Our December Editor's Comment has become an eagerly awaited feature. With the onset of the Holiday Season, it is given over to topics of a light or whimsical nature. I am aware that my skills as a humorist are somewhat lacking, so you need not remind me not to give up my day job.
by Ronald Khol, Editor
With that as prologue, here goes.
- There were homecoming festivities at an Ohio high school on October 5, 2002. Shortly after 5:00 p.m. on that date, a car containing students bound for the event was involved in a fender-bender with another car also filled with students headed for the same festivities. Almost simultaneously, a third car containing students headed for the event crashed into a fourth car also loaded with (you guessed it) students headed for the same location. The four cars contained 12 students. Seven minutes later, a fifth car containing students going to the event crashed into a sixth one also going to the festivities. There were seven students in these two cars. That means 19 students were involved in accidents in the 7-minute span. At 7:14 p.m., a seventh car with four students headed for the event was also involved in a collision. Within the 2-hour span, seven cars carrying 23 students headed for the homecoming event were involved in collisions.
- One of the crew members who died when the Titanic sank was a stoker named John Dawson. He was buried under a headstone reading "J. Dawson," along with other Titanic victims, in a special section of a cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As fate would have it, the lead role in the movie "Titanic," played by teenage heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio, was named Jack Dawson. When teenage girls discovered there was a Titanic victim named J. Dawson buried in the Halifax cemetery, they heaped flowers, teddy bears, love notes, and other tokens of affection on the grave in absurd proportions. The pile eventually grew to be several feet high. The headstone even bore lipstick from kisses. Caretakers tried but could not convince the dippy girls that Leonardo DiCaprio was not buried there.
- To Serve and Protect: A resisting-arrest charge against a woman was dropped after she had been handcuffed and taken to jail in August 2001. A judge subsequently ruled she used no force in an encounter with a Tennessee state trooper. At the time of her arrest, she was 4-feet, 9-inches tall, weighed 109 pounds, walked with a cane, and was 82 years old.
- Question: What service specialty in the U.S. Navy is the one in which the most officers are charged with misconduct? Answer: the chaplain corps. Through 1999, the last year data were publicly available, there were only 870 chaplains in the Navy, but 39 of them were disciplined for misconduct. That is more misconduct charges than were leveled against the rest of the 32,000 officers in the Navy. In the service at large, only 0.2% of the officer corps were disciplined, while 4.5% of chaplains were disciplined. Chaplains were 22.5 times more likely to be disciplined than other officers. Charges against chaplains ran the gamut, including adultery, spousal assault, and sexual harassment. One chaplain was even charged with murder shortly after his retirement from the service.
- Sometimes when e-mail is sent across operating systems or when text is pasted into e-mail from Microsoft Word, punctuation marks are translated into a code rather than being reproduced as the intended symbol. This gets interesting when the sender doesn't proofread the message before hitting the "send" button. For example, in one e-mail I received from my flying club, an apostrophe was printed as &8217;. This is the message I received, with humorous overtones of implied cuss words: "We are embarking on our very first U.S. Air Tour, and you&8217;re invited! You&8217;ll receive advanced flight instruction and intense exposure to cross-country flight planning, including airspace, weather, radio communications, FBO and airport operations. Don&8217;t forget about souvenirs! Don&8217;t miss this incredible opportunity."
I replied, telling them I wasn't interested in their @#$%&* Air Tour!
-- Ronald Khol, Editor