It’s a Strange World – Some Humerous Catastrophes and Cock-ups from around the Planet
In this article we’ve brought together an inventory of the incompetent, a record of the ridiculous, a catalogue of catastrophes and cock-ups from all over the globe … enjoy.
FOLLOW THE NOSE
After a burglar had thrown a brick through a jewelry store window” in London, police were surprised to find that nothing had been taken. In fact the would-be thief had left something behind — his nose. Apparently when heaving the brick the burglar had made the rather elementary error of standing too near the window and a falling shard of glass had neatly sliced off his outer olfactory system. Police apprehended the culprit after a brief search of nearby hospitals for recent, noseless admissions.
‘LOOK MA – NO HANDS’
Charged with driving the getaway vehicle after a murder in New York Domingo Osario was released when it was brought to the attention of the police that Osario had no arms.
A man in California sued the Citrus Heights Fire Department after he had given them permission to come onto his property for some much-needed honing of their skills. According to the suit the firemen let their practice fire get out of control and it burned the man’s house down. Meanwhile, across the country in upstate New York, a woman watched her home go up in flames while two fire departments stood on the lawn bickering over which of them was going to tackle the blaze.
During a demonstration of airborne forest-fire control in Michigan in 1958, pilot Milton Nelson missed his burning target and instead dropped his planeload of fire-retarding liquid on the 150 onlookers.
IGNORANCE WAS BLISS
The town clerk in London commissioned some efficiency experts to suggest methods for reducing municipal expenditure. After an investigation, the efficiency experts submitted a report stating that the most expedient saving could be achieved by firing the town clerk.
DROWNED IN DRINK
When a man in Rada-Ljevo, Serbia, fell into a twelve-foot vat of plum brandy and began flailing about in a helpless fashion, his son dived in after him. When he too showed no evidence that he might eventually emerge, the father’s wife leaped in to give a hand, but quickly joined in the helpless flailing. The son’s wife, apparently not one to ignore a trend, jumped in as well, but with as little practical effect. All four drowned.
ALL TOGETHER NOW…
Every time the local lifeboat went out on call, several aged residents at an English rest home urinated in unison. An investigation revealed that the lifeboat’s shortwave radio was tuned to a frequency that activated the residents’ electronic bladder-emptying devices.
OUT OF THE FRYING PAN
An American tourist in South America had the decidedly grave misfortune to be attacked by killer bees as he stood on the bank of the Amazon. Seeking refuge, he leaped into the river – and was devoured by piranha fish.
NEXT TIME TRY THE CLOSET
Heinrich Schwab found himself in a classic predicament in Vienna when his lover’s husband returned home unexpectedly one afternoon. He responded in a classic manner, by grabbing his clothes and diving naked under the bed. What he had not bargained for was that the husband, a travelling salesman named Wolfgang, was not feeling himself and had decided to go straight to bed. In spite of his nakedness and discomfort Herr Schwab thought it would be more prudent to wait out the night under the bed rather than risk waking the man, who was, he knew, a large fellow with a violent temper. To his horror, however, in the morning Wolfgang showed no inclination for arising, and in fact spent the whole day in bed, reading, dozing, and watching television. Herr Schwab stayed put throughout the day and again through the long night, squeezed beneath the bed, suppressing all manner of bodily urges. On the following morning, Wolfgang at last announced that he was ready to face the world and, after dressing and kissing his wife goodbye, he departed. His thirty-nine-hour ordeal over at last, a stiff Schwab dragged himself out from under the bed. A moment later the door opened. It was Wolfgang, returning for his car keys. He gave Schwab two black eyes, a split lip, and two broken teeth.
QUIT WHILE YOU’RE AHEAD. I ALWAYS SAY
After falling seventy-five feet from chimney scaffolding in 1957, twenty-two-year-old Herschel Andrews of Cincinnati was asked what his occupation was. ‘Ex-steeplejack,’ he answered. Asked when he had left the profession, he replied: ‘About halfway down.’
BEE THAT AS IT MAY
While travelling by train to Budapest a Hungarian bee expert discovered with alarm that some bees he had with him had escaped from their container and were crawling up his legs. Explaining his difficulties to his fellow passengers he suggested that they might wish to vacate the compartment, both for their own protection and to afford him the opportunity for a little hasty disrobing. However, as the bee expert was taking off his trousers, an express train roared past and the sudden draft blew the trousers out into the corridor, where they chanced to become wrapped around the head of a conductor. An onlooker pulled the emergency cord. The train screeched to a halt and somehow caught fire. Officials rushing to the source of all this excitement found the bee expert without any trousers on and concluded he must be an escaped lunatic. He was bundled off to a sanatorium where it took him three days to convince doctors that his story was not just the inspired babblings of a madman.