Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Once you’re in the news business, you’re never really out of the news business. Which is why I’m still obsessed with the news business.
The first thing I do in the morning is check the headlines. I used to turn on the TV, but years ago chirpy anchors and loud coffee commercials started making my hair stand on end, so now I scan a computer screen.
I browse The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, and local TV and newspaper Web sites. Along with the usual politics, traffic accidents, crime, fundraisers and features, you can always find weird news. Always.
A few examples from right here in South Carolina:
A Spartanburg mother called 911 last week after finding out that her 15-year-old son had watched porn on the family TV. The boy was in his room when Mom and his toddler sister got home. When Sis turned on the TV in the den, instead of Peter Pan it was pay-per-view. Mom was, to put it mildly, distraught – thus the 911 call.
According to Lt. Kevin Bobo, no arrest was made because no laws were broken. “Is it unusual for a mama to call the police on teenagers looking at porn? Yeah,” he told Huff-Po.
Bless that mama’s heart. I feel bad for her, because it seems she was genuinely shocked. On the other hand, I knew a woman who bought Playboy magazines for her teen grandsons, just to put all the cards on the table. To this day they laugh about it – and they love their grandma.
Then there’s the guy in Newberry who had not one, not two but FOUR wives—simultaneously. Darnell Pixley’s web began to unravel in June, when one of his wives saw a Facebook update about him being on his honeymoon. After what was probably the mother of all double-takes, the wife figured out enough to file a bigamy complaint.
When detectives did a little probing they realized Pixley, 49, had married four women in South Carolina since 1988, thus taking bigamy from crime to hobby. Dude, it’s cheaper to play horseshoes.
Detectives said they’d found no motive for the multi-marrying man. Maybe he just really, really liked weddings, or wedding gifts. He will presumably face all four wives at his court date on Oct. 24. Which begs the question: After he was released on $2,500 personal-recognizance bond… which wife did he go home to?
Finally, we’ve probably all seen the viral Ice Bucket Challenge, in which folks raise funds for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research by having ice water dumped over them as they challenge their friends to “take the ice” or donate $100 to the cause.
On Aug. 13 a Mount Pleasant mom was filming her daughter taking the Ice Bucket Challenge in her backyard. Suddenly there came a huge splash and right there in Rivertowne subdivision, an alligator crawled out of the Wando River—with a soccer ball clenched between its open jaws. (I worry about who had the soccer ball before the gator, and is he or she still around?)
The daughter, showing more presence of mind than I would have, snapped a photo of the grinning gator gripping the soccer ball. The critter soon spit out the ball and wandered off, presumably to find a goalie. It has since been relocated to a lake, where it’s probably playing water polo as we speak.
Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.
Julie R. Smith, who thinks bigamy is like playing poker in the dark, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.