News of the Weird makes column too easy

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

It's just been one of those "News of the Weird" weeks, an embarrassment of riches for a columnist whose sense of humor runs a trifle dark and a little left. Do we take on the stay of execution for the convicted murderer, given because trying to give a lethal injection to a man with collapsed veins is considered "cruel and unusual punishment"?

Or do we take a sly peek westward and go after Der Governor Ah-nold?

Nah - waaaaay too easy. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. How many ways can you rephrase the California granola joke? You know the one - full of fruit, nuts and flakes….

Of course, Alabama flirted with its own potential embarrassment there when one group started screaming for a recall for Riley. One of the gripes, I believe, was Riley's temerity of attempting to change the state constitution. Of course, that

same constitution prevents recall elections….

Then there's Tuscaloosa, where you can roast half an ox outside - as long as it's at a Tide tailgate party, but you can't grill out on your own patio - or even have furniture on your own patio….

Of course, there's some local "News of the Weird" as well. One set of rumors is bouncing across our telephone lines like ping pong balls in a lottery box, and since getting answers involves chasing the ever-elusive shadows otherwise known as Federal Agents, we've got about as much chance of nailing down facts as we do of winning that lottery.

Then there's the country store with its own little manufacturing plant in the back… the automotive pinball game that took place on the Bypass Thursday… and, of course, the Wacky Tacky costume contest at the middle school. That was my favorite, since my two oldest go there. My middle child, bless his heart, is sartorially challenged, so to dress up for the wacky part, I just let him pick out his own clothes for a change. He almost won the class competition. Sigh.

With Homecoming last night, the "News of the Weird" only intensified. According to police reports, there was more than one full moon illuminating the darkness Thursday night….

Oh, it was a smorgasbord of snigglets this week, and much too easy. What a shame, that it's more easy to poke fun and laugh than it is to praise. With that in mind, I have to note a random act of kindness I witnessed this week.

My pat on the back this week is for the employee of AEC I saw in front of the old skating rink Wednesday morning. A young executive type, the man parked his company SUV, jumped into the middle of traffic, and rescued the box turtle crossing the road. The gentlemen - and I use that word in every sense - then looked around sheepishly, as if hoping he had not been seen, got back into his SUV and drove off.

Very nice. What a shame that these random acts are so rare they can be included with the "News of the Weird."