You see some things in this line of work. Some of them have stayed with us for a long, long time. Others just leave us shaking our heads.
News rooms we’ve worked at over the years had their own way of dealing with these oddities – orphans unworthy of the daily news stream and perusal by more discriminating members of the hoi poloi.
Herb Caen used to bundle them and tack them onto the end of his column. Across the bridge at The Examiner, the City Desk and a host of other self-appointed scribblers tucked worthy items into something called “The Bondage Files,” an anthology that served as an unofficial, under-the-counter homage to our quirky city and its many eccentrics.
Big on tradition around NEWS24/680, we’ve been collecting a few recent tidbits and may break them out into a regular, featured column if so moved. Or, perhaps, we’ll just stick them in a drawer and look at them in another 50 years to remind us of how things were back in the “good ole days.”
Here we go:
“I’ll Give You Five Bucks If You Drive Me To Antioch…”
This offering is, well, happening as we speak (3:25 p.m. Monday). It seems a car running northbound on State Route 242 got a little swervy and overturned just shy of the Clayton Road exit. Good Samaritans stopped to lend a hand to people they believed to be trapped inside and were surprised when several came “boiling out” of the car, one of them waving money and offering it to anyone who drove him away from the scene. One witness said that man was last seen running down SR242, with no one needing the five bucks.
Everyone’s A Critic These Days
Police in San Ramon were summoned to the Crow Canyon Cinema after nauseated movie patrons said a man wearing an “Infinity Ward” robe relieved himself in front of a screen, returning to his seat after micturating and reportedly reading a comic book while his fellow movie-goers stared in disbelief. Sorry, no, we don’t know what was playing – but the guy apparently didn’t think much of it.
“Time Flies Like An Arrow; Fruit Flies Like A Banana.”
Apologies to Groucho Marx but our next entrant seemed relevant. Police in San Ramon were called on yet again after receiving calls from two parties in a local bank this week – one call from a man who told police he was put off by a teller’s reaction when he handed her a banana he was eating, telling her his potassium levels were low. The second call was from the teller, who didn’t appreciate the slightly mushy gift.
“Aw, Isn’t That Nice, Madge? That Jennifer Grey Gal Sure Can Dance.”
Fans of the hit movie may remember Ms. Grey and a hunky Patrick Swayze dancing their off-duty time away at some Catskills country club sooo many years ago. But their brand of “dirty dancing” couldn’t hold a candle to the moves some kids were busting at Falcon Bridge community pool this week, prompting a call from an unimpressed witness hoping for some restraint. Times have changed, folks, and you never, ever put Baby in the corner.
“You’re Never Too Old To Try New Things.”
Although many of our contenders for Amazing Tales this week were on the younger side and could be forgiven (except for that peeing thing, maybe) because of Graduation Day Ebullience, one older local attracted attention when he – or someone capable of dialing 911 – called for help after trying marijuana for the first time and not handling it very well. He was 76 and we hope he’s okay.
“I Wonder If He’s Got A Candelabrum In There…”
Those in the retail biz know how crazy and apparently organized local shoplifters have become lately. One unlucky “lifter” was stopped by store security and searched recently, the Loss Prevention folks looking on as prime cuts of beef, high-end wines, cheeses, and even a dessert course was retrieved from the booster’s trousers. Apparently, even the shoplifters are gourmands around here.
Parking Lot Couch Hockey
Possibly related to those Graduation Day high spirits we mentioned was a call to police from witnesses who spotted several youths pushing an old, battered couch around a store parking lot – with their cars. Have to wait to see if this is a thing.
Too Late, We’re Afraid
Not local but it still caught our eye as a film crew roamed the New York Times as reporters for the Grey Lady try to figure out and report what is happening at the White House for a documentary called “The Fourth Estate.” It’s an unblinking look at the state of print journalism today and interesting in a lot of ways. We couldn’t help but notice a small post-it note gummed to an editor’s computer as the camera swept past her work station. It read: “Web first” – meaning, we take it, that the editor is to post news directly to the Times’ web platform, something several of us figured out was necessary for survival about a decade ago. The moment was almost instantly followed by shots of an eerily vacant newsroom and a walkout by editorial staff.