Friday, June 9, 2006

The Lightning Round:
Don't Cough On Me -- I Might Run You Off The Road

DRIVE ME CRAZY. A University of Chicago study suggests road rage is rooted in a disease known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Do the acronym, and you come up with IED -- the same shorthand for "improvised explosive device," a thing that's killing our troops in Iraq.

I see other parallels. Just as minds poisoned by hate build the roadside bombs, minds poisoned by rage run us down in the lanes. And as some justify terrorist acts as the cleansing of infidels, others will excuse ragers for wiping idiot drivers off the roads.

Now that road rage is a disease, can we treat it with drug therapy? Heavy sedation? Happy pills? Do we substitute DUI for IED?

From the AP, quoting Dr. David Fassler, psychiatry professor at the University of Vermont:
"The findings also confirm that for most people, the difficulties associated with the disorder begin during childhood or adolescence, and they often have a profound and ongoing impact on the person's life."
So be kind to your children. You'll share a freeway with them someday.

THE BEATING IS WORSE THAN THE BITE. For Paris Hilton, a Chihuahua is a fashion accessory. For a Missouri woman, it's a weapon.

Police report a woman had bought a new puppy only to see it die. According to police, she went back to the breeder and whacked the puppy seller over the head with the dead dog. The breeder was not badly hurt.

As Tucson radio man John C. Scott observed: "Guns don't kill people, dead Chihuahuas kill people."

SNAPSHOT SHAKEDOWN. Want a wedding photo in front of the Statue Of Liberty or the Grand Canyon? Bring extra cash. The National Park Service is now charging groups with professional photographers up to $250, depending on the size of the group.

From the AP:
Officials said the fees are in response to a 2000 federal law that requires various agencies to come up with ways to recoup the costs of maintenance, security and other expenses stemming from commercial filming and photography on federal land.
Hmm, "other expenses." For an extra $100, does Smokey Bear do a cameo?

HOLIER THAN THOU. The Christian-themed film "Facing The Giants" earned a PG rating from the MPAA because of strong "thematic elements" -- in other words, too much evangelism.

From Scripps-Howard News Service:
In this case, [the film company's vice-president for marketing] was told that [the MPAA] "decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions."
The ratings board expects the film to do boffo in Tehran.

I'LL GET YOU, MY PRETTY! Ann Coulter, the leggy Wicked Witch of the Right, is targeting is a group of 9/11 widows who demanded an investigation into intelligence failures before the attack. Coulter charges, "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much."

To the contrary, I've never seen somebody enjoy their own venom so much. Coulter could drink enough rattlesnake juice to kill ten people. And as the worn-out maxim goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Of course she's getting help from the cable nets. Wingnuts make great TV. Thus her outrageous oratory is amped up even more.

Maybe if Fox News ignores her, she'll melt.

IN THE STRIKE ZONE. And finally, we end the Lightning Round with, well, lightning. A pair of Tucson sisters nearly missed a direct hit from a bolt this week. Their couch, however, took a direct hit. So did a palm tree in the yard, along with a TV and an electrical outlet.

As KOLD News 13's Som Lisaius reported, Ana Hernandez asked her sister to get off the couch, placing her out of harm's way seconds before the electric mayhem.

SOM: "What made you tell her, sit over here?"
ANA: "I don't know, I don't like sitting by myself--so I told her come over here, sit by me."
Luck -- or Providence -- strikes again.

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