Skip navigation

Category Archives: Anecdotes

ImageOriginally the Baker Street Irregulars were a gang of street urchins whom Holmes often employs to aid his cases. Now BSI also stands for an elite sleuthing club dedicated to the study of Sherlock Holmes. It began on May 19, 1934,  when a unique crossword puzzle appeared in The Saturday Review of Literature. The society claims many famous people among its members. Here are its by-laws.


(1) An annual meeting shall be held on January 6th, at which those toasts shall be drunk which were published in the Saturday Review of January 27th, 1934; after which the members shall drink at will.

(2) The current round shall be bought by any member who fails to identify, by title of story and context, any quotation from the Sacred Writings submitted by any other member.

Qualification A.–If two or more members fail so to identify, a round shall be bought by each of those so failing.

Qualification B.–If the submitter of the quotation, upon challenge, fails to identify it correctly, he shall buy the round.

(3) Special meetings may be called at any time or any place by any one of three members, two of whom shall constitute a quorum.

Qualification A.–If said two are of opposite sexes, they shall use care in selecting the place of meeting, to avoid misinterpretation (or interpretation, either, for that matter).

Qualification B.–If such two persons of opposite sexes be clients of the Personal Column of the Saturday Review, the foregoing does not apply; such persons being presumed to let their consciences be their guides.

(4) All other business shall be left for the monthly meeting.

(5) There shall be no monthly meeting.


Buyer beware is the usual code for online shopping but not so long ago, James Labrecque from Bartlett, California, learned the hard way that the opposite is also true; seller beware. Labrecque was flipping a combination safe he couldn’t open. (Might make a nice end table I’m thinking, so what the heck.) He did take the precaution of shaking the thing, heard nothing, assumed it was empty and sold it on Ebay for $122.93.
The fellow who purchased the merchandise went to be bit more trouble and took the safe to a welder to cut open.
SURPRIZE! $26,000!!!!!    (That amount is worth breaking the one exclamation point rule)
I guess the buyer must have blabbed because before long he got a message from Labrecque saying it would be a nice thing if he shared the spoils. The buyer didn’t see it that way and quoted Labrecque’s selling policy back to him “What you see is what you get, no returns, and no money back.”

A new consideration in wildlife management. No picture unfortunately. It would have been a good one.

Grand Theft Bear: Colorado critter gets into car, honks horn, then sends it rolling downhill

Published: Friday, July 23, 2010 | 5:01 PM ET

Canadian Press Dan Elliott, The Associated Press

DENVER – A bear got into an empty car, honked the horn and then sent it rolling 125 feet (38 metres) into a thicket, with the bear still inside, a Colorado family said.

Seventeen-year-old Ben Story said he and his family were asleep in their home south of Denver when the bear managed to open the unlocked door of his 2008 Toyota Corolla early Friday and climbed inside.

A peanut butter sandwich left on the back seat is probably what attracted the bear, Story said.

It’s not unusual for bears to open unlocked doors to cars and houses in search of food, said Tyler Baskfield, a spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

“It happens all the time,” he said. “They’re very smart.”

Once inside, the bear must have knocked the shifter on the automatic transmission into neutral, sending the car rolling backward down the inclined driveway and into the thicket, Story said. The door apparently slammed shut when the car jolted to a stop, he said, trapping the bear inside.

Neighbours had called emergency police dispatchers, and deputies freed the bear by opening the door with a rope from a distance. The bear then ran into the woods.

Story said he’ll need a new car because the bear trashed the interior trying to get out.

This is good. Hope the employee got a big, fat bonus!

Swiss police:  quick-thinking Zurich officials trap would-be robber at city treasury

Published: Monday, January 25, 2010 | 9:04 AM ET


ZURICH, Switzerland – Swiss police say a robber’s attempt to loot the Zurich city treasury was foiled by quick-thinking officials who simply locked him in the lobby area.

Zurich policy say a hooded man entered the main hall of the city’s treasury Monday demanding cash and threatening employees behind the counter with what appeared to be a firearm.

