Of bears and chalupas

Article August 06, 2001
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Unexpected opening

Unexpected opening

They were breaking down the doors to get in the new Hertz Equipment Rental center in Salinas, Calif., last month. Well, wild bears were anyway.

It seems that just prior to opening, a 160-lb black bear scaled an 8-ft wrought iron fence trying to elude police and crashed through the glass front door of the Hertz showroom.

The bear was finally subdued by tranquilizers and returned to the wild unharmed, but not before the nearby Enterprise office promised to have a 30-ft dragon come and destroy their office the following week.

Garage sales get curbed

The garage sale circuit in Richland Township, Penn., has gotten so out of control, officials have been forced to pass an ordinance limiting them to four-a-year, per address.

Richland Township, which may have the highest unemployment rate in the world, was getting so clogged with traffic jams from people having sales up to once a week, officials felt forced to act.

Nearby Saegertown, Penn., has faced similar problems but decided to instead schedule one day each summer for a town-wide garage sale. This year’s is slated for July 21 and 3/4 of the town’s homes are expected to participate. Mayor Fred Smith said the big sale has become one of the things that puts Saegertown on the map. Exactly what map that would be was not revealed.

Road trip

Fresh from the "Nutty Things Foreigners Will Do" wire comes the tale of five Filipino men’s trip to Boston. With no transportation of their own or a valid driver’s license to rent a car, they decided to take a cab—from South Dakota.

The 3,800-mile trip took three days and cost the men $2,400. The driver, who received 40% of the fare, said he didn’t mind, though he wasn’t really prepared.

"I left town with a sweatshirt and a can of deodorant," he told the Associated Press.

Rover rage

In one of the most cruel examples of road rage to date, a San Jose, Calif., man was recently convicted of tossing a small dog to its death on a busy highway and faces up to three years in prison.

Witnesses testified that after a minor traffic accident with the dog’s owner last year, Andrew Burnett reached into the driver’s open car window, grabbed the dog and tossed it into oncoming traffic. The 10-year-old bichon frise was struck and killed seconds later.

Burnett claimed he instinctively grabbed the dog because it bit him on the hand.

His defense suffered a setback just before the close of the case when tapes of conversations he had in prison with his fiancee were made public. In one, Burnett discussed selling his story to the media for $250,000 and going on a talk show to have a "dog-kicking contest."

Run for the border

A Fort Worth, Texas, teen almost got away with knocking off a local Taco Bell last month until police apprehended him with the help of a chalupa.

It all started when the 17-year-old peddled up to the drive-up window and threatened the staff with a toy gun demanding money and a chalupa.

A worker called the police who were able to arrive while the would-be robber was still waiting for his food.

The teen took off and wouldn’t stop, even after being shot twice, until a second cruiser cut him off.

Marilyn Manson and professional wrestling are being blamed.

Boards for the bored

If you’re faced with vacation time this summer in the Midwest and absolutely nothing to do, consider taking a trip to downtown Chicago to watch the renovation of historic Wacker Drive. The city recently installed aluminum bleachers near the project to offer a better and more comfortable view of the construction.

But come early if you want to beat the crowds. By 9 a.m. all the choice seats have been taken by area winos, hobos and out-of-work car salesmen from Richland Township, Penn.

Signs have even been put up giving quick facts about the history and technical aspects of the construction. And for hardcore Wacker fans, a rusted steel reinforcing bar that was used on the old road is also on display. Next to that is a sample of the rustproof, green epoxy-coated rebar that will be used in the new road along with a vendor selling t-shirts that read "Once Just Wasn’t Enough—Wacker Again."

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