This is True is a weekly email newsletter created by online publishing pioneer Randy Cassingham which reports on bizarre-but-true news items from legitimate news outlets from around the world. Each brief story ends with a comment — a tagline on the story which is humorous, ironic, or opinionated (or with luck, some combination of the three). True is non-partisan.
Who Was That Masked Man?
Robert Borba, 28, was loading up his truck in a Walmart parking lot in Eagle Point, Ore., when he heard a woman screaming: a man was stealing her bicycle. “I wasn’t going to catch him on foot,” Borba explained. “I just don’t run very fast.” He had his horse in a trailer, so he brought it out and rode to her aid. Borba caught up with the man, who was having trouble getting up to speed, so he ditched the bike and ran. Borba, a rancher and former rodeo competitor, simply lassoed the man’s legs with a rope, causing him to fall down. The man grabbed a tree to try to pull loose, but Borba simply had his horse, Long John, keep a pull on the rope to hold the man tight. “Do you have a badge to do this?” the man asked Borba. Borba simply took out his cell phone and called police, and held the man for them. Victorino Arellano-Sanchez, 22, was arrested. (RC/Medford Mail Tribune) …Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!
The tagline at the end (a feature of This is True: all stories end with commentary) is, of course, a nod to Mel Brooks’ 1974 masterpiece, Blazing Saddles. This one has a photo, too (usually, one or two stories per week have a photo):
Subscribe to get such stories of human weirdness by email each week: basic subscriptions are free, and the newsletters are mobile-friendly.
Randy’s 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.
Of course, every issue includes a link to easily unsubscribe should you decide at any time to quit.
The 12 Weirdest Stories of Last Year
Upon activating your free subscription (you’ll get an email to verify you really own the address entered, and must click a link inside to complete that verification), you can instantly download a free copy of the Weirdest Stories of last year — a PDF (a quick download) presenting the best story from each month of the year, and Randy’s 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.
Media Reaction to This is True
- “All the News That’s Not Fit to Print.” —Newsweek
- “The kind of news items that keep comedians and commentators in business.” —Washington Post
- “How did he get so popular so fast? Well, for one thing, he writes funny stuff.” —New York Times
- “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
- “The [David] Letterman of the ’net.” —CityTV Toronto
- Hot Site: “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