More real news that sounds fake

Today, I continue with a look at some news stories from my hometown area that have the ring of satire even though they are completely true.

One important point I’d like to make: I’ve never been one to think that making up “funny” names for people is especially funny. Whenever I read a humor piece that cites someone named Herman Nostrilectomy or Lucille Boobie, I’m immediately turned off. Therefore, I want to make it clear that two of the people I’ve quoted in this weekend’s true stories – Dr. Peter Hyman in yesterday’s piece and Dick Blow in today’s – are not pseudonyms that I thought would be funny. Unfortunately (mostly for them and their heirs), they are real names.

Wonder why home sales are down?

A real estate agent has been arrested and charged with destroying a competitor’s sign.

Daniel LaFranca was arrested by sheriff’s deputies at his home after competing real estate agent Arthur Mullen told police he had video of LaFranca cutting apart a sign. Mullen said he’s had about 1,200 signs destroyed or stolen over the past six months, so he set up a video camera.

Mullen told police the video shows LaFranca destroying one of Mullen’s signs. In the video, a man walks up to one of the signs and cuts it in half before kicking it to the ground. Other parts of the video show a man walking away with some of the signs.

Mullen and LaFranca had worked together in the past, but Mullen left the company about a year ago to start his own business.

“We didn’t leave on the best of terms,” Mullen said.

Man attending World Pizza Games

The first time pizza entrepreneur Siler Chapman twirled dough in a competition, he was booed off stage.

But three gold medals later in the World Championship Pizza Acrobat competition, Chapman is part of the World Pizza Champions, a team of 40 international pizza superstars who compete and perform worldwide.

“I’m very competitive and I practice a lot,” said Chapman. “You need to be able to do that routine in your sleep.”

The pizza team is organizer of this week’s World Pizza Games, which will take place during the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Chapman will help judge those seeking champion status in categories such as acrobat, biggest pizza, fastest pizza and box folding.

Chapman often entertains his store’s patrons with his dough-twirling techniques. He can twirl up to three pieces of dough at a time, standing or on his back. And he makes rolling dough like a saucer – down one arm, across his back and down the other arm – look easy.

Chapman said that at some performances with the team, hundreds of kids have swarmed them asking of autographs.

“We felt like rock stars,” said his partner, Joe Carlucci.

Although Chapman has been competing and performing for years, he said he still gets nervous.

“You wonder in your head – do they like you?” he said.

Elderly-on-elderly violence

A dispute over a real estate deposit led an 88-year-old Rock Hill man to shoot the manager of a realty office Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Dick Blow is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a firearm during a violent crime after police say he shot 68-year-old Jerry O’Neill around 2:30 p.m.

O’Neill was shot in the lower abdomen and was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center where he was undergoing surgery.

About 10 people were inside the office at the time of the shooting, but no one else was hurt, said police. It’s unclear whether the shooter said anything to O’Neill before firing, he said.

“There had been kind of an ongoing dispute and he (Blow) showed up today,” said police Lt. Michael Belk.

“It’s so random and so shocking,” said one of the victim’s co-workers, adding that the victim was known for his friendly nature. “He is all about the customer.”

Blow was still in the parking lot when police arrived, and he surrendered without incident, Belk said.

Blow, an author and former semi-pro baseball player, has written at least seven books.

“Pitched against Joe DiMaggio when he was in the service, and I said to him, ‘Joe, I can throw it past you.’ Well, on the first pitch he hit it so hard it would have torn off my head if I hadn’t ducked,“ Blow wrote.

Hyena is no laughing matter

A South Carolina man has been cited for having a hyena in his back yard.

The Myrtle Beach Sun News reported Wednesday that the year-old hyena named Bubbles has been moved to the Alligator Adventure facility in North Myrtle Beach.

The animal’s owner was cited for owning and displaying a wild or exotic animal after police went to his home last Friday and saw the beast. It had been housed in a chain link pen that had a dog house in the center.

The owner told police he brought the hyena from Texas.



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2 Responses to “More real news that sounds fake”

  1. Alan G Says:

    Given the number of incidents of people shooting other people to include family members and co-workers over the past few months, it’s difficult not to commend Mr. LaFranca for his chosen method of stress relief.

    As far as the hyena named “Bubbles”…..they are in my opinion one of the most disgusting of God’s creatures on this earth and I cannot for the life of me figure how someone could come up with such an endearing name for such a hideous creature! 🙂

  2. alantru Says:

    I wonder if Bubbles was a laughing hyena and that the South Carolina man was hoping that Bubbles would laugh at all his jokes. Otherwise I can’t think of any reason why someone would want one in their home.

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