Crazy News Stories That Escalated In Weird, Ironic Ways

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by Pauli Poisuo

Whenever we read the news, we like to imagine an extra layer to the stories that turns them into complete insanity. “Those people keep talking about the ‘elephant in the room,’ but wouldn’t it be awesome if an actual elephant suddenly stormed in the room?” Imagine our delight, then, when we come across a news story that already features that ridiculous escalation of events. We’ve been collecting those for a while, and here are some of our absolute favorite ones.


Politician Who Criticizes Aggressive Squirrels Is Hospitalized By An Aggressive Squirrel

Howard Brookins Jr., an alderman in Chicago, had a pet peeve: Squirrels. Hey, not everyone in politics gets to decide about the important issues and it’s not like the guy wanted to arrange a squirrel-themed Purge or anything; or at least, we don’t think so. He simply wanted to raise awareness of the fact that the city’s squirrels were becoming more and more aggressive, and were damaging trash cart lids in their attempts to rummage through that sweet, sweet urban waste.

This might seem like the antics of one of those crazy fringe political candidates, who runs on a platform of disliking pants or whatever, if it wasn’t for two things: One, the alderman was absolutely correct, and the squirrels were totally causing around $300,000 in trash cart damages annually. Two, the squirrels knew about him, and weren’t about to take his trash-talking sitting down.

And that, friends, is how Howard Brookins Jr. was hospitalized by a kamikaze squirrel.



“Oh, we haven’t met. I am the Destroyer of Worlds.”

Go on, smirk. We know we did ... until we read the rest of the story, because that squirrel really messed the guy up pretty badly. Just weeks after badmouthing the city’s squirrel population, Brookins was cycling along one of the city’s bicycle trails. Suddenly, a squirrel darted directly at him. It got wrapped up in the spokes of the bicycle’s wheel, and sent the dude flying, messing him up pretty bad. The damage to his head and upper body was so severe that it took several months and multiple surgeries to get him back in shape.

In a statement to the media, Brookins said: “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge.” We suspect that he was only half joking.

Politician Debating The Evils Of Alcohol Has To Leave The Debate To Deal With An Alcohol Poisoning

In 2017, the Finnish parliament was busy debating about alcohol. The country was looking to liberalize its Alcohol Act, by allowing stores to sell stronger beers, and execute a number of other changes. This sparked a spirited debate between the members of parliament who felt that the current laws were patronizing and everyone should be free to be as drunk as they deem necessary, and those who felt that this would lead to a boozy disaster. One of the most hard-line “alcohol should be restricted” MPs was Christian Democrat Paivi Rasanen, who was just fresh off arguing her point on the parliament floor ... when suddenly, someone nudged her and asked her to follow.

Because Finns are either really good or really bad at scheduling, there were several fairly eventful work Christmas parties going on in the building at the same time as the alcohol debate raged. This went roughly as well as you’d expect: A right-wing MP got in hot water for getting “inappropriate” with a colleague, and one particularly unfortunate political aide got so wasted, they ended up staggering around the parliament corridors, throwing up and unable to stand properly. This is where Rasanen came in: She was a doctor in her civilian life, and since she was the nearest medical professional available, well … we’re betting that the poor drunk aide received a shock of a lifetime when their drunken stupor was suddenly interrupted by one of the most high-ranking and hard-line anti-alcohol missionaries in their entire workplace.



Just burning the midnight oil. And drinking all of the vodka.

Rasanen gracefully neglected to comment on the situation due to doctor-patient confidentiality, but did point out: “It is very controversial that a parliamentary debate is underway in which the disadvantages of alcohol are discussed, and at the same time this is happening.” Still, we can’t help but feel that the incident didn’t do any harm for her argument. Just imagine returning back to the debate about the evils of alcohol after taking care of an alcohol poisoning case in the very same building, and sitting calmly down as the rumor spreads like wildfire. Good luck debating someone with that kind of ammunition.

President Of Heart Association Gives A Speech About Heart Attacks, Has A Heart Attack Himself

This story features more hearts than the winning hand of our last poker night, and as luck would have it, stars Dr. John Warner, professional cardiologist and the President of the American Heart Association. In 2017, Dr. Warner and a host of other doctors of the heart variety were attending a scientific conference in Anaheim, where he was due to give a big Sunday speech about, yes, hearts.

Warner’s speech was an impassioned one about hereditary cardiovascular disease. He used his own family as an example of generational heart problems: He described the way his father and his father had bypass surgeries, and how his maternal grandfather and great-grandfather perished because of heart disease. There were, essentially, no old men on either side of his family.

Some might say that holding a speech about your family’s heart problems while being an esteemed heart expert in a room full of esteemed heart experts was tempting fate. Fate certainly agreed -- soon after his speech, Dr. Warner had a heart attack. Right there, during that same conference.



“This. Hello … this? Exactly this, right now.”

Don’t worry, this story doesn’t turn too grim. As it turns out, a conference of dedicated heart-themed healthcare professionals is not the world’s worst place to have a heart attack. Dr. Warner was rushed to a local hospital, where the doctors were able to insert a stent and open a clogged artery.

