Columns

2013.12.24 Making Fayette famous and other 2013 news

on . Posted in Nowhere Road

By RICH FOLEY

Another year has come and almost gone, so it’s my last chance in 2013 to fit in some news I haven’t yet passed along. My favorite item concerns a golden retriever named Sundance whose excrement ended up being worth $500.

Last April, the dog accompanied owner Wayne Klinkel on a trip from Montana to visit Klinkel’s daughter in Colorado. While there, Sundance, who had been left briefly in Klinkel’s car, found, then ate, five hidden $100 bills. Then, the fun began.

For several days after returning home, Klinkel followed Sundance around, armed with rubber gloves and plastic bags to collect any doggie discharges he could find. Meanwhile, back in Colorado, Klinkel’s daughter waited for the snow to melt so she could search for any evidence left there by Sundance.

Eventually, Klinkel collected all the  “leftovers” and went to work. Using what he told one reporter was “lots of dish soap,” Klinkel cleaned, dried and ironed the paper scraps as best he could. Two of the bills were still largely intact. The rest were something like a jigsaw puzzle with lots of missing pieces.

Klinkel taped the remaining fragments together, then presented them to all the local banks, none of which would accept them. What a surprise. He finally sent his handiwork to the U.S. Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, whose examiners eventually determined that the submitted scraps were indeed genuine and from five separate $100 bills. How would you like to have that job?

In October, Klinkel received a check from the Treasury Department to reimburse him for the loss. Apparently, Klinkel is having trouble learning from the experience. He let Sundance pose for a photo in his local newspaper with the refund check in his mouth. Does he really want to go through this again? And after unsuccessfully trying to turn in the digested bills in his hometown, does Klinkel now have to do his banking in North Dakota?

Speaking of the Dakotas, one of several controversies concerning this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving parade involved singer and animal rights activist Joan Jett. She was removed from the parade’s South Dakota tourism float after complaints from the state’s ranchers.

I still haven’t figured this one out. Jett was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Los Angeles. Why would she be on a South Dakota tourism float in the first place?

Then there was the man who made an interesting “donation” to medical science. Mark Parisi, who has often taken part in various medical experiments in return for  cash, announced his latest “gift” on the CBS show “The Doctors.”

This time, Parisi gave up his left testicle for $35,000. He plans to spend the money on a Nissan 370Z. Remember the good old days when cars only cost an arm and a leg?

In happier news, all ended up well in Oklahoma City after the bomb squad investigated a package found by a citizen. The suspicious container had aluminum foil extending from the lid.

Upon an X-ray inspection, the foil-wrapped object was discovered to be a harmless burrito. No word on whether anyone was then allowed to eat it.

Finally, there was a small brush with fame when I subjected over three and a half million readers of Automobile Magazine to a letter to the editor in the October issue. Inadvertently, I ended up being the only representative from mid-America in that month’s issue.

Responding to a column in the August issue, I managed to mention columnist Jamie Kitman, a mythical “Police Car Hall of Fame,” the classic television show “Adam 12,” officers Malloy and Reed from the series, the mean streets of Los Angeles, the AMC Matador, NASCAR, Bobby Allison and the late Mark Donohue, all in less than 70 words. Perhaps it was the letter’s brevity that helped me make the cut. 

Except for one from Alberta, Canada,  the other nine letters in the issue were from California or somewhere along the eastern seaboard. I wonder if any readers  consulted an atlas to locate this mysterious town named “Fayette, Ohio?” It was something of an honor to have the only letter from fly-over country in the issue.

Yes, believe it or not, these were the highlights of 2013 here at Nowhere Road. With any luck, 2014 will be a bit more exciting.

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