This past week, the news wires were filled with really good stuff — the kind of stuff that gives stand-up comedians like Jay Leno hope that there will be fodder after George W. Bush leaves office.

Let’s start off with televangelists. You know Benny Hinn. He’s the guy who calls people up on the stage, and when he touches them, they fall on the floor and flop around like carp tossed behind the dam. If this isn’t fake, then every police force should have a Benny Hinn Clone on their squads. They could make tasers obsolete.

Anyway, Hinn is one of those television preachers who is balking at turning over documents to a Senate committee relative to suspicions that they are not complying fully with IRS regulations about non-profits. So how does anyone use the term televangelist and non-profit in the same sentence without smirking?

Meanwhile in Charlestown, Ind., an inmate escaped from a work-release crew after he created a distraction by clogging a toilet. Oh well, at least no one will ask him, “What the crap were you thinking?”

And in Fort Collins, Colo., a couple has threatened to sue authorities because when their medical marijuana was returned to them after confiscation, it was dead. I guess they’ll argue that the cops let their marijuana “go to pot.” I doubt seriously that this threat will actually become a lawsuit. It’s Colorado, not California.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been threatened with a suit, I could buy several tanks of gas. And based purely on a percentage basis, it’s much safer to be threatened with a suit than with a baseball bat.

South Dakota State University and a California company are teaming up to improve the “switchgrass yield.” Obviously this is about alternate energy, but my question is how did we ever get the name “switchgrass?” When I was growing up, I was never switched with grass. It was generally a sassafras limb. I wish my dad had switched to grass.

And in Montana, the grizzly bear populations have increased so that outdoor outfitters up there want protections lifted on these bears. Which reminds me of a story.

A fishing guide handed members of his party little silver bells to wear around their necks. He told them this was to keep from surprising a grizzly. Surprising a grizzly is a bad thing. And then he pointed to a pile of bear poop and told his party it was from a black bear. He tore it apart and showed the hunters that the bear had been eating berries and roots — typical black bear fare.

“So how would you tell if it’s grizzly poop,” asked one of the fishermen.

“Well it will have some of these little silver bells in it,” the guide said.

In Richmond, Va., it appears more of Michael Vick’s pitt bulldogs will be placed with new owners. In a review of this case, we can now determine that Vick wasn’t smart enough to lead a football team in the first place. How smart is someone who would jeopardize millions and millions of dollars for playing ball and making endorsements over an illegal operation that produced only hundreds of thousands of dollars. My daddy used to tell me when we were building gates and hog pens that you have to be smarter than the hammer.

Back to marijuana. In New York, a counterterrorism police detective was trying to get his job back after failing a drug test. He claimed he didn’t know his wife had spiked the meatballs with pot. Had I been him, I would have argued that I just misunderstood the meaning of “joint” task force.

Of course, I’m not naive about his plea. I can see this fellow sitting at dinner, trying to impress his guests. He sniffs the sauce, takes a bite of meatball and savors its flavor. Then he closes his eyes and says, “Oh yes. This would be south Jersey. Somewhere near the cloverleaf. I think 2006. Before the rains.”

Only in America.

(Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. Email: dwain.walden@gaflnews.com)

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