ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — As we approach the latter days of 2013, let us not think of it ending with something so unyielding as a red light. And let us not even consider it ending with the abruptness of a stop sign. (Yielding to others is soooo 2012.)
Come to think about it, why stop at all when you can keep going around and around and around in circles?
As we put 2013 in our rearview mirrors, it is the roundabout – that grotesque, baffling, un-American traffic directing device – that seems to have finally brought us together.
Oh, we have fought about roundabouts like we are fighting the Civil War all over again – waving signs, requesting to see the passports of traffic engineers to determine whether they are indeed dreaded furr-in-ers. But at least we’re all in one room, together, united in our anger, so close our spittle hits the target of our neighbor’s cheek.
For that, we thank the roundabout.
And we nominate the circular traffic device – don’t call it a traffic circle, even though it’s a circle and it moves traffic – for a place in our annual roundup of the news of the weird, which we like to call Cowchips.
As usual, our boots are covered in those cow droppings.
We had helpful crooks leaving their wallets behind for police and helpful police ordering up colonoscopies for gents with buns of steel.
A rabbit was kidnapped, an eagle ran for the border and the bears of Raton auditioned for their own spring break video.
As another year nears its end, please join us for some winners of the Cowchip awards, and a trip around and around and around this merry-go-round.
WE ALSO ROLL THROUGH STOP SIGNS AND GUN IT THROUGH YELLOW LIGHTS!
A member of the audience at a public meeting about a proposed roundabout at an intersection in Albuquerque’s North Valley objected to a planner’s use of the word “queue” in describing how traffic would line up to move through the intersection and said, “This is America!” We don’t say ‘queues’ in America. We say ‘lines.’ We stand in line, we wait in line. We do not queue!”
TAKE A HIKE, BOURDAIN! DON’T TREAD ON OUR FRITO PIE!
Food critic and chef Anthony Bourdain apologized for saying on an episode of CNN’s “Parts Unknown” that the Frito pies served at Santa Fe’s Five & Dime General Store’s snack bar were made with canned Hormel Chili and a “DayGlo orange, cheese-like substance.”
A FAKE HEADSTONE AND A FAKE FUNERAL FOR A FAKE DEAD PERSON IN A REAL CEMETERY FILLED WITH REAL HEADSTONES FOR REAL DEAD PEOPLE – REALLY, WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
A mock tombstone for Walter White, the late fictional star of AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” installed during a mock funeral for the popular TV character, was removed from Albuquerque’s Sunset Memorial Park cemetery after fans of the show stepped on real headstones and relatives of people buried there called it disrespectful.
RIGHT IDEA, WRONG APPENDAGE
Members of the Albuquerque City Council voted 8-1 to allow police officers to place an immobilizing device on the wheels of the vehicles of pimps and johns, and seize them when they are used in the course of a prostitution crime.
SINCE THEY WERE ONLY 138 MILES AWAY, THEY RAN HOME
Members of the Gallup High School track team were stranded after a car hit a cow on N.M. 6 near Los Lunas. The cow flipped over the top of the car and slid under the team’s bus, bringing the bus to a halt and causing damage to the undercarriage.
“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston discovered that his iPad, containing secrets to the final season of the show, and a printed script were stolen when someone broke into his car on Sandia Crest.
HE’D JUST READ A SCRIPT FOUND IN BRYAN CRANSTON’S CAR AND WAS ACING HIS AUDITION
A 22-year-old man who rang the doorbell of an Albuquerque home and asked to sleep on the porch, stripped naked, broke through a glass door and was found lying on the ground eating cat food.
WHO SAID HOUSECLEANING CAN’T BE A BLAST?
The Las Cruces Police Department’s parking lot was roped off and a bomb squad called after a man and a woman going through the property of a dead relative found a live World War II-era grenade and took it into police headquarters.
FOR 20 GRAND, YOU GET TO CALL THE PILOT ANYTHING YOU WANT
Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., booked a $19,525 flight to Egypt to visit members of the New Mexico National Guard, took political heat for spending so much taxpayer money on the flight, refused to refund the cost of the ticket, then titled his autobiography “Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!”
CARELESS CROOK CRACKS COPS’ CASE
Police arrested a 39-year-old Albuquerque man for holding up a drugstore after he left his wallet and a bandanna he had wiped his nose on behind, providing police both his name and DNA confirmation of his identity.
SOMEBODY CALLED 911 AND SAID AHHHCHOOOO!
A hazmat crew was called to a chile processing plant in the Santa Teresa Industrial Park after a cloud of habanero chile powder was sucked into the ventilation system. One woman was taken to the hospital, and other workers complained of irritated eyes, sore throats and bloody noses.
MMM-MMM GOOD, MMM-MMM-GOOD, LIQUOR MADE FROM CANNED PEACHES AND MOLDY POTATO PEELS IS MMM-MMM GOOD
Four corrections officers at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Los Lunas were injured in a fight with inmates who got drunk on home-brewed “hooch,” made from fermented food scraps from the prison kitchen.
