News Stories Stranger Than Fiction

We all need a little escape from reality now and then, and it's easy with all of the entertainment choices at our disposal. Or, you could just read the news. The world is a crazy place, full of bizarre plot lines that any editor in their right mind would reject as highly implausible.

Truck driver loses his marbles

Nobody likes a morning commute, except that one guy you know who says he finds it calming, which has to be a complete crock. Everybody on the road is at different coffee and stress levels, and it can seem like half of them have somehow never operated a car before. It's enough to make you lose your marbles, but if you do, it probably won't generate headlines. Unless you're a truck driver transporting 38,000 pounds of actual marbles.

In perhaps the most slam-dunk case ever of a headline writing itself, Indiana State Police reported that a trailer carrying this very cargo became detached from its truck and spilled all over the Interstate one morning in January 2017, requiring a lane to be closed for the entire day to clean up the mess. It sucks to be the butt of so obvious a joke, but at least the driver of the truck can take solace in the fact that he wasn't hauling manure.

Try the catfish surprise

Philly resident Lisa Lobree was on her way to a class at her gym in September 2016 when she was violently assaulted with a blunt instrument. Fortunately, her injuries were minor, as her assailant was a bird, and the blunt instrument was a dead catfish that the winged jerk dropped 50 feet onto Lisa's face.

One moment, she was minding her business, busily not being near any bodies of water, and the next: WHAM! Catfish to the grill. Lisa was treated for a cut to her face at a local hospital and for a strong fishy odor by a 30-minute long shower. Lisa says she still loves to fish but will attempt future catches with a traditional rod and reel and not bear-style.

Some smashing snacks

When crews were called in to clean up after the highway collision of two semi trucks in early 2016, they might have been expecting the worst. Such a crash carries the potential for destruction, injuries, and death, so the workers steeling themselves for the sight of maimed bodies were probably relieved to instead find a freaking party.

Well, at least most of the ingredients for one. One rig had been hauling Frito-Lay products, the other Busch beer, and the festive contents of both trucks were now deposited all over the road in a scene that looked as if a hundred Super Bowl parties had exploded. Fortunately, the crash took place at three in the morning and there were no injuries—both truck drivers even walked away without a scratch. This took place in Florida, where 90 percent of all headlines are this weird, so it only merited brief mentions on local news before being picked up by the Internet, the state's #1 export partner for craziness. Not to be outdone, two truckers hauling bread and deli meats collided in New Jersey just a few months later. Emergency workers dispatched several 55-gallon drums of mayonnaise to the scene.

The holiday hole

In November 2016, a lot of Americans were feeling a touch anxious for some reason. Around Thanksgiving, lovable pranksters Cards Against Humanity posted the following statement to their website: "The holidays are here, and everything in America is going really well. To celebrate Black Friday, Cards Against Humanity is digging a tremendous hole in the earth."

No stranger to holiday shenanigans, the company solicited donations via its website. The donations went to no announced cause. Pre-emptively answering the obvious question, the project's FAQ says, "Why aren't YOU giving all this money to charity? It's your money." The excavation to nowhere was viewed over 3 million times via live stream on the company's website, and raised over $100,000 for no purpose whatsoever. Commenters tried to paint the project as some kind of metaphor for Black Friday and needless consumerism, but this may be giving Cards Against Humanity a little too much credit. We prefer to think that inspiration came during a late-night drunken Shia LeBeouf movie marathon.

The Michigan waffle riot

Sunday morning at the Best Western in sleepy Mason County, Michigan, seems an unlikely setting for civil unrest. Travelers checking out that morning were woefully unprepared for the chaos that greeted them as they descended to the buffet area. The bloody, torn limbs, wailing children, and wanton destruction that would come to be forever associated with the Great Michigan Waffle Riot of 2015.

Okay, so maybe it wasn't quite that bad. But authorities say that that morning, two little old ladies butted heads over who was next in line for the waffle maker. One said "that's my waffle," the other said "no, it's my waffle," and, in the words of Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, "it went downhill from there." Deputies arrived to find dozens of people shouting and arguing over the waffle maker. No actual physical assaults took place, but over 30 guests were ejected from the hotel by law enforcement. Then, presumably, all of the deputies chowed down on some delicious waffles.

The felonious dump

Most of us would rather avoid taking a dump in a public restroom. If said dump is to be particularly ... egregious, most us would rather eat a pine cone than subject the public to the wrath of our explosive bowels. But one unfortunate man took a public crap in a federal courthouse in 2013 that wasn't just offensive, that wasn't just embarrassing. It was criminal.

