A whole world is a big theatre


As a person who easily gets sidetracked, I often find myself clicking on a link to a story on the Internet, only to get off course as I click on 50 more stories that are teased on my original article. The main causes of my high-tech digressions are headlines around the U.S. that just take me by surprise. You know, the old “man bites dog” kind of story and the like.
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It’s a little strange. I abhor reality television, but I’m an addict for things that happen to people — or that people do willingly — when the cameras aren’t on them and they’re just living out their lives naturally. I have no interest in watching how many roaches some yahoo can eat to try to win a game show or how competently some celebrity can or can’t dance, but I get instantly attracted to a story about a burglar who locked his keys in his getaway car, or the guy who got busted last week for driving under the influence on his adapted recliner. And it always amazes me how many strange things happen in this nation on a daily basis.

However, as the concept of globalization has grown exponentially over recent years, I, too, have decided to throw my hat into the ring and join the globalization superhighway.

Yeah, that didn’t make as much sense as I had hoped.

Regardless, I decided to leave my “comfort zone” and research odd stories that happen around the world. My first instinct was to check out Reuters, as they do the international scene as well as anybody. I was not disappointed.

The first story that caught my eye was about a 22-year-old Norwegian man who was stopped by customs agents after arriving in Denmark on a ferry. He was reportedly found to have had a tarantula in his bag, 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos taped to his body and a general sense of “ick” about him (my assumption, not from Reuters).

“Customs officers quickly realized the man was smuggling animals, because his whole body was in constant motion,” said Helge Breilid of Kristiansand customs.

According to the story, the full body search on the man also revealed 10 cans taped to his legs. Each can contained a lizard.

“Is that a lizard in your pocket, or are you just happy...”

But I digress.

A virtual visit to the north brought me a story from Vancouver about an alleged drunk driver. According to police reports, an officer was patrolling an area in search of suspects involved in a fight earlier that evening. The officer looked ahead to see a car coming at him on the wrong side of the road. He reportedly turned on his emergency lights to warn the driver, but the other vehicle still crashed head-on into the cruiser. Luckily, there were no injuries reported.

Oh, yeah, there was something I left out when I gave you that story. The driver arrested for impaired driving was reportedly wearing a clown suit.

I looked, but I couldn’t find any more information regarding this case — such as, did his enormous shoe get wedged in beneath one of his pedals? Or, was the bright red nose probable cause for a Breathalyzer?

When searching for comedy, it’s never a bad idea to check out what’s new with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. There are usually some delusional comments about America, or strange ideas about improving his own nation’s state of affairs. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.

A Reuters story reported that Chavez asked his countrymen to limit their showers to three minutes — since the country is facing problems supplying water and electricity to the masses.

“Some people sing in the shower, in the shower for half an hour,” said Chavez, during a televised Cabinet meeting. “No kids, three minutes is more than enough. I’ve counted, three minutes, and I don’t stink.”

Hey, I’m all for conservation of our resources. I firmly believe that we should just take what we need and leave the rest for others. But I’m more than a little bothered that I now have a mental image of Hugo Chavez holding a stopwatch while standing in the shower.

And it’s going to take more than three minutes to wash that off me.