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Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Weird as weird can be. News at 11.

I don’t know about you, but I find that the news can be a terribly depressing pool to swim around in.  It is because of this, that every now and then, I like to go out of my way and read Weird News, sometimes simply for the headlines:  “Hoarders Trash Pile Seen on Google Maps” or “Toothless Woman Robs Bank for Denture Money” and I can hardly bring myself to type the one about the man who was recently arrested in Florida – “Man Claims to be Elvis’ Brother and Half Orangutan” making the Elvis part seem average.  Yeah, bizarre news helps me realize that no matter what happens in my life, there can always be something worse.  And weirder than normal.

 

But before you think me critical, know that age and experience have taught me that normal is a relative term (and NONE of my relations are normal, BTW).  Because, rather than judge, I actually find some tales relatable.  Like, the story about the thief who was sentenced for urinating on a power station transformer, knocking out the electricity to over 2,000 homes.  Nope, that’s not weird at all.  Because, my ex-husband had the dubious honor of working long, strange hours as a sound engineer with pint-sized, larger-than-life Phil Spector back in the day.  Far out Phil, rather than do his “business” in the men’s room, once toddled out to relieve himself on the power racks of A&M Records.  No electricity was lost due to his actions, but a whole lot of r.e.s.p.e.c.t. got electrocuted that day. 

 

Often, I find that off the wall news makes me strangely hopeful.  When a 45 year old man was rescued a few days ago from his snow-buried car after two long months, having eaten only snow for weeks, physician Stefan Branth of Uppsala University said the man probably survived by going into a dormant-like state, saying it was "A bit like a bear that hibernates. Humans can do that."  WHAT?!  I have wanted to achieve that ursine state of nirvana ever since I first discovered the pure, unadulterated joy of napping (and I do believe that the bear just might be my spirit animal).  While I don’t want to test it under such extreme circumstances, it’s good to know that I can call on that superpower if I ever need to.  How would I even know that, without dipping my toe into the news of the weird and wonderful?

 

One unusual s-s-ssstory, tucked in among the garden variety news, was about the Brownswood, Texas police department who were called out to a house where the homeowners found a two foot cobra stuck to a glue trap.  The cobra wasn’t even the odd part of this for me.  Uh, excuse me… Glue Trap?  What in the world is THAT?!  More importantly, where do I get one and are they specifically engineered for snake catching?!  Stranger still, was that the herpetologist seemed genuinely surprised that “Most people have a fear of the snake” and said that he felt compelled to educate the public (in his slow, Texas drawl, I’m sure) “to turn that towards more of a… respect.”  Listen, Jack.  I believe that Fear = Respect on just about every level where large venomous snakes are concerned.  Me, personally?  I am slopping over with vast amounts of stupid, fearful respect for a snake that can grow up to 18 feet, with likely not a glue trap in the world sticky enough to hold it in place until animal control arrives with their big snake-handling sticks (those ARE standard issue, right?).

 

Sometimes, I cannot sit around and wait for news of the wacky and fantastic (they have slow news days, too), there are many days I simply go in search of articles and studies relating to out-of-the-ordinary information.  For example, you gotta love those folks over at National Geographic, they who cross over into the outlandish often. Like when they chose to report about jumping spiders leaping more accurately under red lights than green ones (and why do we care?  Is there an issue with traffic lights and spiders?  Should we stop looking under toilet seats and worry at intersections now?), or how about when they chose to post photos of a tasseled wobbegong shark consuming headfirst an only somewhat smaller brown-banded bamboo shark on the southern Great Barrier Reef.  Yes, Alice, the world just gets curiouser and curiouser, if you pay attention.  My brain now spins with all sorts of peculiar facts (making the POTUS race of 2012 not nearly as abnormal now).

 

For the most part, I prefer to read my strange and unusual news stories.  You see, my imagination is plenty fertile enough without having to see videotaped evidence of the 300 pound man who striped naked this past weekend to enter Wal-Mart just to purloin a pair of socks (which only turned that much weirder when he stopped to rest his bare bum on the counter, slipping on his tiny new items of clothing before leaving).  Even with all of the important bits digitized, it was still an unbelievably odd story to behold.  However, if Hugh Jackman wants to steal himself some argyle knee highs in the altogether, know that I will totally find that news-worthy and dole out the better part of a twenty dollar bill for tickets and popcorn, NOT thinking it peculiar in the least.

 

I can’t help it.  I’m weird that way.

 

“Life isn’t weird.  It’s just the people that are in it.”  — Unknown

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” – Hunter S. Thompson

“Creativity is more than just being different.  Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy.  What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach.  Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”  — Charles Mingus

 

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