A few real life #8216;Here#039;s your sign#039; stories

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2006

Country singer Travis Tritt recorded a song along with country comedian Bill Engvall in 1997 that went on to be the best selling country comedy single of that year, and, more impressively, the no. 3 best selling country song that year. You may now know Engvall from his association with the Blue Collar Comedy Tour where he yuks it up on stage with fellow comedians Jeff Foxworthy, Ron White, and, my favorite, Larry the Cable Guy.

Engvall's song, &#8220Here's Your Sign” is about people who are so stupid they should be wearing a sign around their neck warning all those who come in contact with the person who they're dealing with.

We've all dealt with these people, and have been &#8220sign worthy” ourselves at times (me included), so I thought I'd share a few real-life stories of people compiled from UPI, AP, Reuters and independent newspapers across the country who aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer.

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n Bowling Green, Ohio, student Robert Ricketts, 19, was admitted to a Bowling Green hospital after being struck by a Conrail train. Ricketts told police he was trying to see how close to the moving train he could place his head without getting hit.

n Police in Wichita, Kansas arrested a 22 year-old man at an airport hotel after he attempted to pass two (rather noticeably counterfeit) $16 bills.

n The Chico, California City Council enacted a ban on nuclear weapons, setting a $500 fine for anyone detonating one within the city limits.

n A man in Johannesburg, South Africa shot his 49 year-old friend in the face, seriously wounding him, as the two practiced shooting beer cans off each other’s head.

n Police in Radnor, Pennsylvania interrogated a robbery suspect by placing a metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a photocopying machine. The message, &uot;He’s lying!&uot; was placed on a piece of paper in the copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the suspect wasn’t telling the truth. Believing the &uot;lie detector&uot; was working, the suspect confessed.

n A Los Angeles, California man who said he was &uot;tired of walking,&uot; stole a steamroller from a construction site and led police on a five mph chase until an officer stepped aboard and brought the vehicle to a stop.

n A bus carrying five passengers was hit by a car in St. Louis, but by the time police arrived on the scene, 14 pedestrians had boarded the bus and were complaining of back and neck injuries.

n Speaking of his years in the Reagan white house former president George

H. Bush was heard to say in a 1988 speech &#8220we have had triumphs, we have made mistakes, we have had sexŠ” What he meant to say is &#8220we have had SETBACKS.”

n &#8220Outside of the killings, we have one of the lowest crime rates in the country,” said Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Berry in 1989.

n &#8220I have opinions of my own – strong opinions- but I don't always agree with them.”- George H. Bush

n &#8220The first black president of the United States will be a politician who is black.”-L. Douglas Wilder, Governor of West Virginia, in 1992.

n &#8220What a waste it is to lose one's mind- or not to have a mind. How true that is.” Dan Quayle in a 1989 address to members of The United Negro College Fund.

n &#8220If Lincoln was alive today, he'd be rolling in his grave.” Newly-inaugurated president Gerald Ford referring to Watergate.

n &#8220Facts are stupid things.” Ronald Reagan, addressing the Republican National Convention in 1988. He was misquoting John Quincy Adams, who in 1770 wrote &#8220facts are stubborn things.” Reagan repeated the mistake several times during the speech.

Dennis Palmer is publisher of The Greenville Advocate. His column appears each Wednesday. He can be reached at 383-9302, ext. 125 or by email: dennis.palmer@greenvilleadvocate.com.