I See Dumb People

Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts and wild tales from the outdoors


April 6, 2005

I See Dumb People

A few years back there was a suspense movie in which a young boy uttered what became a popular catch phrase of the time, “I see dead people.” Well, hang on to your cerebral cortex and the rest of your gray matter, because this week we’re presenting a cast of characters that would make old Charlie Darwin think twice about how far humans have actually evolved.


Bullet Points

The Salina (Kansas) Journal reported last week that Michael Lewis, 27, of Delphos, Kan., was hospitalized on Easter Sunday when he used a pellet gun to shoot at a .22-caliber rifle cartridge placed on a picnic table.


J.R. Absher

When this deadeye shooter achieved his goal of hitting the cartridge, it naturally responded by exploding. The .22 bullet responded by entering the man’s body. The man responded by feeling intense pain in his groin area.


According to the newspaper report, Lewis was in fair condition Monday morning at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, where he was taken after being treated at Salina Regional Health Center.


Sheriff Glen Kochanowski said deputies were investigating the accident, but that Lewis was being “uncooperative.”


As a further reflection of Lewis’ intellect, the police report indicated that alcohol was not a factor in the incident.


Fangs For Nothing

Elsewhere, alcohol was indeed a factor this week when a pet rattlesnake bit its extremely intoxicated owner on the finger while the man was playfully flicking its head — then bit him again on the lip and tongue after he attempted to kiss it.


According to police Sgt. Gene Galitz’s popular column “Cop’s Corner,” in the Lander (Wyo.) Journal, a man identified only as “Rattlesnake Bob” was driven to the emergency room at the Lander Valley Medical Center by his girlfriend. When he saw a patrol car at the hospital, he wouldn’t get out, saying he hadn’t had much luck with cops.


Sgt. Galitz wrote that he attempted to persuade “Rattlesnake” to seek medical attention, but he refused. As it turned out, the snake apparently did not inject venom during the kiss.


“I’ll bet the next morning the snake woke up with a hangover and Rattlesnake Bob woke up wondering who pierced his tongue and forgot to put in the decoration,” Galitz wrote.


A Shocking Arrest

Investigators with the Texas Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks report they recently were made aware of a fish-shocking device offered by a Texas seller on the Internet auction site, eBay. While the device itself is not illegal, selling one is. The use of one is often referred to as “telephoning” or “monkey-fishing,” because turning a crank to generate electricity — conjures images of an early telephone or organ grinder with his monkey.


Texas officers took part in the bidding process, eventually becoming high bidder and making contact with the seller. Undercover investigators subsequently went to the seller’s Erath County residence, where the seller bragged “about killing 12 ducks after sunset the day before,” and gave the breasted ducks to the officers. Additionally, he gave them several homemade “fish bombs” with wet fuses and told of his latest invention, a way to shock doves off a highline.


The rather inventive, albeit self-incriminating, poacher was arrested and taken to the Erath County Jail.


We assume the court will decide he’s guilty, as “charged.” (Sorry)


Reeled In

Also in The Lone Star State last week, a game warden with the Texas Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks was enjoying a day off work by wadefishing for speckled trout and other species in Aransas Bay.


According to a news report from the TFWP, the specks were being cooperative, and the Aransas County officer was catching a few keeper fish and releasing the undersized schooling fish.


As he continued fishing, the warden reported noticing that a nearby angler within his view “was not being as conservative,” with releasing fish that did not fall within the size limit.


The Texas game and fish officer said he then waded toward the unsuspecting fisherman and asked him how he was doing.


“He said everything was just fine as long as the game warden did not show up,” the lawman later reported.


What’s that? A badge?


Quote Of The Week

“I make it a rule never to weigh or measure a fish I’ve caught, but simply to estimate its dimensions as accurately as possible, and then, when telling about it, to improve those figures by roughly a fifth, or 20 percent. I do this mainly because most people believe all fishermen exaggerate by at least 20 percent, and so I allow for the discounting my audience is almost certain to apply.

-Ed Zern

“Are Fishermen Really Liars?” 1977


J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear in numerous national publications. Visit his Web sites, The Outdoor Pressroom (www.outdoorpressroom.com and The Outdoor Weblog www.outdoorweblog.com ) to find the latest outdoor news of interest. He offers his unique perspective of the outdoors weekly for sportsmansguide.com. You may contact him at jrabsher@outdoorpressroom.com.

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