xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Adding to the list of stories that were formerly weird but which now occur with such frequency that they must be retired from circulation:
— (73) Pranksters who playfully carry away a prominent local mascot figure and abuse it or subject it to a “ransom” demand or photograph it in zany places, such as people who took the stuffed buffalo from the field house at Milligan College (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and suspended it from the ceiling of the campus chapel (April).
— (74) the toddler who grabs the family’s car keys and somehow manages to drive a respectable distance at least semi-safely, as did the 4-year-old boy in Sand Lake, Mich., who drove his mother’s car a quarter mile to a video store in the middle of the night (February).
In January, a 69-year-old minister at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Oviedo, Fla., suffered a fatal heart attack in mid-sentence during a sermon, as he was quoting the scholar John Wesley, “And when I go to heaven….”
The Defense Department’s March 30 progress report on the post-9-11 upgrading of its needs for foreign language professionals showed the Pentagon (41 months after the attacks) just now getting around to learning how many of its people already speak a foreign language. According to the document’s chronology (reported in April by Slate.com), it was not until May 2004 that a formal decision was made to “assess (foreign) language needs” and form a “steering committee.” By July 2005, the Pentagon is to issue “guidance” for how to manage a stepped-up program, and by December 2005 to create a database of personnel with foreign language skills. The management system for how to run such a program is to be in place by September 2007, after which, presumably, attention to the actual upgrading of skills can begin.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or [email protected] or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD