xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
In October, West Point, Ky., hosted 12,000 visitors for the weekend Knob Creek Gun Range Machine Gun Shoot, billed as the nation’s largest, with a separate competition for flame-throwers. Especially coveted is “The Line,” where 60 people (waiting list is 10 years long to be admitted) get to fire their machine guns into a field of cars and boats, and during which a shooter might run through $10,000 in ammunition. Among the champions: Samantha Sawyer, 16, the top women’s submachine gunner for the last four years. One man interviewed by the Louisville Courier-Journal said he met his wife at a previous Shoot, knowing that “if she could accept flame-throwing as a hobby, she could accept anything.” Said another: “This is one of those times when you know this (the U.S.) is the greatest place on Earth.”
A senior Vatican spokesman, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, told a BBC Radio audience in October that condoms are useless in preventing the spread of HIV (because the virus seeps through the porous latex) and therefore should not be used, even in AIDS-wracked Africa, where as much as 20 percent of the population is reportedly infected. The World Health Organization denounced Trujillo’s claim but said it had heard similar Catholic Church messages in Asia and Latin America.
In October, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s inspector general released questions from the final exam for airport screeners, designed to measure the crucial, intensive training that the screeners had just completed. One question: “How do threats get on board an aircraft?” The supposedly challenging answers: “a. In carry-on bags; b. In checked-in bags; c. In another person’s bag; d. All of the above.” If that is too difficult, the inspector general also complained that 22 of the exam’s 25 questions were repeats from previous exams and that some test-takers were briefed in advance.
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Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD