There are times when you think every oddball, loon and cuckoo in America can be found right here in our village.
This is not true. Oh sure, here in Colorado Springs we see nuts more often than visitors to the Playboy Mansion when 147-year Hugh Hefner wanders around with his robe open. But other places have their share of soft-headed people, too.
Take Chicago. Police there pulled over a driver the other day and found a 3-year-old girl in the back seat — waving a loaded 9mm handgun.
Here you're probably thinking the same thing I'm thinking: I didn't know Gazette editorial writer Wayne "Not Every Insecure, Angry and Uneducated Person Has a Handgun, But We're Working On It" Laugesen even had a kid.
Turns out the driver was 19-year-old Queshawn King. In the car with him and the handgun-packing toddler were the child's mother and grandma.
Yet another reason why you should never, ever hitchhike.
Another person who doesn't live here but will probably arrive soon is 56-year-old Jerald Reiter, who was recently charged with drunken driving in Dubuque, Iowa. Police, trained to spot these things, said they pulled him over because of the parrot and the zebra that were in the vehicle with him.
From the parrot: "Shoulda let the zebra drive. Squawwwwkkkk!" But whatever you do, don't let the cow drive. (You will laugh at that line in just a moment. I think.)
Police in Boxford, Mass., said a herd of cows wandered into a backyard party last week and began drinking the guests' beer — knocking the open cans off a table and lapping the suds off the ground.
Livestock experts say cows do that because of the grain and barley used to make beer. And also because they don't have thumbs and cannot hold a can.
(Hoofnote: Many believe drinking beer off the ground is why our highly esteemed U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn doesn't get invited to Washington D.C. cocktail parties. This is not true. He doesn't get invited to parties because he blurts out ignorant things about black people.)
Which is even worse than sending a text message to police offering to sell them methamphetamines.
Sheriff's deputies said they arrested Reymundo Escobedo and seized two grams of meth near Santa Barbara, Calif., after neighboring police got the man's drug-dealing texts. Escobedo said the texts were sent accidentally. (Whew. And for a minute I thought he was an idiot.)
I don't know how this fits here, but researchers say they've found a long-lost report from the first doctor to treat President Abraham Lincoln after he was shot in a Washington theater.
From the Associated Press: "Dr. Charles Leale rushed to the presidential box and found Lincoln leaning against his wife. Leale ordered that brandy and water be brought to the president immediately."
Historians say Lincoln told the doctor he didn't want a cocktail right then, but did indicate that he was somewhat concerned about the big hole in his head.
Also concerned about something was sharp-thinking school superintendent Lori Handler from suburban Cincinnati, who withheld diplomas from four graduates because the parents cheered too loudly when the kids' names were called at commencement.
I think I speak for many of us when I ask, "What the heck happened to the good old days, when school officials only had to worry about the boys having sex with their teachers?"
And then we have my personal favorite, Colorado mother and motorist Sandra Ramirez of Aurora, who was stopped by police on May 30.
Sitting in the backseat, wearing only a diaper, was her 2-year-old son. He was held in place somewhat by a lap belt but was not in his child seat — likely because the child seat was being used by a red plastic gasoline can. The gas can, it should be noted, was securely harnessed into the child seat.
Mom's actual explanation to police: The toddler was buckled into the car seat when police pulled her over but then he unbuckled it, slid onto the backseat and fastened the lap belt. Then, she said, her 14-year-old son, who was in the front passenger seat, reached back and strapped the gas can into the child seat.
It's enough to make you want to lap some beer off the ground.
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