Roads Report: Even the best laid plans

A bad memory, receipt trails, a lunch truck?the simplest things can mess everything up

David Matthews / May 16, 2003

Golden opportunity

Charles Edward Jones was convicted last month of committing
one of the clumsiest bank robberies of all time.

After pulling a gun on a teller at the Wachovia Bank in
Miami, Jones collected $16,000 and tried to make a swift exit. But as he
stuffed his gun into his waistband while running out the door, he accidentally
fired it. The bullet missed him, but he was distracted enough to step out in
the street in front of a van delivering school lunches.

Jones was hit and pulled underneath the van and needed help
getting out. Back on his feet, he was able to stumble to his getaway car and
take off. But he left his hat, gun and two gold teeth lying in the street.

Police were able to match the DNA and track Jones to a Miami
hotel where they found the $16,000 stuffed in a sock hidden in his pants. He's
now facing a life sentence. 

Signs of the times

Father's Day is coming up quickly. But what can you buy the
dad who already has vanity plates and monogrammed mud flaps? Dreamers Inc., in
Durham, N.C., has your answer: customized trailer-hitch signs.

The "PowerTale" is a lighted tow hitch cover with
interchangeable graphic inserts. It fits most standard 2-in. tow hitch
receivers and lights up to display the phrase or logo of your choice when the
brakes or headlights are activated.

The company said sports and military signs are popular now,
no doubt because the ones with unicorns and naked mermaids are all sold out.

Tips from the road

Traffic tickets can cost an arm and a leg these days. And if
you ignore them, you can lose your license or ruin your credit rating.

But that doesn't mean they have to put you in debt. In many
areas, tickets are forgiven if you attend traffic school. Sometimes people are
able to beat the ticket in court. And some people, like Virginia Ramsey in
Seattle, just pay the ticket with money they make by selling their baby on the
black market.

Ramsey recently pleaded guilty to selling her four-month-old
son for $2,000 so she could pay a ticket. She also bought two PlayStations and
hit a casino with the rest of the money.

Mom said the decision was easy once she found out her
ex-boyfriend's ex-wife wanted a child. The baby was "getting on her
nerves" anyway.

Bad hair day

A policeman in India sorely in need of a girlfriend recently
pulled a bus nearly 100 ft using only his foot-long ponytail.

Sailendra Nath Roy was hampered by surging crowds as he pulled
the 22,000-lb bus with his hair and ultimately came up well short of the world
record by 550 ft.

You might remember the 35-year-old Roy from the times he
pulled a van and a jeep with his ponytail. And who could forget that time he
lifted a 44-lb weight with his mustache? He's now planning another attempt at a
world record by towing an airplane with his hair.

Roy explained his training method to Asian News
International. "Every morning I try uprooting a tree which helps me
develop my muscles," he said.

What goes around comes around

After a burglar finished robbing a house in Glenview, N.Y.,
recently, she realized she couldn't remember where her car was parked. Worried
about her baby she had left in the car, she called the police to report it

The police were able to locate the car and the child quickly
and then arrested the woman for burglary and child endangerment.

Ironically, while the woman was robbing the house, someone
broke into her car and stole her purse. 

Having a field day

A Belgian man's car was recently spotted on the side of the
road, but the owner was nowhere in sight. He was later found in a nearby field
crawling on his hands and knees eating grass.

Police say they found the man grunting like a pig as he
grazed. He was taken to a hospital where his alcohol level was found to be well
over the legal driving limit.

In court, the man offered a perfectly logical explanation to
the judge. "I like eating grass," he said, "especially when I'm
drunk. It tastes like spinach."

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