Saturday, April 21, 2012

Surely Strange Stuff

My father was driving me and my brothers to school one morning way back in the early ‘60s. My youngest brother mentioned that he had a loose baby tooth. He was bemoaning the fact that no matter how much we wriggled it back and forth, the tooth just wouldn’t come out. Without missing a beat, good ol’ Dad replied, “Yes, but you must remember my son that tooth is stronger than friction”.

'Tis strange, but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction: if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!
— Lord Byron, from his poem Don Juan

I’ve seen a few strange things in my life; none much stranger than what my wife and I witnessed on a mid-summer day while driving into Toronto on Highway 401. We were in heavy traffic in the middle of about four or five eastbound lanes. In the lane to the left of us we saw a guy driving at a good clip while wearing a welder’s mask!!! It didn’t seem to hamper his ability much, as he navigated his way through the traffic on his way to (what I can only guess was) work or welding school.

I found a good website with some strange facts about our nutty world. I’ve reprinted some of those facts here (with a few comments):

The king of hearts is the only king without a moustache on a standard playing card!
I’ve already checked so you don’t have to; the queen of hearts has no mustache either.

There are 18 different animal shapes in the Animal Crackers cookie zoo!
That is strange. I think I would be hard pressed to name 18 different animals (or crackers).

The Nobel Peace Prize medal depicts three naked men with their hands on each other's shoulders!
No weapons, no clothes to demonstrate wealth or social status, nothing to indicate religion or nationality; what could be more peaceful than that?

A car uses 1.6 ounces of gas idling for one minute. Half an ounce is used to start the average automobile!
Or the same fact could be stated as: a car consumes $42 worth of fuel when idling for one minute and approximately $14 when starting.

Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they cant find any food!
These invertebrates really are what they eat!

In space, astronauts cannot cry properly, because there is no gravity, so the tears can't flow down their faces!
And so if follows that it's not the only thing they can’t do properly in space.

Slugs have 4 noses!
And, interestingly enough, Clyde Barrow’s nose had 4 slugs!

There wasn't a single pony in the Pony Express, just horses! 
Not true:

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II was named an "Honorary Harlem Globetrotter"!
I don’t believe the Pope ever actually played with the Globetrotters, but I would have gladly paid admission to see that!

Men are 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning than women!
Did you hear that men? We may be 6 times more likely to win the lottery as well!

The website also cites several strange U.S. laws. Here are a few:

In Texas, it's against the law for anyone to have a pair of pliers in his or her possession. 
Someone must have tried to assassinate Sam Houston with a pair of pliers once, since no one in Texas would bat an eye if you were drinking beer while driving a pickup truck with a loaded shotgun.

In Miami, it is forbidden to imitate an animal.
This law makes the Miami Dolphins a band of outlaws.

It is against the law to mispronounce the name of the State of Arkansas in that State.
Oh sure. They had to have that law in a state with a tricky name. That’s like making it illegal for the residents of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch to misspell that city’s name (I wouldn’t want to try to pronounce it either).

In Louisiana, a bill was introduced years ago in the State House of Representatives that fixed a ceiling on haircuts for bald men of 25 cents.
That’s still highway robbery.

In Oklahoma, no baseball team can hit the ball over the fence or out of a ballpark.
Is that a law or a fact?

In Rochester, Michigan, the law is that anyone bathing in public must have the bathing suit inspected by a police officer !
Are there currently any job openings in Rochester, Michigan for beach police?

I'm sorry ma'am, but I'm going to have to inspect your bathing suit.

Here are a couple of animal-related laws from the Tar Heel state:

In North Carolina, it is against the law for dogs and cats to fight. 
In North Carolina, it is against the law for a rabbit to race down the street. (They’re not talking about the Volkswagen, are they?)
This could prove to be a real dilemma for rabbits. Since cats and dogs cannot fight, then they’re likely going to harass a few rabbits.

Finally, I’d like to present you with this strange fact:
I am still blogging in the A to Z Challenge! 

And here is a welcome fact: There are only 7 more entries to go!


  1. LOL! Very nice post. I love seeing the silly laws and would sure like to know why they were made.

    1. Thank you Janyce. I've always wondered what would prompt the creation of those laws as well. The reasons are likely even stranger.