Need Some Good News?

I felt like Diogenes looking for truth, except I had no lamp and was trapped in a crack house.
I felt like Diogenes looking for truth, except I had no lamp and was trapped in a crack house.
Last week, when I provided my tiny contribution to entertainment on WBIG (1280 AM), hosted by Ryan and Taylor on The Big Wake Up Call, I realized that the funniest story I shared with their audience started with me being covered in blood. Obviously I’d been treading some dark paths. So, this week, I made a concerted effort to find good news to share, not only with them but with all the nice people who are kind enough to check out my daily ramblings. After I’d eliminated the various and sundry web sites dedicated to the multitude of religious beliefs that can be translated into English, I was left with a very small set of choices. It was then I discovered that good news is like porn. The very first site I found offered to let you read good news only if you busted out a credit card. Since I’m still waiting to be covered for, Nude Hippo related, expenses incurred in 2003, that wasn’t going to happen. The second only offered little teases that lead you to other sites which lead to other sites and so on. Obviously a series of sites that get paid by the click. However, I never did get a full story. The longest was about two paragraphs long and, while cheerful as heck, was missing silly things like facts or a point.

So, the heck with good news.

Let’s just go with the obvious.

If you want to die young and fat, move to the southern United States. Patricia Reany, of Reuters, reports that the most sedentary cities in the US are located there, with the winner (if I may use that term) being Lexington, Kentucky.

“What hurt Lexington most was the actual amount of activity, or exercise, people reported engaging in — any physical activity at all, which was relatively low. And they did have higher rates of deaths from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) as well,” said Matt Marion, deputy editor of Men’s Health.

To compile the rankings of the 100 most sedentary cities featured in the latest issue that will hit the newsstands on Tuesday, the magazine looked at how often residents exercise, the number of households that watched 15 hours of cable television a week and bought more than 11 video games a year, and the rate of DVT, a blood clot in a vein, usually in the leg, which is associated with inactivity.

“When we crunched the numbers Lexington finished at the bottom,” Marion explained.

Southern cities dominated the least active metropolises. Tulsa and Oklahoma City, also scored a low grade, as did Birmingham, Alabama, Laredo in Texas, Nashville, Little Rock and Charleston, West Virginia.

The other problem that researchers faced was that many of the respondents thought that DVT was that thing you use to play the movies you got at WalMart so they were thrilled with the results. In case you’re curious, Chicago ranks 31st on the list of the 100 cities surveyed and garnered a B+ rating.

In non-fat related news, Russian scientists claim that humans will meet extraterrestrial life within 20 years. They have been aggressively beaming signals to the universe since the 60’s to try and make that happen. They are hoping to meet bi-peds like us who just are very different.

Good news! I can save them a lot of time and money!

Of course I’m talking about Florida! And, bonus, the next couple of stories come with mutant life forms.

MSNBC reports that parts of Florida are being terrorized by giant, mutant, lizards.

Man, can’t you just hear the tag line “FROM OUT-ERRRR SPAAAAAACE!”?

They’re not Godzilla size but large, nonnative lizards in two South Florida counties are being hunted down after alarming humans, including a homeowner who found one that slipped through a doggie door.

Nine of the critters — formally known as Nile monitor lizards — were seen recently in Broward and Palm Beach counties, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warned.

“This is a high-priority species for us,” Scott Hardin, who coordinates nonnative species programs at the commission, said in a statement Tuesday. “We plan to go after them aggressively to either try to eradicate them or suppress their numbers if they are determined to be established.”

The commission urged residents to report sightings to 888-IVE-GOT1 instead of trying to deal with them personally.

“Monitor lizards may exceed 7 feet in length and are known to be very defensive when cornered, so the FWC discourages attempts to capture the lizards,” the statement said. “They are known to be more active during the hot summer months, explaining why reports have increased.”

Formally known as? Do they have an informal name, like Scooter?

Actually, I don’t know why they’re so upset. Giant lizards would seem to be the perfect antidote for the giant cockroach infestation that is threatening to overrun the state.

Also, predators like that only hunt and kill the slowest and the dumbest members of the herd, so I’m thinking they could be a great boon for the state’s IQ level as well.

But that could just be me.

Nevertheless, not to be outdone, Lisa Orkin Emmanuel is reporting that a 23 foot squid was found hovering near pleasure boats.

Man, that had to be some easy pickings.

Several people were fishing over the weekend just off Florida’s Atlantic coast when they pulled up a 23-foot-long squid.

They say they were fishing about 12 miles offshore from Port Salerno when they saw the squid, WPTV reported.

“We pulled up… thought it was something to fish on, a pallet or something like that. We looked at it, all three of us were like ‘holy mackerel,’ ” Robert Benz told WPTV.

The squid’s body is about 11 feet long, and its tentacles were so long, it barely fit into the 23-foot-long boat.

“Nobody believes a fisherman,” said Benz. “It didn’t seem it had been dead long, the tentacles were still moving and it was sticking to you when we got it in.

Ellie Van Os, Director of Education and Exhibits at the Florida Oceanographic Society, said such a find is not common. “It’s foreign to imagine that there’s an animal with 8 arms and 2 tentacles that are twice as long as the arms and their mouth is in the middle of their arms … and big eyes.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission took the squid to a facility in St. Petersburg for a necropsy.

Okay Scooter, if it’s still moving and it can attach suckers to your flesh, that means it’s still alive not recently dead. Of course to know the difference you’d have had to made it through grammar school in one try. My guess is that it finally died due to complications from DVT due to all the locals it had eaten.

Of course, not all threats to your sanity in Florida come from mutant life forms. A couple in Hudson, Florida are running a sanctuary for skunks.

Five years ago Don and Brenda Hoch took home a skunk after seeing it by chance in a pet store

The Hudson, Fla., couple found they had a way with the animals, and now the Hochs share their home with not one, but 15 skunks.

Their original pet skunk, Spike, shares his permanent home with fourteen others the couple are fostering for Florida Skunk Rescue. Eventually the skunks will move to permanent homes.

“A lot of our rescues are skunks that needed someone to work with them because they were neglected in the home they came from and consequently became biters,” Brenda Hoch said. “We’ve worked with them and have gotten them to become friendly again.”

Fortunately, the Hochs don’t live with a constant fear of being sprayed. The skunks are de-scented at a young age, around two to three weeks old.

I can just hear Floridian children now.

“Mommy, mommy, mommy, can I have an Easter skunk? Please, please pleeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzz???????”

What could possibly go wrong?

Oh well, there you have it. All the good news that’s fit to print. Or blog, as the case may be.

Yeah, you may as well surrender.

Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!

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