Dummies Part 2

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Dummies Part 2

"Cleaner Polishes Off Patients." from (Cape Times, 6/13/96)
"For several months, our nurses have been baffled to find a dead patient in the same bed every Friday morning" a spokeswoman for the Pelonomi Hospital (Free State, South Africa) told reporters. "There was no apparent cause for any of the deaths, and extensive checks on the air conditioning system, and a search for possible
bacterial infection, failed to reveal any clues." "However, further inquiries have now revealed the cause of these deaths. It seems that every Friday morning a cleaner would enter the ward, remove the plug that powered the patient's life support system, plug her floor polisher into the vacant socket, then go about her business. When she had finished her chores, she would plug the life support machine back in and leave, unaware that the patient was now dead. She could not, after all, hear the screams and eventual death rattle over the whirring of her polisher.
"We are sorry, and have sent a strong letter to the cleaner in question. Further, the Free State Health and Welfare Department is arranging for an electrician to fit an extra socket, so there should be no repetition of this incident. The enquiry is now closed."

A San Francisco man -- wearing a full uniform and carrying a handgun -- impersonated a state fish and game warden for three months, checking licenses, issuing citations and confiscating fish, officials say. Brian Anthony Young told The Examiner that he posed as a game warden out of "boredom and drugs." He said he inspected more than 200 fishermen, boats, restaurants and stores.

At an Oklahoma rally for Republican Senator Don Nickles, Reagan urged his listeners to support the re-election of Don Rickles.

New Delhi, India (AP) -- Police kept 3,000 residents of a southern Indian village indoors Sunday and put up roadblocks to enforce a government ban on nude worship of a Hindu deity.
The commission that banned the festival was set up after a confrontation a year ago between opponents of nude worship and the naked devotees. Members of the pro-modesty faction tried to clothe the worshippers, but were instead stripped by the devotees.
Several policemen and some journalists were also stripped, which contributed to a state-wide protest.

The "Metropolitan Indians" of Italy produced parodies of posters and graffiti in an attempt to expose the reality behind the empty sloganizing of the Communists and the Italian Left parties. Examples from 1972 include: "LONG LIVE SACRIFICE", "BOSSES' POWER", "MORE WORK, LESS PAY", and "ALL POWER TO THE DROMEDARIAT."

Representative Tim Moor sponsored a resolution in the Texas House of Representatives in Austin, Texas calling on the House to commend Albert de Salve for his unselfish service to "his country, his state and his community."
The resolution stated that "this compassionate gentleman's dedication and devotion to his work has enabled the weak and the lonely throughout the nation to achieve and maintain a new degree of concern for their future. He has been officially recognized by the state of Massachusetts for his noted activities and unconventional
techniques involving population control and applied psychology."
The resolutiobn was passed unanimously.
Representative Moore then revealed that he had only tabled the motion to show how the legislature passes bills and resolutions often without reading them or understanding what they say. Albert de Salvo was the Boston Strangler.

When a street procession re-enacting the crucifixion (Easter, 1984) was halted by traffic in west London, a group of local youths surrounded the actor playing Jesus, cut loose his ropes, told him to run for it and said that they would cover his getaway.

In the autumn of 1983 a tape recording of a telephone conversation between President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher was sent anonynmously to newspapers in various parts of the world. A covering note claimed that the tape was a recording of a crossed line on which was heard part of the two leaders' telephone conversation.
In January, 1984 the story was taken up by the Sunday Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. The Sunday Times described the tape as part of a KGB propaganda war. The U.S. State Department said that the tape was evidence of "an increasingly sophisticated Russian disinformation campaign."
In fact the tape was made by members of the anarchist punk rock group Crass. The tape had been produced by using parts of T.V. and radio broadcasts made by the two leaders, then overdubbed with telephone noises.

