Every now and then, I like to read quirky stories about people who are in the news for having made really bad decisions. I find it helps me feel better about myself. If you’re having a rough day, if you’re questioning your judgment skills or perhaps just kicking yourself for some lame decision you made without fully thinking it through, cheer up. At least you’re not one of these people or businesses ….

Drunk driver arrested after trying to make a cell phone call using breathalyzer

In Coburg, Germany, a man named Bernhard Becker was pulled over for driving erratically. Police, suspecting he was intoxicated, attempted to administer a breathalyzer. When handed the device, Becker, thinking it was an iPhone, attempted to call his attorney without success. Things went downhill for Mr. Becker when, attempting to tidy up his hair, he grabbed the officer’s radar gun, mistaking it for a blow dryer. Rumor has it Apple is developing a new breathalyzer app for the iPhone 6.

California couple kidnaps repairman, forces him to fix his repair job

Jason DeJesus and Chanelle Troedson probably will never get one particular handyman to come back to their house – not after they kidnapped him, beat him, threatened him, and made him do various repair jobs at their mansion for over six hours. Apparently annoyed by the quality of his previous repairs, they forced him to repair the dishwasher, a door and several other appliances, threatening to harm him further if he didn’t fix their broken appliances. He was eventually able to escape. The couple was quickly arrested and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon. On the bright side, their dishwasher is working like brand new, and that annoying creaking sound in their door is magically gone. Unfortunately, the door on their prison cell creaks badly. No word yet on whether their repairman will be available to fix it.

Polish workers accidentally demolish a French chateau

A half-dozen Polish construction workers made a mistake they won’t soon forget when they accidentally demolished an18th century chateau instead of a small building on the perimeter of the estate’s grounds. They mixed up the two buildings and razed the mansion to rubble while the owner was away on business. One of the buildings was a 140,000 sq. ft. two-story baroque mansion. The other was a 15’ x 15’ changing room for the pool. But can you really blame them for their mistake? From a distance of say, outer space, the two buildings look almost identical. Guess that answers the perennial question: How many Polish construction workers does it take to demolish a mansion? 

Ukrainian Funeral Director charges customers for “Coffin Therapy”

Ukrainian funeral director, Stepan Piryanyk, came up with an ingenious way to increase awareness about his business and totally creep out potential customers. He started offering “coffin therapy” – allowing customers the chance to relax inside a casket in order to get used to what an eternity of “resting in peace” might feel like, complete with a soundtrack of chirping birds and falling water (to add a touch of class).

The fee is $25 for a 15-minute session. Guests can choose to leave the coffin lid open, or for the ultimate in claustrophobic terror, enjoy their nap with the lid sealed shut. It’s too early to say yet whether his new service has helped grow his business. The owner also contemplated offering similar 15-minute previews for people considering his cremation service, but thus far he has yet to figure out how to make this preview available without long-term negative side-effects. 

Pizza Hut’s latest offering: pizza-scented perfume

Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds – move over. When it comes to brilliant marketing ideas, you guys are officially behind the curve, thanks to Pizza Hut’s bold new product: pizza-scented perfume. When it comes to sexual arousal, nothing provokes the male libido quite like the smell of a meat-lover’s pizza. Pizza Hut has figured out an ingeniously alluring way for gals to get their man’s attention – just so long as the Packers aren’t on TV. Later this year, look for KFC to roll out its own competing fragrance: Eau de Extra Crispy Chicken Strips ‘n Home-Style Biscuits. I’m getting turned on just thinking about it.

The Pope began tweeting

Earlier this year, apparently having concluded that just having a Facebook page is so five minutes ago, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI decided he needed a Twitter feed – perhaps to spread #Wrd of Gdz Luv to millions of young people who are too busy texting to attend church services. Using his new Twitter handle @PoppaBenny, he started tweeting several times a day – except when his favorite team, AC Milan, was on ESPN. The pontiff’s foray into the world of social media was not without setbacks, however. Response so far has been below expectations. This may be in part because few young people are adept at reading tweets composed in ancient Latin.

Argentine woman wants to marry man convicted of murdering her twin sister

In case you were ever concerned about your offspring’s choice of spouses, be thankful you’re not the parent of Edith Casas. This Argentinian woman plans to marry Victor Cingolani, the man convicted of killing her twin sister. Wedding plans may be delayed slightly due to the fact that Victor is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence. A court has issued an order for a complete psychological evaluation to determine whether or not Edith might be totally whacked out of her f*cking mind. For possible bridal gift ideas, might I suggest the marriage advice book, So You’re Thinking about Marrying a Psychopathic Murderer?

There now, don’t you feel a whole lot better about the decisions you’ve made recently? No need to thank me.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

PS:  If you enjoyed this week’s post, please let me know by sharing it on Facebook, posting a comment or giving it a.  If you ask me that would not be such a bad idea after all. 

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2013

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