I Can’t Make This Stuff Up

By Chris Piscitelli

_____For my day job, I work in the Editorial Department for one of the 10 largest
newspaper and media organizations in the U.S. I won’t say which one, but I will say
that working where I do affords me access to news items minutes, hours, sometimes, days before the general public hears about them.

_____Various editors and reporters are constantly monitoring news wires and
swapping stories with other news organizations, and through the marvels of technology (and a specialized inter-office messaging system) they pass along
the leads (usually the first sentence or two of most newspaper articles) of dozens of news stories on a daily basis. Though much of what flashes across my computer
screen is the run-of-the-mill gay-marriage-social-security-war-in-Iraq-the-pope-just- died kind of stuff, every now and then an incredible, unbelieveable or outright funny one slips through.

_____What follows are actual news stories as reported by America’s finest. I will give credit to the news service that provided the information to show that I didn’t make this stuff up; because I know how hard journalists work, and they deserve the
recognition, but mostly because it’s illegal if I don’t. Some of these go back a few
months; some are more recent; but rest assured that when ridiculous or incredible
news breaks, I’ll hear about it.

HOPKINTON, Mass. (Associated Press) – The Boston Marathon is offering to put up
fences near homes at the starting line to prevent runners from relieving themselves
on lawns.

(Unknown Source) – The Palace is not amused: The wedding of two
long-running characters on the British soap opera “Coronation Street”
attracted more viewers over the weekend than the royal wedding. The
soap got 12.9 million viewers; the wedding got 9.7 million.

(ContactMusic.com) – Arnold Schwarzenegger is so adamant his children do their
laundry, he’ll often set fire to any of their dirty clothes he finds lying around, reports
ContactMusic.com. “If you don’t turn out the lights, he takes the lights out of the
ceiling!” says wife Maria Shriver. “I keep trying to tell him he has other things on his
plate, but he goes, ‘We have an energy crisis… the children have no respect for the

NAPA, California (Bay Cities Newswire) – Napa’s chief building
official said today it appears a deck at a home on Stonybrook Drive
collapsed during a surprise 50th birthday party Saturday evening
simply because too many people were standing on it.

SAN DIEGO (Associated Press) – The hunt is on for a turd burglar. A
San Diego thief steals a bag of poop from a woman walking her dog.

(Houston Chronicle) – A new pastor was visiting the homes of
parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home,
but nobody answered his repeated knocks at the door. So he took out a
card and wrote “Revelation 3:20” on the back and stuck it in the door. When the
offering plate was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been
returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, “Genesis 3:10.” Reaching for his
Bible, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins: “Behold, I stand at
the door and knock.” Genesis 3:10 reads: “I heard your voice in the garden and I
was afraid for I was naked.”

BAY CITY, Michigan (Unknown Source) – The Easter Bunny plans to
prosecute a 12-year-old, who attacked him and gave him a bloody nose,
a day after sitting nicely on his lap. The mall Bunny swears the
attack was unprovoked.


FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (Associated Press) – A clown who
goes by the name of “Spanky” has been arrested on child pornography
charges while traveling with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey
Circus federal agents said.