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Six people drowned yesterday while trying to rescue a chicken that had fallen into a well in southern Egypt. An 18-year-old farmer was the first to descend into the 60-foot well. He drowned, apparently after an undercurrent in the water pulled him down, police said. His sister and two brothers, none of whom could swim well, went in one by one to help him, but also drowned. Two elderly farmers then came to help, but they apparently were pulled down by the same undercurrent. The bodies of the six were later pulled out of the well in the village of Nazlat Imara, 240 miles south of Cairo. The chicken was also pulled out. It survived.

Man Killed Repairing Truck - April 1, 1995
Kalamazoo Gazette -- James Burns, 34, of Alamo, Mich., was killed in March as he was trying to repair what police described as a "farm-type dump truck." Burns got a friend to drive the truck on a highway while Burns hung underneath so that he could ascertain the source of a troubling noise. Burns's clothes caught on something, however, and the other man found Burns "wrapped in the drive shaft."

Excerpted from "It Takes Special Training to Tell They Aren't Federal Bureaucrats" in _The Wall Street Journal_,
Wednesday, 19 July 1989
You probably suspected it all along, but here's confirmation: A lot of dummies commute to the nation's
Because of crawling rush-hour traffic around Washington, commuters from Virginia often are driven to use
faster-moving car-pool lanes on their state's highways. But not all adhere to the three-person-per-vehicle minimum for the lanes. And some scofflaws try to avoid detection by hauling make-believe passengers: mannequins, blow-up dolls, and dummies.
When [Officer Angela Logan] pulled the driver [of a suspicious car] over, he approached the officer's car,
trying, unsuccessfully, to prevent her from trekking to his. In the back seat, she found two mannequin heads, one
without a body. She then summoned two other troopers to the scene so they could ``witness that it in fact happened.''
Since dummies can be used as evidence, drivers who are hauled into court find it hard to beat the rap. One tried to argue that his wife, being an artist, used the mannequins for her work. The judge didn't buy it.
Some troopers are getting keener at detection. ``We have some people who have been doing this for some time,'' Sgt. Redden [of the Virginia State Police] says of his colleagues. ``They'll take some dummies aside and look them eyeball-to-eyeball.''

The Olympic Closing Ceremonies are about to start. This woman comes into the bar. She is a licensed insurance agent. She is an adult. She is not drunk. One assumes she can read and write. One assumes she can drive a car and vote in the Presidential election.
She asks Steve whether the Olympics are over and he tells her nearly so. She asks him who won the Olympics. (As though there was only one event.) He reminds her there are many events contested and asks her which event she's asking about. She informs him she just wants to know who won the Olympics. (He's sorry now he didn't tell her something like Carjackistan.) He tells her the U.S. won the most medals if that's what she means.
She doesn't seem to be certain that that's what she means but she appears glad to hear the news.
He makes the passing remark that the Soviet Union probably would have won more medals had they been here, and that the combined former Soviet Union countries undoubtedly won more than we did. She seems surprised by this and informs him that they (the Soviet Union) are still here.
At that moment, to prove her point, the TV happens to flash the medal count and she points to the Russians in second place. Steve mentions that that's just Russia and not all the other countries that made up the USSR
She doesn't understand this, as she believed the Soviet Union was just Russia and that they had simply changed their country's name since that's what we call them over here. He told her there were several countries involved and that they had broken up a while ago.
She hadn't heard about that and still didn't get it. They were still all just Russians, weren't they? And what did they break up for? And what was there to break up about?
Note that this is *not* a fabricated story! We're wondering whether she's heard about that little problem they've had in what used to be Yugoslavia, or perhaps that "walking on the moon" thing. To be fair, we're not discounting the possibility that maybe her ship just recently landed on this planet, and she's still getting up to speed.

