Better To Be Unlucky
Sam, an unemployed piano tuner, said it was only the second thing he had ever won in his life. The first thing was an Afghan blanket at a church raffle when he was 25 years old. But this was much bigger: it was $120,000! He had won the Big Cube, a state lottery game. To win, a contestant must first guess which number a spinning cube will stop on. The cube has six numbers on it: 1X, 10X, 50X, 100X, 500X, and 1000X. If he is correct, the contestant must then guess which of two selected variables is going to be greater. So, just guessing which number appears on the cube does not guarantee that you will win any money.
Sam correctly guessed 1000X, but he still had to choose between two variables. One variable was the number of cars that would run the stop sign at Hill Street and Lake Avenue in six hours. The other variable was the number of times that a teenage boy would change TV channels in a three-hour period. This was a tough decision.
Finally, Sam flipped a coin. It came up heads, so Sam picked the teenager. He picked right. The stop sign was run only 76 times, but the teen clicked 120 times. Sixty-year-old Sam jumped for joy, for he had just won 1000 times 120, or $120,000. Sam dreamily left the lottery studio. Talking excitedly on his cell phone while crossing the street, he got hit by a little sports car.
Sam is slowly getting better. He was in the hospital for a month. His hospital bill was $110,000. And the insurance company for the little sports car’s owner sued Sam for $9,000 worth of repairs. Also, Sam still has to pay federal taxes on his winnings. Sam doesn’t play the state lottery any more. He says it’s better to be unlucky.
Freeway Chase Ends at Newsstand
A 24-year-old Los Angeles man was taken to a hospital and then to county jail after leading police on a one-hour freeway chase in a stolen SUV. The chase ended in downtown Los Angeles in front of the Spring Hotel. Most of the chase was uneventful, except for an empty bottle of whiskey that the driver threw at one police vehicle.
When the driver got into downtown, things started to happen. He ran over a fire hydrant. The water spewed out of the hydrant, causing a geyser that ruined all the books in several carts that a vendor had put outside to attract customers into his bookstore. The driver hurriedly turned west onto Grand Avenue and managed to bang into three parked cars on one side of that street and two cars on the other side. The driver also tried to run over a police officer, who was standing in the crosswalk ordering him to halt.
Turning north, the driver caused a bus to slam on its brakes to avoid a collision. The bus was empty, and the bus driver was uninjured. However, two police cars that were pursuing the SUV from different directions were not so lucky. One of them ran into the front of the bus, and the other into the back. Because the drivers had braked early enough, the damage to their cars was minor. Both officers resumed the chase.
They only went two blocks north to find that the SUV had come to a full stop because it had plowed into a newspaper stand. The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was slumped behind the steering wheel. The proprietor of the newsstand was yelling at the driver and shaking a magazine at him. The police called for the ambulance. They charged the driver with failure to yield to a police officer and driving under the influence.
Jerry Decided To Buy a Gun
Jerry Baldwin was 30 years old. He was the manager of a pizza restaurant. He lived in an apartment about one mile north of the restaurant. He walked to and from work. When it was raining, he took the bus.
Jerry loved gangster movies. When a new one came out, he would go to the theater and watch the new movie three or four times. Then, when it went to video, Jerry would buy the video at Barney’s Video Store. Jerry had a home collection of over 1,000 gangster videos. Old ones, new ones, color, black and white, English, Spanish, Japanese--he loved them all. He could tell you the name of the movie, the director, the stars, and the plot. Did you say you liked “Pulp Fiction”? Well, Jerry would rattle off all the details of that movie. And then he would invite you to his place to watch it some time. He was a nice guy.
Jerry finally decided that he would like to own a gun, just like the gangsters. So he saved his money for a couple of years. Then he went to a gun store and bought a used .38 caliber revolver for $300. While there, he also bought a couple of boxes of ammunition. The following Saturday morning, he went to the gun club to practice with his new revolver. He was in the club for only 10 minutes when he accidentally dropped his pistol. The gun went off, and the bullet went into Jerry’s right knee.
Jerry now walks with a limp and a cane, just like some gangsters.
Driver Loses Mabel, Finds Jail
A fifteen-year-old boy was injured in a car accident when the minivan he was traveling in was hit by a pickup truck at an intersection. The boy was taken to a nearby hospital. The paramedics said that it appeared that the boy had nothing more serious than a broken left leg, but that internal injuries were always a possibility. The boy was conscious and alert. His mother, who was driving, was uninjured. She said that the truck appeared out of nowhere, and she thought she was going to die. She turned the steering wheel sharply to the left, and the truck hit her minivan on the passenger side.
The driver of the truck was a 50-year-old man who was unemployed and apparently had been drinking—police found 18 empty beer cans inside the truck. The man denied drinking, but he failed the police test for sobriety. When asked to touch his nose with his arms outstretched and eyes closed, he was unable to touch any part of his head.
The handcuffed man asked the police if they knew where “Mabel” was as he was put into the back seat of the police vehicle. The police asked him if Mabel was his wife. He said, “She’s my dog, my dog! Where’s my baby?” A dog with a collar, but no identification, was found minutes later, half a block away. The man was taken to the city jail and booked on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and on causing an accident.
A Life-Saving Cow
Six consecutive days of spring rain had created a raging river running by Nancy Brown’s farm. As she tried to herd her cows to higher ground, she slipped and hit her head on a fallen tree trunk. The fall knocked her out for a moment or two. When she came to, Lizzie, one of her oldest and favorite cows, was licking her face. The water was rising. Nancy got up and began walking slowly with Lizzie. The water was now waist high. Nancy’s pace got slower and slower. Finally, all she could do was to throw her arm around Lizzie’s neck and try to hang on. About 20 minutes later, Lizzie managed to successfully pull herself and Nancy out of the raging water and onto a bit of high land, a small island now in the middle of acres of white water.
Even though it was about noon, the sky was so dark and the rain and lightning so bad that it took rescuers another two hours to discover Nancy. A helicopter lowered a paramedic, who attached Nancy to a life-support hoist. They raised her into the helicopter and took her to the school gym, where the Red Cross had set up an emergency shelter.
When the flood subsided two days later, Nancy immediately went back to the “island.” Lizzie was gone. She was one of 19 cows that Nancy lost. “I owe my life to her,” said Nancy sobbingly.
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