HAY, FOLKS, WE HATE TO WORRY YOU BUT IT APPEARS WE’VE GOT A REAL SICK MONSTER ON OUR HANDS
Valencia County authorities went door to door warning people with haystacks on their property to be on the lookout for possible arsonists who appeared to be targeting haystacks after six suspicious haystack fires in one month.
“HAND OVER THE CASH AT MIDNIGHT AND YOUR BIG-FOOTED, LONG-EARED, PINK-EYED EXTREMELY QUIET BROTHER WON’T BE HARMED,” THE RANSOM NOTE SAID
Keagan, an award-winning 4-year-old Holland Lop rabbit, disappeared from his cage at the Southern New Mexico State Fair. Keagan was found inside a pillowcase left on the New Mexico State University campus and reunited with his 8-year-old owner.
JAMBALAYA, CRAWFISH PIE AND A GATOR GUMBO
TONIGHT GONNA HAVE THE BACK OF MY BUDDY FRANCO.
DRIVE STATE CAR, GO REAL FAR AND CHARGE OVERTIME-OH
SON OF A GUN WE’LL HAVE BIG FUN ON THE BAYOU.
Two New Mexico State Police officers were paid $2,200 in overtime to accompany Chuck Franco, the husband of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, on an alligator hunting trip to Louisiana.
I WARNED YOU THIS NEW OBAMACARE THING WAS GOING TO BE A DISASTER
A Lordsburg man, stopped by police for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign outside the Wal-Mart in Deming, was suspected of carrying illegal drugs because he appeared to be clenching his buttocks. Police drove him to a hospital in Silver City where, in a fruitless search for narcotics, health care workers X-rayed his abdomen, performed two anal searches, administered three enemas, did a second X-ray, performed a colonoscopy and then sent the man a $6,000 hospital bill.
BRUIN BOLTS BIRTHDAY BASH, BEMOANS BELLYACHE AND NO ICE CREAM
A bear walked into a house in northeast Raton through an open door, ate a birthday cake that was on a kitchen table and got a drink from the kitchen sink before leaving and returning twice.
WHEN ASKED FOR A STATEMENT, SHE WIPED HER CHIN AND SAID SHE’D DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN FOR THE CHILI-CHEESE CONEY
A female bear accustomed to snacking in the Dumpster behind the Sonic Drive-In in Raton climbed a power pole near the restaurant, was darted by a game warden and was snagged when the radio collar she was wearing from an earlier capture got caught on a bolt. She was rescued by a city utility bucket crew.
AUTHORITIES WERE INVESTIGATING AN EMPTY TACO BELL “FIERY BIG BOX” CONTAINER FOUND NEARBY
Officers called to Conchas State Park in northeastern New Mexico in response to reports of a large explosion and plumes of black smoke found a 30-yard debris field from an exploded portable toilet.
CONSIDERING ANOTHER LINE OF WORK, HE DECIDED TO TRY CRACKING SAFES WITH HIS SCOOTER
Albuquerque police arrested a man who tried to pull open an ATM with his Scion, tore off the back bumper in the process, then crashed the car in a police chase.
EVEN WORSE, THEY CHARGED $90 AN HOUR WITH A ONE-HOUR MINIMUM
Police in Albuquerque reported that bandits posing as plumbers were hitting up Albuquerque public restrooms and stealing metal pipes from toilets.
WHEN SUBORBITAL SPACE HEARD THE NEWS, IT CALLED ALL ITS GIRLFRIENDS AND SCREAMED
Justin Bieber signed up to blast off from the Spaceport near Truth or Consequences on a Virgin Galactic flight into suborbital space.
FITTING THE PIANO, THE BAND, THE DANCERS AND THE COSTUME CHANGES IN THE CAPSULE MIGHT BE A CHALLENGE
Lady Gaga also announced she’ll take a spaceflight from Spaceport New Mexico and perform a song while in flight.
DOESN’T THE EXPLOSION USUALLY COME AFTER THE BURRITO?
A man who was angry at the federal government called the FBI and threatened to blow up the Albuquerque FBI field office with explosives folded into a burrito.
THERE ONCE WAS A MAN WITH A HAMMER
HE KEPT IN AN UNSANITARY MANNER.
WHY BOTHER WITH SCHOOL?
HE SAID THROUGH THE DROOL
NOW HE’S GRINDING HIS TEETH IN THE SLAMMER
Police in Santa Fe arrested a man known as “El Dentista,” who operated an unlicensed dental practice out of his red Chevrolet sedan and kept his dental equipment in a rusty fishing tackle box.
HIS HASHTAGS WERE #FATJOKES AND #OOPSTHEREGOESMYCAREER
The University of New Mexico formally censured psychology Professor Geoffrey Miller after he wrote on Twitter that obese doctoral applicants who don’t “have the will power to stop eating carbs” won’t “have the willpower to do a dissertation” and then lied that the tweet was part of a research project.