Are you kidding me?

I keep files of things I find interesting. People, inspirational quotes, photographs, family letters, and so on. One of my favorite files contains newspaper articles about strange things. Often, it’s the headline that catches my attention. Like this one from a local newspaper—“Walk on water cancelled.” A title like that invites further scrutiny. Evidently, some preacher out in the boonies announced he was going to walk on water to prove his faith. Quite a crowd gathered to witness this. But alas, at the last minute, the preacher failed to show. No explanation was offered.

Here’s another favorite. “Plane crash victims were nude, sheriff says.” In this scenario, a man and woman died when their single-engine plane crashed in West Tennessee. “They were nude prior to the crash,” the sheriff said. “We understand they had been dating, but I don’t know for how long.” Well, however long it was, it obviously wasn’t long enough.

Then this, from my hometown Spartanburg Herald-Journal: “Burned man found running away from a bad ‘date’.” Lest some of the details be deemed inappropriate for Nashville Arts Magazine, I’ll simply quote the first paragraph:

A Spartanburg man’s early morning “date” took an unexpected turn Saturday. He told police that four women tied him up, burned him with an iron, then drove him naked around the city.

I’ve heard of driving people crazy, but driving people naked is a whole ‘nother thing altogether.

Finally—and this may be my favorite—an Associated Press story filed in Knoxville with the headline “Brain found on porch has police stumped.” Now being a Vanderbilt sports fan, I could speculate on why that brain was on somebody’s porch, rather than in somebody’s head (where brains are supposed to be), but for once, I’ll refrain.

In closing, I’d like to share one of the most poignant lines I’ve ever read in a newspaper. This, from an obituary for a retired roofer.

He had a lot of demons and was often self-destructive, but he also touched a lot of people and his character flaws did not render untrue what was wonderful about him.

Would that we all have someone so generously pay tribute to our dual natures after we’re gone. Meanwhile, there’s much to ponder and laugh about in this crazy, sweet world we live in.



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