French Broadcaster Tries To Fight Sexism, Causes Sexism Outrage

In 2015, French public broadcaster France 3 wanted to let people know that they were a modern channel where men and women were equal. This, of course, was a noble thing, especially as it wasn’t just empty words: The majority of France 3’s presenters and anchors were female, and even the channel’s new head was a woman. They had gender equality, and tons of powerful women in the workplace, and they were ready to promote their values to the world. So they produced a high-concept, 38-second anti-sexism advert to do this exact thing ... and somehow, that ad managed to be one of the most sexist things produced this millennium.

The ad, which you can still watch on Twitter, shows us a deserted house that’s on the brink of disaster because someone isn’t present, doing all the housework. The oven is smoking, the rooms are dirty, and the toilet seat is left up in the bathroom. A shirt is set on fire by the iron resting on it, because the person who clearly should be ironing it is away. All the while, a 1970s song asks the viewer: “Where are all the women?” Of course, in the end, we are told that all the women are on France 3, but good luck caring about that after sitting through what seems an awful lot like if a men’s right activist made a PSA about the terrors of female independence ... especially as the message appears on a huge wardrobe with a massive shoe collection. Because everyone knows how much ladies like their shoes.



To be fair, it’s probably because they’re awesome.

Strangely enough, this did not convince people that France 3 was a trailblazer of gender equality. Instead, they faced a tsunami of backlash, and even the French women’s minister publicly condemned the clip. As a result, the head of the channel pulled the ad so hard that some of its clichés still haven’t recovered.

Religious Group Leader Who Agreed That God Brings Natural Disasters To Punish Sinners Gets His Home Destroyed By A Natural Disaster

Full disclosure: Normally, an entry like this would top most every list we can come up with, but in the interest of accurate reporting, we must point out that despite what many news outlets claim, Tony Perkins hasn’t actually personally claimed that God straight up throws natural disasters at deviants. However, in 2015, a pastor he was doing an interview with claimed that Hurricane Joaquin was a sign of God’s anger for the U.S. legalizing gay marriage, and Perkins agreed that God may have been “trying to send us a message” for that.

Still, that’s kind of a dick move. So let’s just go ahead and call it close enough, seeing as how Perkins does run a damn anti-gay religious lobby group. Which makes it all the more interesting when, less than a year after that interview, his own home was utterly destroyed by a natural disaster. Instead of a hurricane, it was something even more neatly Biblical: a massive flood that wreaked havoc in southern Louisiana, which wrecked his home so badly that he had to live in a camper for six months.

Perkins himself tried to present the situation as less of a punishment and more of an “incredible, encouraging spiritual exercise to take you to the next level in your walk with an almighty and gracious God who does all things well.” However, the rest of the world was quick to point out the hypocritical elements of the situation, and showered him with significant amounts of schadenfreude. Twitter commenter Betty Bowers probably put it best: “The Lord destroyed your home in a great flood? You know what that makes you in any Noah analogy...”



Well, homeless, at least. But there’s probably a parable there.

Look, we don’t claim to understand the intentions of a divine, Old Testament creator with steadfast ideals, and we don’t like any story where somebody’s home is destroyed. That’s an awful thing for anybody. But it’s also like telling Cthulhu that you believe in its powers and purpose right before it ruins everything you own.

Lawyer Attempts To Argue The Innocence Of An Arsonist When His Pants Catch Fire

Hahaha, what? Oh, man. Everyone’s heard what they say about liars and pants on fire, but we never even dreamed that we’d one day witness a real life incident, at least one that doesn’t involve flamethrowers. Still, not only did it happen, but it actually occurred to a lawyer who happened to be arguing the innocence of his arsonist client in front of a jury. That’s “shut down the internet, this can’t be topped” territory, right there. And yes, of course this happened in Florida. We only wish the headline started with “Florida Man.”

It all started in 2017, when attorney Stephen Gutierrez was defending a man who stood accused of deliberately burning his car. Gutierrez was playing the tried and true “the car just spontaneously combusted” angle, and was a few sentences into his closing argument to the jury, when suddenly, his pants … well, burst into flames. In a billow of smoke, the lawyer ran out of the courtroom, as the confused jury was ushered out. He later returned, unharmed but with a singed pants pocket. The culprit of the sudden trouser department blaze turned out to be his e-cigarette device, which he had been absentmindedly fiddling with while giving his statement.



Which maybe could have been a more controlled sweater fire, had he thought ahead.

Gutierrez’s client was eventually convicted of second-degree arson, because of course he was. As an extra cherry to the layer cake of insanity, Gutierrez himself was then suspected of a little pocket arson of his own, since some people believed that he had tampered with the device and the whole thing was some sort of a staged defense demonstration. However, frayed e-cig batteries of the sort Gutierrez was carrying have been known to erupt in flames and even explode.

Also, we can’t help but feel that very few lawyers are prepared to deliberately set a fire near their crotch just to get a small-time client off the hook.

Like this article? Check out “5 WTF Work Screw-Ups That Were So Bad, They Made The News” and “5 Senior Pranks That Got People In Tons Of Trouble”.

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