Weird news | Column

by | May 11, 2019 5:00 pm

Last Updated: May 8, 2019 at 1:14 pm

It’s time to look at weird news again. You can’t make this stuff up; it may not be hilarious, necessarily, but it proves my pet theory: People are crazy.

• In Virginia, a man shot his girlfriend and her son on April 23 while arguing about whether Ford or Chevy made the better vehicle. That’s brand loyalty there, folks.

It happened during a family dinner (or a brawl where food was served), and ended up with Mark Turner, 56, in jail.

His girlfriend’s son “works in auto repair,” according to, and the two men “got into a heated debate” about the best auto maker. (FYI, if I’m going to pull a gun it’s going to be over something important, like hummus versus onion dip.)

Turner allegedly stabbed his girlfriend, shot her son and held police at bay for two hours. He was taken out by a cop firing a beanbag round. (Imagine that holding cell: “How’d they get you, man?” “Took two dogs and three cops. How’d they get you?” “They shot me with a Hacky Sack.”)

No word on Turner’s preferred automaker, but I favor a Ford: I drove an Explorer for nine years and loved it. Then Widdle decided I needed a new car. He didn’t mean a new Explorer, which is why for eight years I’ve driven a Chevy, and I’m still mad about it.

My Explorer was shaped like a box with wheels. Before that I drove a Jeep, also shaped like a box. I like square, rugged vehicles. The Equinox I drive now looks like someone started drawing a minivan and then decided to take a nap. It is not rugged or square.

Now Widdle wants to get me a Subaru. I appreciate the commercials about love and trust and all those Subaru values, but I’m holding out for a Jeep Wrangler (silver, hard top.) But, since we all know Widdle has the last word.

• The Horry County Police Department is investigating after a guy stole an ambulance at Grand Strand Medical Center on April 28.

According to, officers responded to a “mental subject call” that morning, took the man into protective custody and transported him to the hospital. Once there, the suspect made threats to staff, then bolted when security was notified.

He ran to the EMS bay, jumped in a Horry County Fire-Rescue ambulance and took off, with two people and a medic in the back. He careened around the parking lot, “causing property damage until officers with the Myrtle Beach Police Department” slowed his roll. Charges are pending.

• On April 27, three burglars stole $450,000 in colonoscopy equipment from a Philadelphia-area hospital, in what sounds like an inside job: Surveillance video showed the trio “had access to a secured area” at Lankenau Medical Center. They were seen fleeing with full backpacks; police said they probably planned to sell the equipment on the black market.

Wait — there’s a Silk Road for colonoscopy equipment? I’ve had a colonoscopy (and so should you), but it never occurred to me that the scopes were bought on the down-low. (I do know you sleep like a baby through the whole thing, and then you can go eat pie because you’ll be absolutely ravenous.)

Next time I have a colonoscopy, should I ask to see the receipts proving it was legitimately purchased and didn’t fall out of a backpack?

Tomorrow will bring more dumb criminals, and that’s the great thing about a 24-hour news cycle: There’s always a fresh supply of crazy.

Julie R. Smith, who just realized that ambulances are boxy, can be reached at



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