This would have been on the Monday before election day in November of 1970, an election year in California. In our high school public speaking class, we were supposed to speak, pro or con, on a proposition on the ballot. That year there were 12 propositions.
In comes Bobbi, the original space cadet. She asks me which proposition I'm talking on and I tell her 13. What's that, she says, I haven't heard about that one. Oh, I say, it hasn't had a lot of publicity, but it's the one to repeal the law of gravity. Really, she says, I didn't know that the government could do that. I said that the technology has been there for centuries and it could have done it a long time ago, but no one had the guts to try to do it (religious issues, you know). She wonders if it is a good idea and I offer some pros and cons. I say I'm going con, so she picks pro (typical for her).
The teacher decides to go high to low on the propositions, pros first, then the cons. Who's first, he asks. Bobbi pops up and says I'll go first on Prop 13. Everyone looks slightly puzzled and says there are only 12, but Bobbi says, no, there are really 13, it's just that 13 isn't well publicized. She says she's going to talk pro on repealing the law of gravity. Everybody laughs, pleased with the joke, but she looks hurt, and says this is a really important
issue and it will slip away if we don't take it seriously. Everyone realizes she is really serious, and listens in stunned silence while she goes through the pros that I mentioned with her. She finishes up, and everyone just kind of sits there, not believing this. No one wants to be the one to tell her the truth.
A couple days later, after the election, she comments she can't find anything in the paper about Prop 13, and I tell her that the results are being suppressed as a result of a government conspiracy. This upsets her greatly and everyone is kind of looking on waiting for the other shoe to drop. She says she's upset and someone should do something about it and I suggest she should write her Congressmen and Senators in Washington, and she thinks she'll do just that. Everyone is still kind of watching this, waiting for something to happen. It doesn't.
I don't know if she ever wrote the letter, but if she did, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in D.C. when it came in....

Our First Runner Up, and the story we actually liked the best, comes from Susan. This was almost the winner. We think this was the dumbest act reported. However, as we were trying to find a dumb person, not necessarily the dumbest act, and as any of us on a given day is capable of doing something truly stupid, we opted for "Runner Up" status. Also, this story is about two teenage boys. They're all stupid. Anyway, without further ado, here is "Hot Tub Boys" ...

This is REAL. The people involved are still alive, and they were NOT using drugs at the time -- although I *hope* that their judgment was clouded by their previous drug use.
In November, about 10 years ago, two friends of mine, Ronnie and Steve, were trying to think of something to do. Both of them were about 17 years old. They noticed that Steve's dad had thrown out the old hot tub to make room for the new one that he had ordered; they decided to bring it to the canal nearby and take it across. I don't know exactly how deep this canal is, but it is a MAJOR ship channel and the undertow there is horrendous, AND it is at least 200 yards across.
They get to the canal, put the hot tub in, and it floats, so they climb in. They manage to paddle themselves about a quarter of the way across, and then decide that they need to get the water out that has splashed over the side...
This is their logic; I SWEAR these guys said this and were SERIOUS:
"Since the water is coming in over the sides, if we pull this drain plug, it will go out the hole."
The guys were not hurt. Luckily, it was a slow day in the ship channel, and the coast guard got to them within an hour. They were freezing cold, but that's about it.

At my wife's work Christmas party last year we were seated with one of the oral surgery assistants. One would think that someone with a responsible position like that would have a reasonable education, wouldn't you? The young lady in question had gone to college for two years and was able to walk and chew gum simultaneously.
During the evening the conversation drifted around to the shortness of the day during winter periods. Questioning her revealed that she somehow had missed a minor concept regarding the composition of the solar system: She still believed that the earth was the center of the system and that the sun revolved around us. She had no
knowledge of Copernicus, and as a side issue, was not sure that the earth was round!
Makes you wonder about the local educational system, doesn't it?
PS: While purchasing her car she used two VISA cards for the down payment.

45 year-old Amy Brasher was arrested in San Antonio, Texas, after a mechanic reported to police that 18 packages of marijuana were packed in the engine compartment of the car which she had brought to the mechanic for an oil change. According to the police, Brasher later said that she didn't realize that the mechanic would have to raise the hood to change the oil.

Portsmouth, R.l. Police charged Gregory Rosa, 25, with a string of vending machine robberies in January when he (1) fled from police inexplicably when they spotted him loitering around a vending machine and (2) later tried to post his $400 bail in coins.

Karen Lee Joachimmi, 20, was arrested in Lake City, Florida for robbery of a Howard Johnson's motel. She was armed with only an electric chain saw, which was not plugged in.

