A Real-Life Horror Movie

David Matthews / April 02, 2007

Tread lightly

Scientists at a university in Germany believe that they have finally figured out why your wife may have trouble reading a map.

In a report published earlier this year in the journal Intelligence, researchers say that a lack of testosterone in the womb can affect spatial abilities essential for parking a car and reading a map.

The study examined the spatial, numerical and verbal skills of 40 student volunteers along with the length of their ring fingers.

Men, who typically have ring fingers much longer than their index fingers, did better on the spatial and numerical tests. Women, who usually have equal-length ring and index fingers, did better in the verbal areas. However, women with longer ring fingers did better in spatial and numerical tests than women with shorter ring fingers.

Researchers concluded that higher testosterone levels, which are associated with longer ring fingers, must also boost right-brain abilities like spatial and numerical skills. Therefore men may be genetically better drivers than women. However, women should have a much easier time verbalizing exactly where they think these researchers can stick the results of their study.

Nightmare on SUV Street

Running a gas station can be a perilous business these days. One misplaced decimal point can really bring out a scary side of motorists.

Carolyn Folsom learned this lesson the hard way after she keyed the wrong price into the computer that runs the fuel pumps at her family’s gas station in Omaha, Neb.

A gallon of regular, unleaded gas was supposed to sell for $1.89, but Folsom accidentally typed in $0.18. Since the self-service station requires customers to pay at the pump, the mistake went unnoticed for hours.

Finally a fuel truck driver delivering gas to the station discovered the problem. Taking his life in his own hands, the driver decided to stop the flow of crazed motorists into the station by blocking the entrance with his truck.

This only enraged the demented mob of gas-guzzlers, one of whom threatened the driver with a hammer. But just in the nick of time, the station owner was able to correct the fuel pump prices. Fangs and knuckle hair quickly receded and the mob dejectedly headed home.

Not-so-friendly skies

The next time bird droppings force you to make a special trip to the car wash, consider how Nina Gambone must have felt when an entire airplane relieved itself on her car.

What to Gambone sounded like an explosion outside her house turned out to be a frozen chunk of waste accidentally dropped onto her car from an airplane lavatory thousands of feet in the sky. The frozen waste tore a hole through the roof and shattered the windshield, but luckily no one was hurt.

Federal officials confirmed that the beach ball-sized chunk was indeed human waste from a passing plane, but said that it can’t be determined which airline is responsible. So for the time being, no one is willing to pay for Gambone’s damages, not even her home and car insurance.

What’s more, Gambone can’t even get her local fire department to clean up the mess in her driveway because they’ve classified the melted ice as hazardous waste.

The young and the restless

Police in Sand Lake, Mich., are used to pulling over unusual characters late at night. They were a little surprised, however, when they found a 4-year-old taking a late-night drive to the video store last month.

The boy managed to walk out of his apartment complex at 1:30 a.m., start up his mom’s Geo Prizm, and drive down the street to the video store. He wasn’t tall enough to reach the accelerator, but he figured out how to put the car in gear and simply steer.

When he arrived at the video store and realized that it was closed, the boy decided to head back home. Along the way, he passed a police officer who noticed that the car’s headlights were off and no one appeared to be behind the wheel.

The officer followed the car and watched it pull back into the boy’s apartment complex and ram into two parked cars. The boy then threw the car into reverse and smacked into the officer’s car. Fortunately no one was hurt.

The boy’s mom was shocked when she found out what he had done. She told police that she had no idea how he ever learned to drive, much less park like a girl.

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