A dog, a duck, hot peppers and a world gone crazy | Opinion | The Press and Standard

by | November 12, 2016 5:00 pm

Last Updated: November 9, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Sometimes I look around and think the world’s gone crazy. Then I remember that I’m part of the world, which makes me cray-cray too. So we’re all in this together.
Let’s consider some recent headline news:
  An upstate New York man took LSD and turned into a Boy Scout.
Police say Michael Orchard, 43, was hallucinating when he broke into his neighbor’s house to save the family dog from a fire. There was no fire, not even smoke, but I think Orchard deserves points for playing. If you hallucinate being a hero but there’s no emergency, are you any less a hero? I don’t think so.
According to the New York “Daily News,” Orchard told officers he mixed LSD with cough medicine and, in mid-trip, imagined his neighbor’s house on fire. He banged on the doors of nearby houses to warn them. Finding residents unconcerned because hello, no fire, he drove his car through the neighbor’s fence, jumped out, smashed through the back door and dashed into what he thought was a raging inferno.
When officers arrived, he was standing in the front yard, triumphantly holding a very confused dog.
Orchard — whose mugshot also depicts profound confusion — was charged with second-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief and jailed under a $15,000 bond.
  Here’s one I thought would be hilarious, until it turned into an “awwwww” moment.
Carla Fitzgerald, who has PTSD stemming from an accident in 2013, is calmed by her emotional support animal: Daniel the duck. While that may not seem earth-shaking — I once coaxed my horse into the living room on a bet — Daniel is no ordinary domestic duck.
The charismatic quacker was a huge hit on recent flights from Milwaukee to Charlotte to Asheville. It was Fitzgerald’s first time flying since the 2013 accident, she said.
My first snarky thought was, “I can’t wait to fly with my emotional support tarantula,” but shame on me, because Daniel does a ducky job of soothing his mistress — especially when he wears his little red duck shoes and a Captain America diaper.
During the trip, Daniel was photographed and recorded by passersby, and witnesses said he was well-behaved during the flights. He apparently can tell when Fitzgerald is verging on a panic attack, and cuddles up close to calm her.
Fitzgerald said her doctor has written her a letter attesting that Daniel is an integral part of her PTSD treatment. Good for her. I hope she and Daniel — a tall, slim Indian Runner duck — waddle into the sunset together.
  After an online search, I can’t verify the name or location of this poor guy, but it happened in America: A 47-year-old competitive eater entered a contest that required him to eat a burger slathered with ghost pepper puree — which is apparently one degree away from being Drano.
According to a report submitted the Journal of Emergency Medicine, his body’s reaction was immediate. The poor guy began vomiting so violently he ripped an inch-long hole in his esophagus. He required emergency surgery and was hospitalized for 23 days.
As someone who cries when eating horseradish, this curls my toes. The ghost pepper is beyond hot, with a Scoville rating of more than 1 million. People, your gut is too smart to accept such things. (This self-preservation reflex is also why MD 20/20 and Thunderbird usually do U-turns in your stomach.)
I don’t know if the guy won the contest, but I’m betting first prize didn’t make a dent in his hospital bills.

(Julie R. Smith, who definitely contributes to the crazy, can be reached at widdleswife@aol.com.)

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