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Column: Weird news is the new normal

Posted: November 12, 2018 4:05 p.m.
Updated: November 13, 2018 1:00 a.m.

It’s like they say: No matter where you go, there you are.

The other day, I was trying to escape the theater of the absurd -- which seems to be the default mode for the state of the union these days -- by seeking out what used to be known as “quirkies” or “News of the Weird.” I do still get a charge out of those who push the envelope of the more mundane aspects of what we used to call “normal behavior.”

I found a couple of gems.

First, there was the woman in Alabama who, in her quest for the perfect Halloween costume, managed to permanently glue a set of $3 plastic zombie teeth to her real teeth.

In most cases, I can see how this would be upsetting; in her case, I don’t know how anyone would be able to tell the difference.

At any rate, she tried several options, from clipping off the fang points with wire snippers -- which gave her a kind of demented zombie meth grin -- to drinking piping hot coffee in an effort to loosen the glue -- which apparently increased her capacity to drool, but not much else. She finally did what she should have done in the first place. She went to the dentist, who managed to “wrassle them choppers off her choppers.”

All’s well that ends well, I suppose.

Then there is the woman from England who claims to have recently become engaged to a ghost. She apparently met this apparition while hiking in Australia. It followed her onto the plane where in her words, “we joined the mile high club,” and ultimately decided to make this thing permanent.

As I understood it, they’re going to have a good old fashioned pagan hand-fasting ceremony in the English countryside.

Well, alrighty, then.

I suppose I shouldn’t find such things so amusing. After all, these are not the first people to have such things happen to them. I think about the old family story about one of my long lost cousins from several generations back who once enjoyed the memorable experience of shoving a marble up his nose. When he couldn’t get it back out, he started screaming bloody murder. His mother found him in the bedroom, shrieking and blubbering about having a marble up his nose, so she sent him to the bathroom to hide himself while she got rid of whatever company was visiting their home when this all started.

While she was politely getting rid of their visitors, he chose this opportunity to see what the inside of his sister’s chamber pot looked like.

The mother heard another bout of loud terrified shrieking and came back to the bathroom to find the boy now with a chamber pot stuck on  his head and, presumably, the marble still up his nose.

After a few failed attemots at removing the chamber pot, which was apparently really wedged tightly on this kid’s head, she realized she would have to take him to the doctor -- which meant walking, out on the street, out in public, all the way downtown to the doctor’s office.

She solved this problem by covering the boy’s head, chamber pot, marble and all, with a croker sack and leading him by the hand, still squalling and caterwauling, to the doctor’s office where they eventually managed to remove both chamber pot and marble.

As to dating, marrying, and having relations with ectoplasm, I can’t say that I know anyone who has done that, but weirder things have probably happened -- possibly even to me. After all, as the saying goes, “there’s a lot of the ’80s I just don’t remember.”

I mean, as long as these people aren’t voting, driving, buying guns or having children, we as a society should be OK, right?


OK, maybe that’s a little too much to ask.


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