Monday, July 26, 2004

One Of Those Days...

It's been one of those odd days...those sort of out of sort days. It's been one of those days when the world seems weirder than usual; one of those days when I feel like a left over piece from what appears to be a completed puzzle. For all intents and purposes things look right, but something doesn't fit.

I was struck by the weirdness of the news today...which in itself is weird, since I'm in the news business and I seek out unusual news stories quite deliberately.

I had to laugh when I heard the story of Leland Laird. It's actually a story from last week, but I hadn't heard about him until today. It seems Mr. Laird was struck by a train in 1989 and has been in a wheelchair ever since. Almost every day he sits in his wheelchair near some railroad tracks in Appleton Wisconsin. In fact as trains pass Mr. Laird "waves" at the engineers and crew...okay, he doesn't exactly's something more akin to a salute except Mr. Laird doesn't utilize all his fingers.

He's not angry that a train ran him over, he's embittered that they make so much noise by blowing their horns as they pass through the intersection next to his house. He's made it his personal mission to express his displeasure.

The train crews have become quite familiar with Mr. Laird, and many actually look forward to seeing this 54 year old man each time they pass.
They wave to him and he gives them "the bird".

It's admittedly an odd relationship but I get the impression everyone involved seems to enjoy it at least a little.

Ironically last week, Mr. Laird rolled his wheelchair a little too close to the tracks and got clipped by a train car. He fell out of his wheelchair and scrapped up his arm, but I'm told that will not prevent him from saluting the next train which passes by.

It's nice to know he hasn't lost that apparently important part of his life.

Meanwhile, a 50 year old man in India has found a part of his life that he thought he lost 16 years ago....his car keys. That may not sound like much of a story except that the keys were his leg. Apparently, when he was a bit younger he shot himself in the leg with a rifle. At around the same time he lost his car keys. He never made the connection until recently when he started having pain in his leg and underwent an x-ray. Doctors found his long lost keys, which somehow fell into the gunshot wound and stayed there.

It's my understanding that doctors have decided to leave the keys in his leg, for what reason I don't know....maybe they figure it'll keep his knee from locking up on him.

Isn't that always the case with lost keys? You invariably find them in the last place you look.

Speaking of which, some folks may be looking at their food differently now. That's because they can use their eyeglasses as chopsticks or forks.

A company has invented eyeglasses that can quickly be converted into eating utensils.

All of a sudden I'm in the mood for seafood.

A woman named Giovanna Guidoni has apparently seen a lot of food. She's won the "Miss Chubby" beauty pageant. The pageant's intent is not to mock people who are overweight, but rather to point out the media's obsession with making people think they should be thin.

Guidoni weighs 416 pounds. She's 20 years old.

Last year Miss Guidoni was the runner up and I suspect that this is one competition where no one is worried about contestants bulking up with steroids. Miss Guidoni is a restaurant owner.

I'm sure she serves wonderful desserts.

I'm going to pass on dessert if I'm ever in Japan. The Japan Ice Cream Association has introduced new flavors designed to get more people to eat ice cream in Japan. Among the flavors: garlic, potato and lettuce, and cactus and seaweed along with raw horse-flesh.

Now that's a horse of a different flavor.

The real topper to today though happened only moments ago as I was about to hit "publish" for this post. The phone rang. It was SBC. The caller was taking a survey to see how satisfied SBC customers are with the company.

I enjoyed that...even though I am sitting inside at my desk I felt a fresh breeze, like I was outside waving at a passing train.

Suddenly this puzzling day seems complete.