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Sick goldfish, snake in can top weird 2016.12.21

By RICH FOLEY

I suppose this year’s presidential election could be considered the strangest news of 2016, but I think I’m not the only one tired of hearing about it, especially when there’s so much more to discuss. For instance, that snake in a can of green beans.

Back in February, a Mormon church in Utah was hosting a dinner for the older members of their congregation when one of the kitchen staff discovered a snake head while dishing up some green beans. The woman told the Associated Press that “It was a very small snake that had clearly been cut up.”

They saved the head and an empty can to take back to the store where they had bought the food, produced by a food distributor in Oregon. The pot of beans, along with several others containing beans from the same source were thrown out. I never was a fan of green beans, but now I have a reason why.

Various other food items were involved in a series of accidents around the country during 2016. In New Jersey, a truck carrying deli meats was involved in a wreck with a bread truck. Local media claimed the accident created a ‘sandwich-like spill.” No, I’m not making this up.

A truckload of onions spilled in a three-vehicle incident on Interstate 10, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles. The truck driver was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, not to mention, I’d guess, a strong aroma of dip.

In Maryland, a tractor-trailer hauling bacon, ribs and other pork products caught fire on Interstate 68. Eastbound traffic near Cumberland was shut down for six hours. Several area fire departments were called to help put out the fire. I wonder if they all went out for barbecue afterwards?

Is all this food talk making you thirsty? In New York, a Budweiser truck crashed in Brooklyn, spilling several hundred cans of beer on an expressway. I’m sure passersby “helped” authorities with cleanup.

Meanwhile, in May at the Italian Open, tennis star Serena Williams ordered a salmon and rice meal for her Yorkshire terrier from a special room-service menu for dogs. When it arrived, it looked so good, she decided to try it and immediately got sick. She commented later that the $17 doggie meal “tasted a little bit like a house cleaner.” Despite that, she still went on to win the tournament.

In August, a Georgia man was arrested for domestic violence after getting rough with his wife when she served him a grilled cheese sandwich. His justification for the outburst? She put three slices of cheese on the sandwich, but he was expecting just two. He’ll be lucky to get one slice in jail.

Was there any good food news this year? One story did have a happy ending. A Kansas State University student lost a Kit Kat bar he had left in the cup holder of his unlocked vehicle. The thief left a note of apology, saying that they were hungry, they loved Kit Kats, the door was unlocked and that was all they stole.

The victim posted a photo of the note on Twitter and when the news reached the Hershey company, they sent a representative to KSU with 6,500 Kit Kats. The former victim, now loaded with candy bars, packed up his car and drove around campus, giving away nearly all of them. I wonder if the thief secretly got another one?

It was a great year for customer service as a woman sent a tweet to Amtrak in February when she was stuck in a station elevator. In September, seven months later, she received an answer saying “We’re sorry to hear that,” adding, “Are you still in the elevator?”

August was a strange month in professional baseball. On the tenth, the Minnesota Twins hosted an umbrella giveaway night. The game ended up being rained out. Their promotions person is a genius. On the 21st, Brandon Thomas, an outfielder with the Gateway Grizzlies near St. Louis, hit a grand slam home run out of the ballpark. After the game, he discovered his homer had broken the windshield of his truck.

In Australia, a goldfish was in poor condition after swallowing a pebble. Its owner paid $500 for it to receive lifesaving surgery. That’s one lucky goldfish. I assume the money went toward buying some really small surgical instruments.

Finally, a lightning strike in Norway in September killed 323 reindeer. That’s pretty sad news. So give Santa a break if he’s a little late this year. It takes time to train a new sled-pulling team.