Unbeknownst to the man, the employees were separated from the main hall by panels of armoured glass.

Police say one of the employees hit a button to lock the only exit while the others went to a back office to call the police.

The would-be robber gave himself up without a struggle when police arrived to arrest him.

A couple of years back there was a series of ‘cow incidents’ covered in the newpapers (is that still a real word, newspaper?).  Anyways, my favorite one was of a cow that fell from the sky (sort of) and through the windshield of a car driving down the road. (For details check the ‘news’ category on this blog).  It gives me great gratification to have finally found a picture of the event. That’s what this is!

pizza2Ok – yesterday while at the toll booth I read a line in a book about a guy waving around a piece of pineapple pizza and I thought, yum. Pineapple pizza. Then a truck pulled up to the booth and the guy who had to pay the toll, rolled down his vehicle window and had this huge pizza in the car beside him. He said, “You want a piece of pizza? It’s pineapple.” (things that make you go hmmmm)

cucumbersWhat the heck is person or persons unknown going to do with $10,000 worth of cucumbers? That’s one question the Adelaide police are probably asking themselves after eleven robberies of the cylindrical gourd. It’s an awful lot of salad and facials, that’s for sure. Maybe it’s a gang of overweight toxic laden ladies going on a cucumber cleanse.

Or maybe there’s something more sinister afoot.

In the 1600s, raw vegetables were seen as poisonous or fit only for feeding livestock. Cucumbers were called cowcumbers because they were feed to the cows. Samuel Pepys, famous for his diary written at that time, had an entry in September of 1663, “this day Sir W. Batten tells me that Mr. Newhouse is dead of eating cowcumbers, of which the other day I heard of another, I think.”

Perhaps the cucumbers are going to be used as a murder weapon. “Here, eat this, and this, and this, and this …” Or if the intended victim won’t die from consuming the cukes then the crooks could clobber him or her with a considerable container full of the fruit.

But what if the cucumbers are found before any nefarious deeds are done? Could the owners pick their peck out of a line up?

Cucumber thefts

MannequinsplatterApparently there are limits to bad taste, although who knows what defines them. A window dresser for the famous Barney’s crossed the line with ‘blood’ splattered glass and panicked mannequins. Seems like a ‘crime’ theme shows up in their promo now and then. A Wikipedia entry states that, in the 1930s, Barney Pressman, one of the first businesses to advertise on radio,  had a spot that parodied the intro to the Dick Tracy show.

parachute panties2My husband recently asked a new friend, aged seventy something, what her most thrilling adventure had been in life, so far. This darling woman related the following:

She was seven years old and living in England during World War II. Occasionally German pilots got shot down and parachuted from their planes to the relative safety below. One day this happened near the small village she was living in. As the unsuspecting soldier was billowing to earth, all the woman in town, along with our young friend,  rushed madly out and attacked the dangerously armed enemy.

They stripped the confused pilot of his parachute and, leaving him to his own devices, went gaily back to their houses to divvy up the spoils. Luxuries were rare in those days and the fabric was used to make underwear. Parachute panties were something of a status symbol and well worth the hazard involved in getting the raw material. It had been quite the thrill for a seven year old in those dark times.


In his book ‘The Biology of Transcendence’, Joseph Chilton Pearce relates how reality is negotiable when one is in an unconflicted state. Easier said than done as most of us are always conflicted about something or other.

Occasionally, some lucky soul stumbles through and alters reality, often unaware of their part in the miracle. An excellent example of this was reported by CBC news on June 23, 2009, Saint John, NB, when Jim Blagden saw a toddler fall from a third story window and rushed to save him. No conflict there. Save the baby was the total focus of his intention. He raced forward and later told his experience to others.

“He came down head first and I had my arm out and he hit my forearm and after he hit my body, he kind of bounced in the air and still went down,” Blagden said.

“And the last second I grabbed his ankles. It was odd cause it’s like he fell and then all of a sudden I was holding his ankles and it was like, how did this happen?”