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Since 1994, this is the 1560th issue of Randy Cassingham’s...

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5 May 2024: The Best Years of Our LivesCopyright ©2024

Clap On! Clap Off! Students at Del Norte High School in San Diego, Calif., filed bullying charges — against Poway Unified School District Superintendent Marian Kim Phelps. The school’s softball team alleged that Phelps threatened to retaliate against members of the team if they didn’t applaud “loud enough” for her daughter at the softball awards banquet. “I think that sometimes maybe lines got blurred as to her role as a superintendent and her role as a parent,” said Michael Roberts;his daughter was on the team with Phelps’ daughter. It took a year for all the allegations and denials to be sorted in the scandal, dubbed Clappergate. Phelps allegedly also threatened staff. “Because I had exposed these abuses and emails to the Board members,” said varsity coach Tom Peronto, “she then falsely accused me of verbally attacking a member of the Board in the district parking lot, using this as justification to have me fired from coaching.” That attempt apparently failed. Once theschool board got the final investigative report, it voted unanimously last week to terminate Phelps’ contract “for cause,” which means she won’t be paid for the rest of her contract. At least one student filed a lawsuit against Phelps — and the District — alleging bullying, emotional distress, violation of free speech, and harassment. Phelps denies all allegations. (RC/KNSD San Diego) ...Bullying students? Eh. Causing a lawsuit? Fired!

Delay of Game: The Los Angeles Dodgers were in Phoenix, Ariz., to play the Arizona Diamondbacks, but one of the games was delayed. It took over an hour for Matt Hilton to arrive to clear the issue. Hilton, branch manager of Blue Sky Pest Control’s Phoenix office, arrived in a cart to fans cheering him on as he was lifted up to the top of the protective netting behind home plate — to clear the bee colony swarming there. As the song “Holding Out for a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler played overthe loudspeakers, Hilton, dressed in his beekeeper gear, sprayed the bees to stun them, and then sucked them up with a vacuum. The game was finally able to start two hours late, and the Diamondbacks asked Hilton — still in his beekeeper’s outfit — to throw out the first pitch. (MS/KTLA Los Angeles) ...He’ll be a bobblehead now.

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Out of Control homeowner’s associations. Out of control bugs a hospital?! Out of control snakes a hospital?! What happens when a local ambulance is severely underfunded. A delicious coincidence. The dumbest “study” published this month. Florida Man is upset with another Florida Man (the reason is righteous, but his reaction is strangely understated). A little girl’s bedroom “monster” worries have merit. Kid performs a sweet act of selfless charity — until a rich guy evenscrews that up. What you miss from not having the full edition isn’t so much the number of stories, but the variety of ways that humans can be so weird. Please come support True by signing up for an upgrade to help fund these stories! You get to decide how much to pay. And thanks!

“Truth is stranger than fiction and much more entertaining.” —Premium reader Cynde in B.C. Canada

Example photo: Matt Liu via Unsplash.Biggest ... Coverup ... Ever: Officials in the town of Fuij-Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, faced withcrowds of tourists blocking a sidewalk, decided to cover something up: Mt. Fuji. More specifically, they decided to erect a 20-by-25-meter sheet of black plastic to block a particular view of the mountain, in which it seemed to sit atop a convenience store. A dentist concerned about tourists impeding access to his office and about masses of litter was among those lobbying officials to do something about the view; there were also concerns about jaywalking and leaning into traffic. “We wantedforeign tourists to enjoy themselves, but there was no improvement in the bad manners,” tourism official Masakazu Togawa said. Plastic cones, a “No Crossing” sign, and even security guards had failed to solve the problems. (AC/Asahi Shimbun) ...Now let’s see what Fujin, the god of wind, makes of that sheet of plastic.

