Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Flying Sausage & the Virgin Mary

Here's a little quiz. One of the following stories is not true. The other six are true. Can you find the fake one?

1. Court Brief Attempts to Strip "T"s

The ACLU has filed a lawsuit in a Washington D.C. district court accusing the Federal Government of violating the establishment clause of the first amendment. The reason? Because the letter "t" (which resembles a cross) appears on virtually all government documents.

"The Christian faith is clearly promoted by the use of this particular symbol. No other religion has the symbol of its faith presented in the same manner," ACLU lawyer Jacob Jernigan said.

Tonight Show host Jay Leno added during his nightly monologue that, "It sounds like dotting your 'i's and crossing your 't's could wind up landing you in jail! Who knows, minding your 'p's and 'q's could be next!"

2. Beware of flying frozen sausages

An Englishman learned that the hard way Monday afternoon, according to British wire services

"He was driving his car when the offending item came through his open window and hit him on the nose," an ambulance-service spokesman told reporters.

The unnamed man, 46, had left work and was heading home to South Woodham Ferrers, Essex east of London, when the meat missile entered his vehicle.

Despite having broken his nose, and losing a lot of blood, the driver declined to be taken to the hospital.

"It must have been an incredibly lucky, or unlucky, shot to get the sausage through a moving car window," commented the spokesman. "I have never seen or heard of anything like this before."

Police said they were looking into the incident.

3. Empty Beer Trucks' a Bummer for Bandits

The last of three stolen beer trucks has been found at the bottom of the Snake River Canyon near the Hansen Bridge.

It was one of three empty Budweiser trucks stolen from a Twin Falls, Idaho, distributor sometime after it closed on April 8.

Two of the trucks were found the next day. One was dangling over the Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir canyon rim. A second truck was on its side nearby.

Evidence suggests that disappointment may have motivated the thieves to attempt driving the trucks over the canyon edge after discovering they were empty.

Watkins Distributing is offering $5,000 for information that leads to the arrests of people involved.

4. And You Thought the Bathrooms Smelled Funny

A Fresno, California, High School substitute teacher charged with smoking marijuana with students has apologized for his actions.

Chris Bochin wrote a letter to The Fresno Bee saying he set a terrible example for students. He says that five years of pot smoking made him "mentally powerless."

He was arrested last month after smoking marijuana with five ninth-graders in a science class. The students were suspended for five days.

Bochin has pleaded innocent to charges of giving marijuana to minors and contributing to their delinquency. His case is scheduled to be heard next month in Fresno Superior Court.

His lawyer says Bochin is receiving drug counseling

5. Great Great Grandma Guns Down Grocery Gunman

A man accused of bursting into a Jacksonville, Florida, convenience store demanding money was in the hospital Friday, shot, authorities said, by the great-great-grandmother working behind the counter.

"I think he thought I was an old woman and would just give him the money," Grammer, 64, said Friday. "My life was at stake. I thought he was going to kill me."

So she pulled a pistol out from under the cash register and fired once, hitting the man in the chest.

He fell to the ground, dropped his gun and then fled, leaving a trail of blood. Grammer fired two more shots as he was running away.

The sheriff's report said a man fitting the suspect's description and injury went to a hospital a short time later. He told doctors he shot himself.

Grammer, who has 10 children, 32 grandchildren, three great grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, said she worried she had killed the man.

"All I could think about was his poor parents," Grammer said.

6. The Devil Is In the Details

An Oakley, California, man has asked the federal government to rename Mount Diablo, saying the current name, which means devil in Spanish, is offensive to his religious sensibilities.

"Words have power, and when you start mentioning words that come from the dark side, evil thrives," Art Mijares told the Contra Costa Times. "When I take boys camping on the mountain, I don't even like to say its name."

To make the change, Mijares would need to persuade federal, state and local governments that it's necessary.

It's been called Mount Diablo for at least 164 years. Changing its name would also mean changing its name on tens of thousands of maps, books and historical documents.

7. Our Lady of the Underpass

"When you come down here -- that's why I wanted to come down here and see for myself -- when you come down here and you see it, it's real," said Joanne Grablik, of Inverness. "It is beautiful."

State police said what the people are seeing is a salt stain from the Kennedy overpass.

Obdulia Delgado, of Chicago, said she was driving home along Fullerton Avenue on April 10 after getting off work at St. Elizabeth Hospital when she saw what she believes to be the Virgin Mary on the wall. She quickly pulled over and examined the form, and then began praying.

"Monday through Friday I go to school and Saturday and Sunday I work, so since I haven't been able to go to church, I asked her, 'Please help me with school because I'm having my finals,' but I felt like she was like, 'If you can come to me, I'm going to go to you,'" Delgado said.
Delgado said she rushed home and told her husband, Fidel, what she saw.

Fidel Delgado said he was skeptical of his wife's claim until the two went to the site.

"I was just stunned," Fidel Delgado said at the underpass Monday morning.

There was some discussion early Monday about the city coming in and either painting over the image or power washing the image off due to the traffic congestion it has been causing. However, the area is under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Department of Transportation and officials there said that there are no plans to remove the image.

"Everybody's amazed. It's hard to begin to believe, but when you see it, it changed something in you. You believe in the faith," Snezna DiLorenz said.

"It's a miracle. It's an image of something ... you can't describe it," Jose Recinos said.

"We're here because the Virgin Mary is on the wall, and she's inside the wall, and we were just curious, but at the same time we're scared, wondering why she's there and what the meaning is of her being there," Annette Byrd said.

Police were at the scene Monday to keep an eye on the crowd.
Answer to Quiz: (scroll down a bit)

Number 1 is the fake. Radio talk-show host Dennis Prager made up the story tonight to use as an example showing just how low the reputation of the ACLU has fallen.

People who phoned in expressing their concern seemed to have no problem believing that the ACLU was fully capable of doing something as stupid as this.

Numbers 2-6 are taken almost verbatim from FoxNews and Number 7 was gleaned from Chicago's NBC5 On-Line. What a weird world we live in!
Even the names are almost too good to be true!