With two more fatal mass shootings over the weekend, one in Baltimore and the other at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California—which is rightly being considered a hate crime—I think it’s time for another installment of weird news. Something has to take our minds off such terrible matters and the ensuing arguments that go nowhere (because it’s wrong to suggest that common-sense regulations be placed on guns and who can access them). Sigh.
In a happier bit of news from Baltimore, a 67-year-old woman finally claimed a $50,000 Powerball prize two months after the drawing. Why did it take so long? Her cat hid the ticket.
Cats are sneaky? I had no idea!
Well, it wasn’t so much sneakiness as it was adherence to the cat axiom that nothing can remain on a given surface except for the cat. UPI reported that the woman said she had put several tickets on the nightstand for safekeeping, and her cat (Pumpkin, according to the Maryland Lottery site) knocked some papers off, including the tickets. Though she rescued the papers, she didn’t notice the tickets fell behind the bed; they weren’t found until she did some spring cleaning.
I didn’t see any reports that Pumpkin would get to share in the proceeds, but if he was hoping for some nice salmon out of the deal, he may be out of luck.
Sunday’s running of the London Marathon was a record-breaking affair. Sure, Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge won the race for a record-breaking fourth time at the second-fastest time (he also holds the record for fastest time in qualified races), but that’s not the one I’m talking about. And no, it’s not Brigid Kosgei, also of Kenya, who became the race’s youngest winner in the women’s division.
Guinness World Records announced that 38 runners out of 78 making attempts made it into the record books, the first of which was the fastest marathon while dressed as an awareness ribbon (male). Others in costume (or fancy dress, since these are Brits) setting records included people dressed as a tent, a zombie, a mailbox, a DNA double helix, a guy dressed as a bride, and a nut. I’d say they’re all nuts. There was also a record for fastest marathon by two runners in handcuffs, as well as one for a six-person costume (they weren’t the first, either).
Guinness partners with four marathons (London, Berlin, Sydney and Toronto) on the costumed hi-jinks for fun-runners to enhance the experience of running 26.2 grueling miles and as a way for people to raise awareness and money for charity.
The guy dressed as the Big Ben clock tower had to have help to cross the finish line since the costume was too tall. Had he not gotten caught on the overhead clock/scoreboard, he might have beaten the record set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon by someone dressed as the Holstentor Gate (he was only about 20 seconds off!). Still, he had a good time.
Graphic-novel fans in Dickson, Tenn., might have expected to see the recent Hellboy reboot up on the roadside marquee at the Roxy 8, but no, they saw “Heckboy” instead.
The theater’s manager told The Tennessean that since the theater is across the street from a church and next door to an elementary school, she endeavors not to put anything that might be considered profanity on the marquee. Sort of reminds me of Radar O’Reilly’s “H-E-double hockey sticks” in MASH.
However, the uncensored movie poster is still on the side of the building, which means anyone from the church or school could still see it, sooooo …
Considering the bad reviews the movie’s gotten, maybe this little fracas will get a few more tickets sold. And now I’m wondering if the theater will have an old-movie night with “Darn Yankees” and “To Heck and Back.”
The Scott County Rural Fire Protection District in Missouri is putting truth in advertising in its job posting outside its stations, KFVS reported, touting “Hard Labor, Odd Hours, Low Pay, Cool Helmets.” The district’s chief, Jeremy Perrien, said he considers most job postings boring and wanted to do something funny to catch some attention.
The district is always in need of firefighters, and is 15 down at the moment. Surely some good-humored people will apply.
And those helmets are cool.
A job that’s likely to get quite a bit of interest is being offered by Mattress Firm, which is seeking “snoozeterns” at its headquarters in Houston.
The paid summer internship requires a 30-hour-a-week commitment, and the snoozeterns will spend their time testing and reviewing beds, posting to social media and creating video and photo content. Among the qualifications:
- 18 years of age or older
- Proficient in napping, regardless of time of day
- Interested in exposure to different surfaces, textures and sleep positions
- Passionate about sleep and comfort
I know, all you care about is testing the beds. To get paid for that … ahhhhh. But hurry, because the deadline is May 3 to apply, and you must be available to start in mid-May.
Actually getting paid to sleep on the job? That’s called living the dream.
In a world where hate has taken such a firm hold and it feels like everything is out of our control, we need stories like this: weird, funny or just plain sweet. Something that makes us smile or laugh will make us feel at least a little better for a while.
Media researcher Karen McIntyre of Virginia Commonwealth University told Greater Good Magazine, “When people feel depressed and hopeless, they don’t want to engage with the news.”
McIntyre said a movement called “constructive journalism” aims to go beyond “feel-good news” by focusing on solutions, as well as reporting on the historical and social contexts of news events, and avoiding techniques that foment drama that doesn’t aid understanding of an event. A recent college study showed that readers of stories with effective solutions mentioned felt more positive than those who read stories with ineffective or no solutions.
“Journalists will always have to report on inherently negative issues. But reporting in a constructive way would hopefully help people have a more realistic picture of the world,” McIntyre said.
Anything that does that is worth a try. Whether people pay attention is another matter … because reality’s no darn fun.