Numbers so long they wrap to the next line.Obvious, You Say? Everyone thinks their tax bill is too high, but Barry Tangert’s bill from thePennsylvania Department of Revenue just might be a legitimate cause for griping. It acknowledges his $4,013 in payments and credits, plus a $245 refund carried forward, but wants not only $30,700,003,645 in additional taxes, but also $2,341,826,690.62 in interest, plus $1,534,999,993.85 in penalties, for a total of more than $34.576 billion. “Don’t they have a computer algorithm to spot an error like this?” he wondered — “and if a human looked at this why do they still have a job?” He complainedto the DoR, which says they will “look into it and get back to him” — in a few weeks. (RC/WGAL Harrisburg) ...Ooh: a few weeks of interest penalties on that amount will really hurt.

She Ignored the Good News — No More Taxes!
Scarborough Woman Wants Answers after Being Told She Is Dead
BBC headline

Did You Find an Error? Check the Errata Page for updates.

This Week’s Contributors: MS-Mike Straw, AC-Alexander Cohen, RC-Randy Cassingham.

The Last Story about the tax bill is the Story of the Week, which means you’re welcome to share it from Telegram, Mastodon, Instagram, and/or Facebook, or grab from any of those to postelsewhere.

Probably only of interest to a few readers (and logo geeks), but someone asked about True’s logo, so I wrote up a quick history of the changes over the years for my blog: The Evolution of True’s Logo. Goes well with this week’s Sunday Reading (in its usual spot below).

Fred in California: “I just finished your ‘Sunday Reading’ about the Get Out of Hell Free Cards. It reminded me of one of my few claims to fame in life: I was the very first to place an order for these cards when you first put them up for sale 24 years ago. I still have a couple I am keeping as keepsakes. It also made me realize I have been a subscriber for 24+ years. I will remain a faithful subscriber for as long as you choose to publish.Good luck to you and Kit in you new adventure in life.”

I looked it up and sure enough, Fred was first. And in August he’ll have been a Premium subscriber for 25 years. Presumably he was on the free distribution for some amount of time before that. It’s awesome and humbling that I have many readers who go back that far. I haven’t gotten tired of writing the stories (there is always something new!), and they haven’t gotten tired of reading them. I’ve started to ponder about when I might retire. It’ll certainly be before 10 years. Before 5?Not sure yet.

The question is, what will “retirement” look like? I don’t think I’ll stop writing completely — it’s too much in my blood. And why write but not publish? Maybe I’ll only do Honorary Unsubscribes. Maybe it’ll be something totally new, but without a specific schedule. Who knows? But if I can write, I will, and it’ll be published. Meanwhile, you can upgrade to Premium while you still can.

I’m Sorry To Say that the “Best of True” daily story is still offline, mostly because my ship’s Internet hasn’t been all that great. Yesterday I had periods of no access, but now that we’re on the Irish coast it’s been better, but of course now I’m working on researching stories for the next issue. I am continuing to work on it as fast as I can. 🙁

Also, I’ve discovered that the “most recent” free issue function is also broken. We’re working on that, too. Have I mentioned how much I like switching servers? Sigh!

But: Hello from the English Channel!

Ten Years Ago in True: Pop Rage.

This Week’s Sunday Reading: The story of how I came up for the title of This is True. The Origin of ‘This is True’.

This Week’s Honorary Unsubscribe goes to Dick Rutan. You probably heard about what Rutan did, but you probably don’t know much about his life. Take just a couple of minutes to soak it in.

Basic Subscriptions to This is True are Free at All stories are completely rewritten using facts from the noted sources. This is True® (and Get Out of Hell Free® and Stella Awards®) are registered trademarks of ThisisTrue.Inc. Published weekly by ThisisTrue.Inc, PO Box 666, Ridgway CO 81432 USA (ISSN 1521-1932).

Copyright ©2024 by Randy Cassingham, All Rights Reserved. All broadcast, publication, retransmission to email lists, web site or social media posting, or any other copying or storage, in any medium, online or not, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission from the author. Manual forwarding by email to friends is allowed if 1) the text is forwarded in its entirety from the “Since 1994” line on top through the end of this paragraph and 2) No fee is charged. I request that you forward no more than three copies to any one person — after that, they should get their own free subscription. I appreciate people who report violations of my copyright.

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