By RICH FOLEY
I’ve always been a bit jealous of writers who get others to do their research for them. Some of you may be familiar with the “News of the Weird” column in which Chuck Shepherd edits and reruns odd news items sent in by readers. No need to leave the office, just wait for the news to roll in.
Back when he wrote a regular column, Dave Barry often thanked an “alert reader” who sent in a strange news item that Barry then used as a column idea. It was a goal of mine to become an alert reader, but at the time, I never came across anything I considered worthy. At least Barry gave his contributors credit by name, unless several sent in the same article.
Now Jay Leno does much the same thing on “The Tonight Show” with his “Headlines” and “Police Blotter” features. I actually sent some contributions in last summer, but none of them made the cut. I thought an ad for toothpaste containing an endorsement from a dentist named “Dr. Fang” would make it, but no luck.
A few months later, a “Headlines” segment showing several ads for doctors with odd names had one for another Dr. Fang. Is that a common name for dentists? I felt slightly cheated, but since Leno doesn’t give credit to contributors, no one would know, anyway.
An old ad with a local connection actually made Leno’s feature earlier this year. Several years ago, an advertising insert for Chief Supermarkets which ran in the Observer, along with several other papers, advertised a meat item that was a certain percent “fat free.” Only it didn’t say “fat;” instead it was related intestinal gas. Someone must have taken the ad out of their scrapbook and sent it in.
I’d think Leno would like some of the strange car ads I repeat at times, but for some reason, he never seems to show any. That’s odd, since he’s such a car guy. Instead, I’ve rounded up a few more ads, headlines and contributions for “Police Blotter.” Maybe he’ll like something out of this batch.
I have an ad from an Adrian store for Del Monte Fruit Cocktail. “Your Choice!,” says the ad. “2/$1 or $1 each.” After some thought, I think I’ll take the 2/$1.
A Mexican restaurant in Defiance recently ran a hard-to-resist coupon: “Spend $50 and receive $1 off entire order!” Really? A whopping 2 per cent off? I hope they were able to handle the crowds.
Maybe he’d like this headline about a California marijuana initiative: “Pot measure’s immediate effect remains up in air.”
My best chance of making the show might come when Jay does the “Police Blotter” feature. Lenawee County has had some interesting police reports recently. Jay almost has to like one of these.
In the first one, the Adrian Police Department answered a call at 4 a.m. regarding a man who was said to be “breaking glass and creating a disturbance.” The man told police he was celebrating because “a friend was coming to pick him up in a limousine with Sandra Bullock.” He was arrested for disorderly conduct and released on bond.
At 11:50 a.m., officers returned after complaints the same man was standing in the street “yelling he was going to blow up his house.” I sure hope Ms. Bullock wasn’t inside. This time, he was jailed.
In a report from the Michigan State Police, an Onsted woman was injured when her car left U.S. 223 in Rome Township and overturned several times. That’s never a happy situation, but it’s hard not to laugh at the cause of her losing control.
The woman told troopers she was eating yogurt at the time of the crash. And no, she wasn’t Jamie Lee Curtis. She did, however, get a citation for careless driving.
Leno, as a fast food fan, ought to appreciate the final item. An Adrian woman, driving south on North Main Street, called the Adrian Police Department after someone in a northbound car threw something at her vehicle.
The object in question, according to the police report, was a McDonald’s McChicken sandwich. The woman reported that the car fled the scene. The police had no suspects at the time of the report.
No suspects at all? Do we know what Mayor McCheese and Grimace were doing at the time? And how about that Burger King? He always looked pretty suspicious to me.
That’s all I’ve got for now, Jay. Take your pick.