Sometimes, when faced with a deadline, there’s no better place for a columnist to go than the actual headlines of the day. There’s stuff so bizarre, so out there, that it would be impossible to make up. And with all the news outlets having large presences on the InterWebs, there’s lots of low hanging fruit out there ripe for the picking.

Let’s start with another great headline from a local daily newspaper: “Dead Murder Suspect Fled to Keys.” That’s quite a trick. Maybe the Zombie Apocalypse truly is upon us. No word on whether he stopped in Miami to cast a ballot on his way down to the islands…

But there are no local limits to weird news events and headlines. Consider this story, courtesy Huffington Post: “Burger King likes to market its ‘flame-broiled’ hamburgers, but on Tuesday it was the company’s French fries that were put to the fire. Some 40,000 pounds of frozen fries en route from Canada’s Prince Edward Island to New Jersey were given the extra-crispy treatment as the delivery truck burned in the parking lot of a WalMart in Waterville, Maine.” I’ll have mine extra crispy.

And for you travelers to Germany, there’s a new app (courtesy of Barstool Sports): “If a German app launched this month succeeds, smartphones could well be the next big marketplace for prostitution. The Berlin-based Peppr app uses GPS to connect potential clients with prostitutes in their immediate area. Prostitution is legal in Germany, and the app’s declared intention is to save prostitutes from having to pound sidewalks for customers. It was created by Austrian developer Pia Poppenreiter – you couldn’t make up her (actually genuine) last name, which translates loosely as ‘screw-rider’ – who came up with the idea after seeing sex workers out of doors on a cold night.”

Hungry? Try this Asian taste treat, courtesy NBC New York: “The aroma of one of South Korea’s most popular delicacies is regularly compared to rotting garbage and filthy bathrooms. And that’s by fans. The unusual dish is typically made by taking dozens of fresh skate, a cartilage-rich fish that looks like a stingray, stacking them up in a walk-in refrigerator and waiting. Up to a month in some cases. The smell of the fishy dish, called hongeo in Korean and usually eaten uncooked, is unmistakable, unavoidable and a deal-breaker for many. A profound, pungent stink of ammonia radiates from the animal after it’s been ripening for weeks. First-timers often squeeze their eyes shut as they chew. Tears stream down the cheeks. The throat constricts with the effort of swallowing.” And it probably won’t make the McDonald’s Dollar Menu.

Closer to home, courtesy NBC News: “Three women are the latest victims of Gainesville’s urinating man. Police are investigating seven cases in which people say they were standing with their backs to a man who began urinating on them. Each case happened along a street across from the University of Florida campus. The first cases were reported in February. The Gainesville Sun reports the man exposes himself to the victims when they confront him. Then, he runs away.” Proving the old adage that it is better to be pissed off than…

And finally, this also from NBC New York: “A man accused of exposing himself to women as he propositioned them with Swiss cheese in the Philadelphia area is facing additional charges. Police say that they’re adding another set of charges for indecent exposure and harassment against 42-year-old Christopher Pagano in light of a woman’s claim that Pagano approached her and a friend and asked them if they would like to get paid to watch him put Swiss cheese on his genitals… Pagano was arrested at his Norristown home last January, following a joint investigation between Norristown and Philadelphia police into a string of incidents involving a man one local community watch group dubbed the ‘Swiss Cheese Pervert.’” Holey curdled milk product, Batman! There are far too many punchlines to this story, none of which are suitable for publication.

I suddenly have a craving for a fermented fish and Swiss cheese sandwich… with a side of fries.


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  1. Dear John, This is one of the funniest articles that you have written in a long while.
    I laughed so much that as I lent over from the stool in front of my computer, “Gravity [almost] took over”
    Please keep them coming.

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