You can’t make this stuff up | Column | The Press and Standard

by | April 14, 2018 5:00 pm

Last Updated: April 11, 2018 at 10:16 am

A friend of mine says the same phrase after yet another stunning headline or bizarre news story: “You can’t make this stuff up,” delivered with a slow, cynical head shake.
You really can’t. Here are just a few examples:
Only in South Carolina: A former circus clown is running for Congress. Because of course! Democrat Steve Lough is seeking S.C.’s 5th District seat, tackling two other Democrats and incumbent Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill.
Lough graduated from Dartmouth College AND Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and I honestly don’t know which is more impressive. Lough’s Web site is and his campaign planks include single-payer healthcare and gun reform.
His odds are probably slim to none, but I’d jump at the chance to see a red clown nose in Congress.

A Louisiana man decided to announce the *** of his unborn baby by drilling a hole in a watermelon, injecting Jello and then placing the melon in an alligator’s jaws. What could go wrong?
Maybe you’re one of the five million people who saw the Facebook video: Mike Kliebert, a third-generation alligator wrangler who goes by “T-Mike, the Gator King,” did the deed at a gender-reveal party attended by family and friends.
When the gator, a 61-year-old named Sally, bit down on the melon, voila! The colored juice squirted out.
“Let her bust it open, no big deal, you know?” Kliebert said. “Sally’s not just a gator, she’s not just a pet, she’s part of our family.” Ooookay. “Scaly Aunt Sally” does have a nice ring to it.
In case you were wondering: It’s a boy!

In Ohio, a woman tried to get jiggy with the Easter bunny in front of God, man, and kids. Is there no shame?
The 54-year-old woman — we’ll call her Patsy Cottontail ­— was arrested after witnesses reported that she “lewdly propositioned and grabbed an Easter Bunny” at Richland Carrousel Park.
Patsy posed for a photo with the Easter Bunny — I think we can assume it was a sweaty human in a bunny suit — and then inappropriately grabbed him north of his cottontail while making suggestive comments.
“We received an unusual report from a citizen of an intoxicated female doing some lewd acts on the Easter Bunny,” Assistant Chief Keith Porch said, presumably with a poker face.
Officers found Patsy Cottontail on a carousel — merry-go-round if you’re not from Ohio — with slurred speech, glassy eyes and “a generally wobbly demeanor.”
She was charged with public drunkenness, but not for assault. No word on what was in her Easter basket.

An Uber driver took a wrong turn in San Francisco and drove down an outdoor staircase, which probably isn’t as much fun as it sounds.
Uber said the driver had two passengers and was en route to pick up a third when he made a wrong turn in the parking lot of a Safeway store, rolled through a pedestrian walkway and ended up with his Toyota Camry stuck on the concrete steps.
The passengers, who will likely use Lyft next time, were uninjured. Some reports blame the accident on bad GPS directions. Which has happened to all of us, except we wind up in St. George instead of the South Carolina Aquarium.
And the saga continued: A tow truck responded and tried to hoist the car off the stairs, but a cable snapped and sent the car crashing into a trash can and fire hydrant.
The Uber driver, “Fred,” said he’d never drive in San Fran again. Which makes total sense to me, stairs or no stairs.

(Julie R. Smith, who holds her breath during every Uber ride, can be reached at

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