Darrell Huckaby - Real life can be so much stranger than fiction

So I woke up early Friday morning and wasn't quite sure of the topic I wanted to address today. It happens. Sometimes the things that are on my mind aren't really the things that are likely to be on the minds of my readers.

Sometimes the things on my mind aren't fit for public consumption, if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty.

Let's face it; we've just about said all that needs saying about Sarah Palin and Barack Obama and - who was that other candidate? Oh, yes. John McCain. Ditto College football. And it has been a long time since a Yankee has made me mad. So what to do?

I did what I often do in these situations. I began to scour the wire services for unusual news stories. Let's face it, y'all. There are about 6.5 billion people on the planet. Surely one or two of them, I reasoned, have done something outrageous or newsworthy this week.

You just wouldn't believe. Or maybe you would. All of the things I am going to tell you about - every single one - were in the news on Thursday.

In Valentine, Neb. - yes it's a real place; population 2,650 - there is a night stalker on the loose. He sneaks around town and - this is not for the squeamish - leaves prints of his buttocks on store windows. Seems like there has been a "full moon" over Valentine every night for about a month now - and the police can't catch him. And we thought that people throwing their cigarette butts out of their cars at red lights was annoying!

The little town of Saugatuck, Mich., has a quite different problem. A businessman in that town, Steve Oswald, got so tired of hearing complaints about how dirty the public restroom in the downtown sector of Saugatuck was that he took it upon himself to clean the thing. It took him 45 minutes, by his own admission.

Nice civic-minded guy, right?

Not exactly. He sent the city council a bill - for $156.

If I could make that kind of money, I would clean every restroom between here and California. And here's the kicker. The city council is actually considering paying the guy. If they do, I may run up to Michigan and fill in a couple of their potholes. I could probably make enough to retire.

The officials in Saugatuck might be considered geniuses, however, when compared to their counterparts in Elkhart, Ind.

It seems that up in Elkhart, city officials buried a time capsule back in 1958. After 50 years the city was supposed to dig it up and add some more items and then bury it for another 50 years. Well, here we are in 2008 and it is time to dig. But nobody can remember where the original time capsule is located.

I hate it when that happens.

The craziness is not confined to our country, either. In Australia, a government minister was forced to resign from his post in New South Wales because he got drunk, stripped down to his under-drawers and danced on a table - at a party celebrating his appointment to office. He had been on the job three days.

You can't make this stuff up. People are just absolutely crazy.

They say that the unemployment rate is up in this country, unauthorized restroom cleaning, notwithstanding, but in New Zealand a whole new job market might be opening up. You won't believe this one.

Air New Zealand, which is the official national airline of that country, is seeking 70 men who will be paid $1000 each to help with a new advertising campaign.

Sounds like a good gig. Want to know what the qualifications are?


That's what I said. Baldness. Air New Zealand is going to pay 70 bald men $1,000 each to have advertising slogans tattooed on the back of their heads. Then they have to stand around in lines at the airport. Sounds like good work if you can get it.

Let's face it. We live in a strange world, full of strange people. My favorite story of the week, however, comes from Albuquerque, N.M.

A 31-year-old man was pulled over for weaving in traffic. When the officer checked his driving record he learned that the man had five previous arrests for drinking and driving and had paid $1,750 in fines. This time, however, he had a good excuse for his erratic driving. He told the arresting officer that he swerved because his passenger spilled beer on him.

Like shooting fish in a barrel, y'all. Just like shooting fish in a barrel.

See you next week.

Darrell Huckaby is a local author and educator. He can be reached at dHuck08@bellsouth.net.