One of the great things in life is that some things are just naturally entertaining, even without the aid of, say, too many glasses of chardonnay.
Yes, to help make our point, what follows is our September edition of News Is Stranger Than Fiction, news stories recently culled from the nation’s papers:
• At the Wisconsin State Cow-Chip Throwing Championships in Prairie du Sac, Wis., organizers lamented that the summer's intense heat and drought had significantly cut down on the number of chips that the state's cows had been able to produce.
• In the Florida Everglades, a 63-year-old tour-boat guide demonstrating the ferocity of alligators by holding a fish over the edge of the boat was charged with illegally feeding the alligators. That occurred after one of the gators leaped out of the water during the demonstration and ate his left hand.
• Near Jacksonville, Fla., a 35-year-old female motorist being chased by police for speeding later explained she would have instantly pulled over but was “a little embarrassed” because she was driving naked, to “surprise” her boyfriend once she got to his house.
• Arrested after being spotted with a 40-pound backpack filled with stolen goods, a 23-year-old man in Mashpee, Mass., asked police if, after processing his arrest, they could take him to the hospital because he'd hurt his back filling the backpack too full.
• In Togo, an African country of 6.7 million people where women have the right to vote but few are in leadership roles, a group of activist women organized a nationwide “Let's Save Togo By Not Having Sex With Our Husbands” movement and announced a “strike,” saying they would not have sex again until there was “serious dialogue” to unseat the country’s president.
• At a political rally in Lahore, Pakistan, festivities were cut short when a man suddenly fell to the ground and died, moments after he had complained to others that he had breathed in too much smoke from the U.S. flags he had just burned.
• In Warwick, R.I., a 42-year-old woman was charged with training her pet cockatoo to use curse words — loud enough to be "heard throughout the neighborhood" — when her ex-husband or his girlfriend, who also lived in the neighborhood, were outdoors.
• At the 13th annual Mobile-Phone-Throwing World Championships in Savonlinna, Finland, the host country dominated the competition, with Finland’s Ere Karjalainen, 26, heaving his cellphone a record 332 feet, 7½ inches.
• In Rock Hill, S.C, a 34-year-old woman reportedly got a surprise when while cleaning around the heating unit of her home, she discovered a former boyfriend from 12 years ago was living in the attic of her home.
• When drought made Fourth of July fireworks a fire hazard, organizers in Chesterfield, Mo., postponed the event, deciding to shoot them off Labor Day weekend instead. But those then had to be canceled, too, when remnants of Hurricane Isaac dumped five inches of rain on the fireworks site. “Whoever thought we'd have no rain — and then too much rain," an official lamented.
• At Bellevue (Wash.) College, a 19-year-old woman was accused by police of stabbing another woman in a classroom. It was during a five-minute break of an anger-management seminar.
Finally, our own favorite:
• At a convenience store in Beaumont, Texas, a clerk told police the reason he failed to call them until 45 minutes after an armed robber took cash from the register was because he had not had the time to look up their phone number.
Bill Flick is at firstname.lastname@example.org