Now that it’s been established that pretty much every media outlet is pumping out an endless stream of fake news, it’s more important than ever to stay informed about what’s really happening around the world. I’ve never claimed to be a journalist and I wouldn’t know real news if I woke up next to it but I can tell the difference between news stories and stories about things that really happened.
Take for example the story about a heating and air conditioning company in Pennsylvania that recently removed an alarm clock from inside a wall vent in a families home. Nobody would ever consider that a news story but it really happened and it’s kind of cool.
The story starts back in September of 2004 when a homeowner tied an alarm clock to a string and lowered it exactly a foot into a wall vent so that when the alarm rang he’d know exactly where to drill the hole for his new TV cable. Well, that’s one way to do it, I suppose.
Another way might have been to use a tape measure or a ruler or maybe use the string to mark off the desired distance instead of tying it to an alarm clock…but I get it… that’s just what they’d expect you to do. Anybody can do things the easy way.
The trouble came when the clock fell off the string and settled into crawl space ... but kept working and working. The alarm went off every day at exactly 6:50 PM and rang for ten minutes…every day for almost 13 years. A local TV station did a story about the never-ending alarm clock because…well because it’s local TV news, right? It took the professionals less than ten minutes to remove the clock after seeing the story.
Tokyo is safe again after police finally captured a serial ... underwear thief. A 61 year-old pervert was caught on a surveillance video stealing women’s underwear that was hanging out to dry at a costume rental shop. I really don’t know what’s creepier; the old guy stealing ladies underwear or the fact that you can rent underwear at a costume shop.
Police later found over 1,000 pair of women’s underwear in the man’s apartment. He confessed that he’d been stealing lingerie for over 30 years from clotheslines and laundry rooms because sometimes, late at night, he just likes to feel pretty. Well who doesn’t…but I still can’t get past the creepy rental panties, that’s just wrong.
The streets of Newfoundland Canada are safe again as well. We’re talking about Canada here so the crime wasn’t as heinous or dangerous as stealing rental underwear but it’s real news because it was an assault ... in Canada! When was the last time you heard of a Canadian thug assaulting anyone?
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, which may be the coolest name for a police department ever, arrested an 18 year-old man after security footage clearly showed him throwing a slice of pizza at a bystander from the window of a passing car. The victim wasn’t hurt, in fact the pizza missed him completely, but apparently what is littering in the rest of the world is felonious assault in Canada. While the Constabulary was not able to establish a motive it was clear that the young man did not share his food politely…so he was charged with Canadian assault.
Meanwhile in Australia a seven foot long great white shark jumped into the boat of a 73 year-old fisherman, who reacted by saying, “There’s a shark in me boat!” When the Aussie coast guard showed up the captain was quoted as saying, ”There’s a shark in your boat!” Later when the local authorities were asked to comment on the incident they responded by saying, ‘It was totally out of the ordinary.” The Aussie’s accent is so cool that they don’t need to say a whole lot to make their point.
I don’t have to tell you that this is real news; you know it’s real because you can’t make this stuff up. You can’t fabricate alarm clocks in a wall, create a Japanese panty thief or fake a Canadian fast food drive by.
The best part of being a humor columnist with absolutely no credibility or journalistic integrity is that I don’t have to waste my time trying to prove I’m right. This is real stuff — it may not be real important, but it’s pretty funny.
Rick Seley is an award-winning humor columnist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.