This is True #1301: Scientific Temper

Randy Cassingham
May 26 · 4 min read

Bag Man: A convenience store robber in Brisbane, Qld., Australia, “attempted to hide his identity by wearing a blue shopping bag on his head,” police say. Since the reusable bag is not transparent, he had to pull it up so he could see. After getting cash and cigarettes at knifepoint, the robber needed something to help carry the loot away, so he took the bag off his head to put it to its more conventional use. The unidentified man is being sought by police. (RC/Brisbane Times) …A smokeless weapon and a reusable bag: not many robbers are that environmentally conscious.

You might be an obliviot if….

The Waiter’s Revenge: Retired social worker Karen Vinacour, 79, had sold a New York City apartment and wanted to use money from that sale to buy a new home, but she lost the $423,987.55 cashier’s check for the down payment. Citibank said they couldn’t even start the process to reissue the check for three months — and then only if someone didn’t cash it in the meantime. The day she lost the check, Vinacour had lunch at Patsy’s Pizzeria to go over the financial documents with her daughter. They’d commented that the pictures on the walls didn’t include enough women, and waiter Armando Markaj had, she recalled, shrugged and said, “Maybe women don’t eat a lot of pizza?” His response didn’t please Vinacour’s daughter, and when the time came to clear the table, Markaj did not find a tip. He did, however, find the bank check. “I ran out to the street to look for her,” he said, “but she was gone.” He turned the check over to Patsy’s owner, who called a newspaper, which found Vinacour. She promptly went back to the restaurant, and this time, she offered Markaj a tip. He turned it down. (AC/New York Daily News) …That’s one slice with extra dignity.

Pissing Contest: There’s no love lost between Ernie Newton, a Councilman in Bridgeport, Conn., and Maria Pereira, an “outspoken” member of Bridgeport’s Board of Education. The two regularly trade insults in the comments section of the “Only in Bridgeport” web site. It got to the point where each accused the other of being on drugs, so Pereira challenged Newton to meet her to take simultaneous drug tests, and publicly release the results. He agreed, and both showed up to give urine samples. Both samples showed no evidence of illegal drugs. (RC/Connecticut Post) …Voters should demand another test: an intelligence test.

Military Intelligence: The Indian Army posted new “evidence” on Twitter that could help solve a long-standing regional mystery. The tweet reads: “For the first time, an #IndianArmy Moutaineering [sic] Expedition Team has sited [sic] Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast ‘Yeti’ measuring 32x15 inches close to Makalu Base Camp”. Folks on Twitter reacted with a mix of disbelief and humor. “Either I’m missing the joke,” one user said, “or the Indian Army is claiming that it’s found what it believes is evidence of a literal yeti.” The “evidence” had been “handed over to subject matter experts,” the army said in a statement, “so, we thought it prudent [to go public] to excite scientific temper and rekindle the interest.” (MS/BBC) …[sic].

Wait, ME? After the school term ended last year, two employees retired from Michigan’s Dearborn Heights School District 7, including a principal who had put in 40 years with the district. For a retirement celebration at the district board office, Superintendent Jennifer Mast brought something special to help celebrate. “We drank literally, half of bottle of champagne,” she said, “and there were 12 adults present.” She quickly added “It was completely innocent.” Doesn’t the district have a policy against drugs or alcohol on district property? It does: Mast has been with the district for 22 years, and admitted she knew that even bringing the bottle unopened as a take-home gift would be against policy. The Board of Education agreed: it suspended her without pay for five days. Mast, who earns $125,000 per year plus benefits, a vehicle allowance for travel, and a “tax shelter annuity,” whined about the pay hit, and missing the “graduation parade,” honor roll celebrations, and other events. “I never dreamed that I would be suspended for five days without pay,” she said. “I never imagined being asked for my keys, escorted out of my building and losing access to my email, voice mail, etc.” (RC/Detroit Free Press) …Maybe now she can imagine how a kid who didn’t understand the rules feels about being expelled for copying a picture of a soldier’s gun out of a textbook.

Love Me Tender Miami Mom Accused of Beating Son With Spiked, Metal Meat Tenderizer For Not Doing Homework WFOR Miami (Fla.) headline

Mike Offered Several tag ideas for the Indian “yeti” story. Another that I considered was “…It might also be prudent to check how footprints work in the snow.” Besides: those prints in the photos don’t look like 32x15 inches; maybe they meant mm. My own tag for it: “…That’s probably not quite the kind of scientific temper the Army hoped to rekindle.”

This Week’s Uncommon Sense Podcast is the story of a man who wasn’t satisfied with mere success. He took Uncommon Sense to a new level in order to help others, yet refused to get rich from it. He invented something you know about, and hearing his story will give you a new understanding. It’s a little more than 10 minutes, or if you must there’s a transcript: “Give Me a Shot at It. I’m an Engineer”.

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Copyright ©2019 by Randy Cassingham, All Rights Reserved.

Randy Cassingham

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Author of Weird News feature This is True — — and creator of the Get Out of Hell Free card: