!”
Who wouldn’t want to read about that?
Beter yet, consider the case of the naked Pentecostals in Louisiana. They made the news back when 20 of them were packed “cheek-to-cheek” into a Pontiac Grand Am after the vehicle was chased into a tree by officers who’d been tipped off about a car full of nude people.
Police watched in disbelief as the passengers piled out of the wreck and began religious chants. They explained that they had stripped because their clothes were possessed by the devil.
Another driving incident involved a man who choked on a potato chip while driving through Old Fort. He blacked out as his truck veered off the street, traveled through a park and struck the town’s Nativity scene, taking out Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
You can’t make this stuff up.
An intoxicated Kmart shopper once swiped a trash can and filled it with celery hearts, waffles, onions, tomatoes, popcorn, sour cream, film, videotapes, paper cups, soap and feminine hygiene products. After fixing a fake receipt to the can, the wannabe customer was arrested after hauling the loot to the parking lot.
In 1998, an entire barn was dismantled and removed from a remote location off St. Paul’s Church Road. The thief apparently recognized the value of aged wood. The 200-year-old lumber was valued at $2,400.
One of the most memorable clippings came from the “Hints from Heloise” column. An Iowa woman poured straight chlorine bleach into her commode and left it overnight. After her morning tinkle, the woman was overcome by fumes from the chemical reaction. She got so dizzy she couldn’t walk. She crawled to the kitchen and lay on the floor where she thought she was going to die.
Whenever I use bleach, I can’t help but think of this poor woman and her near-death experience.
---Tammy Wilson lives near Newton. Contact her at [email protected]