The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 7:50am, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walk away.

David Posman, 33, was arrested recently in Providence, R.I., after allegedly knocking out an armored car driver and stealing the closest four bags of money. It turned out they contained $800 in PENNIES, weighed 30 pounds each, and slowed him to a stagger during his getaway so that police officers easily jumped him from behind.

The Belgium news agency, Belga, reported in November that a man suspected of robbing a jewelry store in Liege said he couldn't have done it, "because he was busy breaking into a school at the same time." Police then arrested him for breaking into the school.

Drug-possession defendant Christopher Johns, on trial in March in Pontiac, Michigan, said he had been searched without a warrant. The prosecutor said the officer didn't need a warrant because of a "bulge" in Christopher's jacket could have been a gun. Nonsense, said Christopher, who happened to be wearing the same jacket that day in court. He handed it over so the judge could see it. The judge discovered a packet of cocaine in the pocket and laughed so hard he required a five-minute recess to compose himself.

Dave so-and-so of Anniston, Alabama, was injured recently after he attempted to replace a tubelike fuse in his Chevy pickup with a 22-caliber rifle bullet (used because it was a perfect fit). However, when electricity heated the bullet, it wet off and shot him in the knee.

In the 80's, a [local] radio station had a couple of DJs who claimed the stealth fighter had landed at the Mt. Joy airport in Mt. Joy, Iowa. This is used mainly be the weekend warriors, and once a year it's used for an air show. The authorities were notified after an estimated *10,000* people came to the airport. They asked the people why they were out there, and they were given the story about the stealth fighter.
The authorities then called the FBI, who talked to the FAA, who called the FBI back. The two DJs got yanked off the air and suspended for two weeks -- but not before some people at the airport, armed with cell phones, called into the station, got put on the air, and said that they couldn't see the thing. The DJs replied that it was proof the technology worked.
*To top it all off*: the DJs said the only way that you could see the plane was to move your head back and fourth -- like a chicken when it walks -- and try to catch a glimpse out of the corner of your eye. They stated that if you looked right at it, you would never see it. This was believed and a majority of the people were doing just this when the police arrived!

By JD Robinson in Florida
From the "Say What?" file -- true story: I'm taking two classes this semester, one of which is Public Policy. Our professor is an adjunct; nice lady, tries too hard. Anyway, a few weeks ago, we're covering a chapter on environmental politics, and she casts an overhead with facts and figures on some of the more powerful environmental lobbying groups. Among them is the Audubon Society. If you do not know what the Audubon Society is, then stop reading.
So one of the students asks, "What is the Audubon Society?" (Bird watchers, if you ignored my previous instructions.) To which the professor replies:
"I don't know, I think it's a group to protect that road in Germany."
It hits me like a spear. "She did not just say that, did she?" I think to myself. I look up -- and she's *serious*.
"That's Auto-BAHN, not Audubon!" I reply, only to be drowned out by the chorus of students in the back who are either laughing or yelling, "Birds! Birds!"
"What?" she says.
I reply, "It's a group organized for the protection of birds."
She stays silent for a moment, then responds, "Well, what kind of bird is an audubon, is it a spotted owl or something?"

I once had a roommate who, when I told her that the sun was a star, said, "How can it be? It's so much brighter than the stars."
On last report, my roommate was a teacher.

We were traveling in Southern Europe with a tour group, among them several older Texan school instructors.
One day when our bus drove past a large field of sunflowers, one of the ladies turned to the teacher from our group, Susan, and said, "Susan, why do you think all them flowers are facing the same way?"
Susan replied, "Well plants like light so they face toward the sun."
Then she asked, "Well what direction is the sun?"
"Well its about nine in the morning right now so the sun must be in the east," replied Susan patiently.
"You mean the sun rises in the east and sets in the west here too?!"
And this lady is a school teacher!

