Laughing Through Life: Feb. 29, 2012

by Andrew Henderson
I am a smart guy — well, at least my mom tells me so — but there are some things that I just don’t understand.

Recently, there have been some unbelievable news stories out there that are, well, truly unbelievable.

These are true stories that the greatest minds in Hollywood could never come up with.

George Lucas. Steven Spielberg. Martin Scorsese. Francis Ford Coppola. Quentin Tarantino. Clint Eastwood. James Cameron. M. Night Shyamalan. Woody Allen. Ron Howard. Peter Jackson.

None of them could — in all their creative and artistic talents — create a story that would top the news today, which leads me to a question: What is wrong with people?

Nowadays, some people act in certain ways that would cause Barney Fife, Kelly Bundy, Joey Tribbiani, Michael Kelso, and Kevin from The Office to all proclaim: “Wow, they are dumb.”Evidence A:

I don’t understand how an elusive emu in Vermont has not been caught after being five weeks on the lam.

The emu, a 150-pound flightless bird that looks like a miniature ostrich, has been “amusing residents in communities on Lake Champlain,” according to media reports.

The emu has been spotted “here and there” since it escaped from an maximum  emu prison. It escaped wearing a bright orange jumpsuit while being shackled with restraints.

Just kidding about that latter part; it actually escaped from a farm by using the subtle “what’s that?” trick. It looked something like this:

Owner: “Com’on you emu! Come and git your emu food!”

Emu (pointing one of his long legs the other way): “What’s that?”

Owner looks away and turns with a dazed look on his face: “Emu? Emu? Where are you?”

The emu was recently spotted outside an elementary school where it had to gall to walk by a window of the principal’s office — taunting the highly educated administrator.

A school worker tried to lasso it with an extension cord, but he was no match for the emu. The cord broke free and the emu was once again on the loose.

The emu’s owner told news media that he bought three emus for his grandchildren but they don’t make great pets. Well, duuuhhhh!
He has since taken out an ad in a local newspaper that states: “Free emu if you can capture it.”

Evidence B:

I also don’t understand the rationale that is coming out of the Philadelphia area.

According to news reports, a southeastern Pennsylvania man is behind bars after police say he stole a pair of socks from a Walmart.

That, in itself, is probably a common occurrence — not just in Philadelphia but around the country, including right here in Oswego County. Don’t believe me? Check the local police reports.

What separates this story from others is that the alleged sock bandit, a 32-year-old man named Verdon Lamont Taylor, stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 300 pounds.
Again, that in itself, is not that rare. A lot of people are that tall and weigh that much.

What does separate Taylor from all the others is one simple fact: HE WAS NAKED!

Taylor was arrested after he reportedly stripped off his clothes in the parking lot and went inside where he took a pair of socks and put them on — and continue to walk around the store.

Did I mention that this 6-foot-4, 300-pound man was naked?

Apparently, there was proof. Police told media outlets that surveillance footage shows the 6-foot-4, 300-pound man walking around the store wearing nothing but a pair of socks he had stolen there.

In addition, police threw a nugget to reporters with this additional information. Apparently, the surveillance video also shows shoppers avoiding Taylor.

To me, it would be news if shoppers gravitated toward the large naked man, asking him where he found those lovely socks.

Authorities say they used a stun gun to subdue Taylor after he refused to comply with officers’ orders. He also allegedly spat in an officer’s face.

He was arraigned on charges including aggravated assault and indecent exposure. He was being held on $50,000 bail at Chester County Prison.

Evidence C:

You may have heard about the following news story, which ironically is also based in Pennsylvania.

AccuWeather posted photos on its web site of a squirrel that was purple. A purple squirrel. No matter which way you say or write it, it’s just weird.

The purple squirrel even has its own Facebook page with more than 3,800 fans!
The only problem is that the family who allegedly caught the purple nut-eating animal — and that family’s friends — are the only ones who physically saw the purple specimen.

The family did hang onto some of the fur that was left behind in the cage, along with some tail trimmings — and they gave those samples to a animal-control officer when he was called to the scene after letting the purple beast go free.

As purple as it is, the squirrel doesn’t appear to pose a hazard or be suffering from disease, according to the animal-control officer.

There have been several theories about what caused the squirrel’s “purpleness,” including the option of the squirrel getting into some discarded containers of printer ink toner or something like that.

One person suggested that the squirrel was cold and looked for a warm location — as in a Port-a-Potty or something like that. Or perhaps the squirrel ate something that caused its fur to turn into a miniature version of Violet from Willy Wonka.
“Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet!”

Okay, be honest, how many of you starting thinking about the Oompa Loompa song when I wrote that?

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