xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Shortly after Hurricane Wilma struck Florida in October, officials said 911 operators in Palm Beach County were flooded not only with storm-related calls but with self-imposed injuries. Some of the problems (according to an October Palm Beach Post story):
— brush-clearing chain-saw accidents;
–the old “cigarette-lighter-to-check-fuel-level-of-a-generator”;
–people falling off roofs while making repairs;
–setting up a generator too close to a window;
–cooking inside on a charcoal grill;
–pouring gasoline into a generator while it’s running;
–failing to respect downed power lines;
–stacking items atop a previously “on” electric stove so that, when power resumes, they catch fire.
In October, a 33-year-old pastor at the University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, standing in a baptismal pool preparing to immerse a parishioner in front of hundreds of congregants, mishandled a microphone and was electrocuted. On the same day in Johannesburg, South Africa, a pastor at the Jerusalem Apostolic Church drowned during a river baptism ceremony when he and the parishioner (who also drowned) lost their footing on rocks in the river bed.
News of the Weird last reported on Hormel Foods Corp.’s Spam in 2002 when McDonald’s was test-marketing a breakfast containing the luncheon meat in Hawaii, where Spam is a delicacy. It is perhaps even more highly revered in South Korea, where (according to an October Los Angeles Times dispatch) an estimated 8 million cans are sold each holiday season, and a gift set of 12 in upscale department stores goes for about $44. Jeon Pyoung Soo, the South Korean Spam brand manager, continues to be puzzled at the product’s U.S. reputation: “I can’t understand what is funny about Spam.”
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa FL 33679 or WeirdNews@earthlink.net or go to www.NewsoftheWeird.com.) NEWS OF THE WEIRD