I work in the Information Systems Department of an electric utility that should probably remain nameless to protect us from our competition. The company has a large number of engineers among its employees and a few of these engineers have become icons in the Information Systems Department.
A project was started last year to develop a web site for the company, and several sessions were held to brainstorm about what information and services could be offered through the web page. The now-classic engineering response was to provide customers the ability to report power outages.
It could happen if we could sell all our customers UPSs first.

I was leaving for work one morning (I'm a postal worker ... don't mess with me, okay?), and I noticed that there was something wrong with my power steering. Upon investigation, I found the fan belt had twisted around and was cracked in about 10 places. Not wanting to ick up my work clothes, I decided to go for the "cheap fix" and
drive to K-Mart to get the belt replaced. While there, I asked them to check the outer tie rod.
The mechanic pulled it into the alignment bay, replaced the belt, then raised the truck into the air to inspect the front end. The chief mechanic came to tell me the front end was fine; as we talked, the grunt mechanic climbed up on the lift, reached his leg in to hold in the clutch and started the truck (to check the operation of the belt).
Murphy took over from there.
He didn't take it out of gear and the parking brake wasn't on. His foot slipped off the clutch. The truck LEAPED off the lift, and performed a very proper nose dive right into the alignment machine 4 feet below.

A man from Kiryat Bialik (Israel) was treated yesterday for two broken legs after falling from his second story apartment window.
The person claims he was trying to leave his apartment through the window, since he had lost the keys to his apartment and the door was locked.
The troublesome keys were later found ... in his pants.

In 1985, I was in a diner in Akron, Ohio, with a friend. Our table had only one place setting, so I called to the waitress ...
"Excuse me miss, could I please have some cutlery?"
She responded, "I'll have to ask the cook."

I remember hearing an amusing story from a math professor I had a few years back. He had been visiting an elementary school in training for an education degree, and was sitting in on a Grade 6 class, ostensibly to learn from the teaching methods. In the math class, the students were learning to add fractions, and the teacher was telling them they could do this by adding the two numerators together, and the two denominators together.
He promptly pointed out that this method was wrong, and showed the class the correct method.
When he came back to the class a week later, he found the teacher still teaching her original (incorrect) method. She explained, "We took a vote and the students decided they liked my way better."

From the San Fransisco Chronicle:
"In Germany, Gunther Burpus remained wedged in his front-door cat flap for two days because passers-by thought he was a piece of installation art. Mr. Burpus, 41, of Bremen, was using the flap because he had mislaid his keys. Unfortunately, he was spotted by a group of student pranksters who removed his trousers and pants, painted his bottom bright blue, stuck a daffodil between his buttocks and erected a sign saying 'Germany Resurgent, an Essay
in Street Art. Please give Generously'.
Passers-by assumed Mr. Burpus' screams were part of the act, and it was only when an old woman complained to the police that he was finally freed. 'I kept calling for help,' he said, 'but people just said, "Very good! Very clever!" and threw coins at me.'"

The following is extracted from an article in the New Bedford (Massachusetts) Standard-Times, Sunday, November 14, 1993.
WORCESTER--Guilt gnaws at former neighbors of 73-year-old Adele Gaboury, who died in her kitchen and lay undiscovered in a heap of trash for four years. ...
The stench and garbage at Ms. Gaboury's house prompted a complaint to health inspectors last month. Health officials contacted police, who found the decomposed body Oct. 23.
Checking bank records and other clues, authorities determined that Ms. Gaboury had died four years earlier, apparently of natural causes. A phone lay off the hook beside her bones, as though her final thought was to call for help.
By nearly all accounts, Ms. Gaboury was a difficult person to help in most situations. ...
Neighbors inquired about Ms. Gaboury about four years ago, after they noticed that they hadn't seen her in a while.
Police acknowledge that neighbors repeatedly called them to the working-class neighborhood of this central Massachusetts community of 160,000 to check Ms. Gaboury's property.
The Dugan family kept mowing the lawn, and no missing person complaint was filed.
Police said a brother, Joseph Gaboury of East Brookfield, told them he believed his sister had ended up a patient in a nursing home. They conveyed that false report to worried neighbors. ...

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