The 50-year-old man was on heart medication that gave him trouble containing himself, so to speak, and was at the courthouse for a civil case. Upon entry, he immediately made a beeline for the restroom, trailing liquid feces as he went, and then proceeded to subject said bathroom to the gastrointestinal equivalent of the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. According to an excruciatingly detailed 57-page court document, "seventy-five percent of the floor was covered in feces ... (it was) smeared more than two feet up on the walls (and) on the paper towel and toilet paper dispensers, on the toilet paper itself, and on part of the toilet seat and the left side of the toilet bowl."

While the man claimed he was too busy trying to make himself presentable to worry about the condition of the bathroom, all but one dissenting judge found otherwise and sentenced him to seven days in jail for willfully bombing the bathroom. The dissenter began his written opinion: "The momentous importance of this case surely forecasts its deserved place in the annals of federal prosecutorial history." Rarely is such sarcasm seen from a judge, nor a more appropriate use of the word annals.

Harambe Cheeto

The May 2016 shooting of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo captivated the Internet and, therefore, the world. Killed to protect a small child who had fallen into his enclosure, Harambe became a lightning rod for animal rights activists, meme makers, and thousands of bored people with no stake one way or the other but far too much time on their hands. In early 2017, one of these people posted an item for sale on eBay, an item that set the world on fire with its profound significance: a Flamin' Hot Cheeto that looked just like the deceased gorilla.

Of course, eBay is no stranger to this type of bullocks, from the corn flake shaped like Illinois to the infamous Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese. But while those items sold for $1,350 and $28,000 respectively, Harambe Cheeto brought down an insane $99,000 after getting 132 bids. Sure, the seller could have opened a youth center or saved the roller rink from being torn down, but the lure of this offensively seasoned, misshapen piece of puffed corn was understandably too much. The most messed-up thing about all of this is the damn thing really does look like Harambe.

Twice bitten

A man by the name of Jordan, whose last name has been withheld, told the BBC in September 2016 that he felt like "the most unlucky guy in the country." It's difficult to argue with him, and reporters probably could have just skimmed right over that quote for being redundant. Jordan was the subject of two articles, published five months apart, entitled "Redback Spider Bites Australian Man on Penis" and "Spider Bites Australian Man on Penis Again."

Jordan's first incident occurred in April, as the construction worker was using a porta-potty at his job site. The Redback's bite can be lethal, but Jordan was quickly taken to the hospital by chuckling coworkers and released in stable condition. Then, in September, the whole thing played out again like the world's worst Instant Replay. Jordan said that the first bite had made him wary of porta-potties, but the toilets had been cleaned that day and he had inspected his before taking a seat—but not quite thoroughly enough. The BBC declined to delve into the possibility that both incidents involved the same spider, and whether a task force should be assembled to deal with the Penis-Biting Redback of Sydney.

Bust of the year

In late 2016, sheriff's deputies in Harris County, Texas, thought they had perhaps their biggest bust ever after a traffic stop. Two pounds of a white substance had been found inside a sock in the vehicle of 24-year-old Ross Lebeau, and field tests had indicated that the stuff was meth, or possibly some kind of Super-Meth. Ross was booked, and a press release crowed that the bust "may have kept our children and loves ones free from being introduced to drugs." All in a day's work for Harris County, who had dramatically succeeded in removing from the streets two pounds of the state's purest, uncut kitty litter.

Why the hell would anyone drive around with a couple pounds of cat litter in a sock, you ask? Lebeau says it's supposed to keep the windows from fogging up, and we have no idea whether that works, and we're not going to try it to find out. Lebeau's attorney helpfully remarked that "it might be bad budget-cutting testing equipment" to blame, and the charges were obviously dismissed. The whole thing amounted to little more than a moderate pain in the ass for Lebeau, who probably became the first man to ever laugh his way through an entire three-day jail stay.

The war of art

In 2014, tech company Nanosystems developed a material called Vantablack, known as the "blackest black," because it absorbs 99.6 percent of all light. British sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor declared his intention to use the expensive material in an art piece and was granted the exclusive right to do so by Nanosystems. This pissed off artist Stuart Semple, creator of the "pinkest pink," to no end.

Semple's creation, an ultra-pink paint fittingly called PINK, was made available to artists all over the world—except Kapoor. In fact, so miffed was Semple at Kapoor's monopoly on Vantablack that he made buyers of his product sign a legal declaration stating they would let it nowhere near Kapoor, any of his associates, or presumably his dog. So it probably came as a bit of a shock when Kapoor posted a picture to his Instagram of his upraised middle finger dipped in PINK, with the caption "Up Yours."

Semple released a statement condemning the PINK leaker and also announcing his new product, Diamond Dust, the "glitteriest glitter." Kapoor is technically banned from obtaining this as well until he "stops acting like such a rotter and shares the mega black." It seems these may be just the first shots in the Battle of the Pettiest Petty.