This is True is a weekly non-partisan news commentary feature in email newsletter form. Each issue features several short summaries of weird (but true!) news items from around the world. Each story ends with a comment — a tagline which is humorous, ironic, or opinionated (or with luck, some combination of the three). The basic newsletter subscription has been free since 1994.
I believe humanity is held back by the lack of thinking. True’s mission is to provoke thought with examples of what happens when we don’t think, and when we do.
These strange stories — fun short true stories — combine over time to produce biting social commentary.
Rest in Piece
Leona Feigh’s birthday was coming up, and the soon-to-be-3-year-old had a special request for her mother. Leona, who lives in St. Paul, Minn., is a fan of Disney’s The Lion King, and she wanted the cake to feature her favorite character, Mufasa. But not just any depiction of Mufasa: she wanted a dead Mufasa on her cake. Of course Leona’s mother, Alison, wanted to know why. Because, she said, “everyone will be too sad to eat the cake and it will be all for me.” The girl “really gets comedy, and that’s important in our family that you can tell a joke and sell a joke,” said her uncle, Casey Feigh. “She’s already figuring that out at the age of 3.” Her mother ordered the cake, even though she was embarrassed. “So yummy!” Leona declared after having a piece. (RC/WCCO Minneapolis) …You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Basic newsletter subscriptions are free, and it’s very easy to “unsubscribe” if it’s not for you. It’s “Thought-Provoking Entertainment” published by email weekly since 1994.
My weekly newsletter includes weird-but-true stories like…
- A man sued his doctor because he survived his cancer longer than the doctor predicted.
- Two robbers were in the process of their crime when one changed his mind and arrested the other.
- A woman had her husband’s ashes made into an egg timer when he died so he could still “help” in the kitchen.
- Only 68 of 200 Anglican priests polled could name all Ten Commandments, but half said they believed in space aliens.
The 12 Weirdest Stories of Last Year
Upon confirming your subscription, you can download a free copy of the Weirdest Stories of last year — a PDF presenting the best story from each month of the year, with my choice of the best of all of them, with some extra commentary. It’s a great introduction to the kind of stories that True features, and you’re welcome to share it with friends.
Another Example of True’s Weird News
A Massachusetts family well knew the story: an aunt and uncle had hidden cash in their home. They’re now long gone, and descendants wanted to sell the house, but their probing so far hadn’t turned up the cash cache. Their niece thought maybe the attic, and considered getting a metal detector, but after “decades” still hadn’t made progress. She called Keith Wille of Connecticut, who has a Youtube channel about treasure hunting. It took him less than an hour to find it: a box with evidence it had been hidden in December 1958. “The family now has closure on the cash,” Wille said. “They can sell the house.” The cash was dated as early as the 1930s and totaled $46,000 — the equivalent of $421,600 today. (RC/Springfield Republican) …Or, if it had been invested in the S&P 500, $3.46 million.
Media Reaction to This is True
- “How did he get so popular so fast? Well, for one thing, he writes funny stuff.” —New York Times
- “The kind of news items that keep comedians and commentators in business.” —Washington Post
- “Cassingham is a humorist for the Information Age, an Internet-savvy satirist and social commentator. The Jay Leno of Cyberspace.” —Los Angeles Times
- “And now for something completely different.” —CNN Morning News
- “Randy Cassingham has a passion for the truth. And you’ll never believe the stuff he’s dug up…. Truly stranger than fiction.” —USA Today
- “With so many rumours doing the rounds on the Net, it’s often hard to sort the fact from the fiction. Randy Cassingham has made it his mission in life to bring unusual stories to the attention of a Net-using audience.” —London Daily Telegraph
- “Livens up the week with bizarre-but-true news.” —Playboy
- “Truly valuable.” —Salon
Of Course, ‘Florida Man’ Figures Prominently
Freak of Nomenclature, Zephyrhills Branch
A burglar hit several businesses in Zephyrhills, Fla. At a restaurant, $600 worth of beer and hard seltzer, but the burglar didn’t drink them: he dumped them into a retention pond behind the building. At a barber shop, clippers, wireless earbuds, and a battery charger. At another barber shop, more clippers and scissors with a total value of $1,000. A bakery, $800 in cash, and keys. A cat rescue, veterinary drugs and syringes — and he left the door open so many of the cats wandered outside. And more. A doorbell camera caught him, leading to the arrest of a suspect who allegedly confessed to the burglaries, and showed investigators where he hid the loot. Lawrence Franklin King Florida, 28, was jailed. (RC/Tampa Bay Times, WFLA Tampa) …Miss Florida: beauty pageant contestant. Mr. Florida: just another Florida Man.