News of the Weird: March 2006

March 25, 2006

More News of the Weird  


The Chicago Tribune reported in March that dozens of blind students in Chicago public schools are nonetheless required to take driver education classes. One sightless but otherwise optimistic student told the Tribune she resented the requirement because it made her uncharacteristically dwell on something that she cannot do. [Chicago Sun-Times, 2-11-06]


Life Imitates a GEICO Commercial: A teenager lost control of his car in Kettering, Ohio, in March, and smashed into a house, causing major damage. According to police, he had swerved to avoid hitting an albino squirrel (which, unlike in the commercial, did not survive). Another squirrel caused a four-car collision in March in Mount Pleasant Township, Pa., but no injuries were reported. Neither human was cited by police. [WHIO-TV (Dayton), 1-12-06] [York Daily Record, 3-14-06]


“Reeking” As a Career Field: Homeless New Jersey man Richard Kreimer said in February that he had settled, on undisclosed terms, part of his most recent lawsuit, against a transit company and two drivers, for having denied him rides because of his foul odor. Kreimer’s history includes a $150,000 settlement in 1991 with the public library in MorrisCounty, which had tried to keep him out because of the odor, and, by his count, $80,000 in additional lawsuit-related income (though some went for legal expenses). Kreimer dropped another foul-odor lawsuit in February, against a transit company and a train station in Summit. [Press of Atlantic City, 2-18-06; Newsday-AP, 3-2-06]


Police in Milford, Texas (just south of Dallas), arrested a man in February who had fled a traffic stop, and in the ensuing chase, saw him tear open and toss out bag after bag of a substance (but some blew back in the car). When finally stopped, said police chief Carlos Phoenix, the man was “literally covered in marijuana” from the blowback. [San Francisco Chronicle-AP, 2-6-06]


Matthew John Wyman, told to recite the alphabet at a roadside DUI stop in West Roxbury, Mass., in November, asked the officer if he could please substitute a math problem instead (Answer: No). [Boston Herald, 11-23-05]


In December, Terry Dresdow of Milwaukee became the latest person to have his car stolen and retrofitted by the thief with fancy equipment, and then to get his car back after the thief was caught. His 1989 Chevrolet Caprice, which cost him $1200 used, now has a top-of-the-line stereo system, deluxe spoked wheels, and keyless entry. [Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 2-3-06] [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12-8-05]


An 81-year-old school crossing guard was accidentally struck and killed by a 70-year-old crossing guard who was driving to his own post (Park Ridge, N.J., October). [The Record ( Hackensack, N.J.), 10-26-05]

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