Stranger Than Fiction: The News Of The Day

ROUTE 2 -- A weekly journey through Anne Arundel County

November 13, 1991|By Chris Guy Phil Greenfield

Every once in a while, we get a call from someone who's convinced weresort to writing fiction in our never-ending quest to fill the AnneArundel County Sun with pithy, entertaining stories.

We can understand how readers might get that idea. If it works pretty well for the supermarket tabloids, why not for this county news tabloid?

And there are days when a nice, convenient story about aliens landing in Annapolis or Elvis being spotted working as a gardener in Glen Burnie would be a godsend. But the ugly truth is that we don't lie -- we're just not that creative.

On the positive side, we frequently print news stories that read like fiction, and that's not countingthe extensive coverage we give to county government and the General Assembly.

The best believe-it-or-not stuff comes from the police beat. Nope, it's not all gritty gore and guts. In addition to the shootings, stabbings and car crashes, the police logs frequently provide us and our readers with a glimpse at the genuinely ridiculous and stoopid, all written with a dry cop talk delivery that would make Joe Friday envious.

A case in point was an item in June about an angry Pasadena husband who hurled a 30-pound turkey at his wife. County police were called but no charges were filed. Guess they couldn't bring themselves to charge with guy with assault by poultry.

In July, a 20-year-old Millersville man was charged with selling LSD while working at his job in a sunglasses store in Annapolis. No kidding, really, the police said he had sold about 1,000 hits of acid in a sunglasses store. Talk about looking at the world through rose-colored glasses.

July was also the month when we reported that a Brooklyn Park woman found her dog in the backyard chewing on a human foot. The police report said the foot had been "accidentally unearthed" at a nearby cemetery. "Re-entombment" was pending, according to the report.

From the unsavory to the truly dumb, there was the 18-year-old Glen Burnieman arrested last month and charged with breaking into four police cars parked in front of the homes of the officers who drive the vehicles. This guy must have had an Adam-12 fetish; the police recovered almost $15,000 worth of radios, car phones, police hats, emergency -- lights, handcuffs and other equipment from his home.

Last but not least, was the 31-year-old Severn woman who was charged last month with trying to pass a photocopy of a $20 bill at a Brooklyn Park 7-Eleven store. Come on, lady, they put the twenties in the safe before giving change -- did you think the clerk wouldn't notice?

See, we couldn't make this stuff up if we tried.


Ten Positive Things To Say About The New Maryland Redistricting Plan:

10) Anne Arundel County high school students will be fully prepared ifthe word "gerrymander" pops up on this year's SATs.

9) When the 1st District encompasses Annapolis and the Eastern Shore beaches, we'll feel a special kinship with the folks at the other end of the traffic jam.

8) It gave Joe Curran a reason to buy some new ink for hisrubber stamp.

7) Newspaper maps of the county will provide cheap,wonderful jigsaw puzzles for your kids.

6) You can thumb through "Achievement Through Strategic Planning" and see which of Jim Lighthizer's incredible accomplishments wound up in which district. It's fun! Let's see now, who got the gazebos?

5) Bay Bridge toll profits should be up as Tom McMillen starts heading east more often and Wayne Gilchrest comes to visit us once in a while.

4) Won't it be oodlesof fun to share a congressman with all those Brooklyn-Curtis Bay types who say "hon," "larynx" and "downey ayshin."

3) Local gun merchants will prosper as Steny Hoyer stocks up on firearms to show his new Southern Maryland constituents he's "one of them" despite his support for gun control . . . till now.

2) It gives the governor a chance to show he's not such a schnook after all. He sure is nice to Helen Bentley.

1) Redistricting may stink, but it's more fun to think about than Bobby Neall breaking your contract, cutting your salary orlaying you off.

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