A lot of information‚ some peculiar, some outlandish and some downright unbelievable — comes into the newspaper office via email, postal mail and some personally delivered each day.
Over the years, this editor has accumulated quite a collection of snippets and stories of wild and weird stuff.
As the dog days of summer get ready to set in, we thought it might be a good time to share a portion of our stash of witty samplings with readers.
So for your reading pleasure, enjoy the following tidbits collected over a period of time from the Association of Mature American Citizens.
A unique family reunion
New Jersey State Trooper Michael Patterson made a routine traffic stop that turned into the oddest of family reunions recently. The driver he pulled over, Michael Bailly, mentioned that he was retired but that he had been a police officer in the town of Piscataway.
The trooper said he grew up in Piscataway. The more they talked, the more they realized they had a lot in common.
In fact, it turned out that nearly three decades ago, then officer Bailly had helped a pregnant woman in distress deliver her baby and that the woman was, indeed, trooper Patterson’s mother.
The New Jersey State Police wasted no time in posting the news on its Facebook page: “We’re not sure what the odds are of this happening — maybe they’re close to the odds of a hole-in-one, winning the lottery, or being struck by lightning — but it happened.”
Something in the air
Many of us grew up with the unmistakable scent of Play-Doh in the air. It’s a one-of-a-kind aroma that can’t be duplicated because Hasbro, which introduced Play-Doh in 1956 has trademarked the smell. The company describes the scent as “sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough.”
One man’s trash
An airport janitor in South Korea just might become a genuine mega-millionaire in six months time.
He was cleaning out a garbage bin at the airport when he came across seven gold ingots wrapped in newspaper. If the gold, worth an estimated $325 million, is not linked to a crime, and the owners don’t claim it by November, the authorities say the loot will be handed over to the janitor.
If it is found to have been stolen, the janitor can still wind up with a reward of as much as $65 million.
Either way it proves the old adage, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Rags to riches
And then there was the guy in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who bought a lottery ticket, tucked it in his wallet and forgot it was there.
Three months later he came across the ticket and decided to see if it might be worth something.
The man was pretty much broke and had even lost his house. He was living paycheck to paycheck, when it turned out the ticket was worth $250,000.
The open road beckons
Harley-Davidson is offering a special kind of a 12-week internship to college students. The motorcycle manufacturer’s “job posting” speaks for itself.
“We’ll teach you to ride, give you a bike and pay you to discover motorcycle culture while you find your freedom on the open road. And at the end of it all, you’ll get to keep a bike. Yep, you read that right. It’s yours.”
The company is asking all participants to use social media to promote the wonders of motorcycling during their wanderings.
Ride ‘em cowboy!
Hawaiian cowboys apparently prefer jet skis rather than horses when they are on a roundup.
A lasso wielding man on a jet ski was seen in the waters off the island of Kauai in the aftermath of recent torrential flooding chasing a bison that got loose during the storm.
Observers said he successfully roped the buffalo saving its life.
Recipe for success?
Eateries are always looking for new dishes to entice customers, but the Bull City Burger and Brewery in nearby Durham, North Carolina, may have gone a dish too far when it added Tarantula Burgers to its menu.
Then again, the restaurant did offer a prize for patrons who paid $30 for the tasty treat — a “tarantula challenge” T-shirt.
In case you’re wondering, the specialty burger is made with pasture-raised beef, Gruyere cheese and a “lightly salted and oven-baked” tarantula.
She didn’t get a driver’s license, but she got a ticket
Practice and more practice; that’s what a 46-year-old woman is going to need before she gets her Connecticut driver’s license.
She took her road test recently near the Waterbury offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles and crashed into the building when she stepped on the gas instead of the brake of her car.
While she apparently did not get her license, she did get her first ticket for a moving violation, courtesy of the Connecticut State Police.