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Let Me off at the Next Station: Amtrak, the U.S.’s federally subsidized passenger rail service well known for poor adherence to schedules and lack of profitability, is tired of being the brunt of jokes by Jay Leno in his Tonight Show routines. So it cancelled all advertising on the NBC network. “I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that NBC can write Amtrak jokes faster than we can spend advertising dollars on your network,” the rail line’s president told the network when it pulled the ads. (Late Show News) …Anyone who cannot spend tax dollars faster than NBC can write jokes is clearly incompetent.

The Lord is My Sssssshepherd: Dewey Hale, 40, of Enigma, Ga., took his rattlesnake to church. Members of the New River Free Holiness Church take the Bible literally, his cousin Martha said, so much so that they believe they should “take up serpents” as it says in the book of Mark. He took it up out of its box, and in return it bit him. “They feel he didn’t die because of the snake, but that he died because it was his time to go,” she said. (AP) …It’s a miracle: the snake knew what time it was.

Baker’s Dozen: Toni Tenner argues that she was faithful to her husband. It was one of her other 12 personalities, Andrea, that committed adultery, causing the breakup of her marriage. Tenner’s suit to increase her alimony payments has made it all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court. In an earlier ruling, an appeals court judge said that allowing her to prevail would be “more in keeping with the psychobabble prevalent on television talk shows than with sound jurisprudence.” Her attorney argues back that “The personality that considered herself married … had been 100 percent faithful.” (AP) …Fine: double the alimony, then give Toni her 1/13th share.

Yes, Master: Simpson Williams Jr., 42, was driving his Mercedes through Natchitoches, La., when, he said, the car ordered him to kill an American car. Startled, he lost control of the vehicle and struck a light pole. When a police cruiser arrived to investigate, Williams obeyed the car’s command and rammed the police car — a Chevrolet. Williams has been charged with the attempted murder of the police officers in the cruiser and driving while intoxicated. (AP) …Usually, the German cars simply compel the American cars to commit suicide.

No Handsome Princes: To combat a drought, farmers in the Rangpur province of Bangladesh are catching frogs and marrying them to each other to encourage rain. Both Islamic and Hindu wedding ceremonies are being used, and the hitched croakers are then released back into the ponds where they were caught. “I’ve done it before and it worked,” one farmer said. At least 12 frog wedding ceremonies have been performed in the region in recent days. (AP) …See, I told you it worked: it’s raining cats and dogs.

Quicker Sans Knickers: When Paul Berry heard a neighbor yell for help, he didn’t hesitate: he ran out into his New Orleans street to lend aid. “It wasn’t a pretty sight. You had me in my boxer shorts with my gut hanging out,” Berry said when it was over. The neighbor needed help apprehending a man trying to break into a car. With his wife running after them carrying a pair of pants, Berry and his neighbor caught the suspect. But as Berry dressed, the bad guy escaped and had to be chased down again. “We were both so exhausted we just lay there and tried to catch our breath,” he said. The unidentified suspect has been charged with burglary. (AP) …Or, “Pallid pantless paunchy patriarch Paul and partner pal pursue prowler down parkway; leaves pathetic parolee panting in paddywagon.”

Zero Tolerance: A Providence, R.I., kindergarten student has been suspended for 10 days for bringing a knife to school — a table knife, which he brought to cut his morning cookie with. “It was on his person, not in his lunch bucket,” the Pawtucket school superintendent retorted, defending the school district’s “no weapons” policy. The six-year-old has no record of bad behavior and has a good academic record. (AP) …Hell, if the punishment is the same, he may as well bring his Uzi next time.


Somehow, I Just Don’t See It
World Weirdness Down 2 Percent
AP headline


What Are These Stories?

They’re just a few of the stories from This is True’s first year — Randy started it in mid-1994. If you would like to see all of the stories (and headlines) from the first year, you can grab Volume 1 of the This is True books, here:

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