>Headline from today’s “The Onion”: Nation’s Joggers Sick Of Finding Dead Bodies
>I would have missed that, thanks for sharing.
>As always, the Onion’s brilliance lies in appeal to high fidelity (e.g., the joggers complaining of their workouts being disrupted).
A few years ago I did an unofficial survey to find out who on message boards had discovered the strangest things. Some of the results:
Then, of course, are the inevitable findings of human remains. (The newspapers invariably report the discoveries of “joggers” in such cases.) Snalls, a California athlete, recently discovered a corpse in a field near the Fresno Airport. He says that his three-hour period of questioning by the police ruined his run and also says: “They ruled it a suicide, but it didn’t look that way to me. I think this is one for Columbo!” And an airline pilot running in Birmingham, Alabama happened upon an individual stretched out at the edge of a sidewalk. Thinking the person might be injured or ill, he stopped, only to find himself gazing at a dead body. He looked around, saw no one else – living or dead – and panicked. “All I could think about was that it was probably a murder and I might be a suspect, so I took off as fast as I could,” he said (which was pretty fast; he had once run a sub-4:01 mile.) After this experience, he adopted a “stop-for-nothing” policy. And Beth tells of a “jogger” in town on business who disappeared one hot summer day and was later found lying naked on a sand dune, dead, clothes folded neatly beside him. The dune was often used by Beth’s training group for hill work. “The ruling was no foul play,” she says. “Must have done one repeat too many. We usually stopped after twenty minutes.”
Another somber tale – but one with a better outcome – comes from Mike Hillyard. On a night when the temperature was well below freezing, Hillyard was running along a path near an Indiana stadium when he came across a woman who had been raped. She was hypothermic and barely conscious. Hillyard ran to the stadium, where a monster truck rally was in progress, and summoned help. “I came very close to not running at all that night,” he says, reporting that he has also found a CD wallet containing twenty discs as well as some snorkeling gear.
But it is a runner dubbed Strat who gets my vote for the most bizarrely grotesque discoveries. “(One day) I happened to notice flies buzzing around something in a ditch which had some pretty tall weeds,” he remembers. “I walked over there and found a rather decomposed human arm.” After contacting the local sheriff, Strat learned that the authorities had been unable to find the arm of an unfortunate woman who had been flagging some cars that were racing; in a drunken stupor, the woman wandered too close to the action and the limb was clipped off by one of the passing vehicles.
Strat has more, but the squeamish might be well advised to skip this paragraph. “Several more years on the same road there was a plastic bag (off to the side),” he says. Strat ignored it, but several days later, on a sweltering summer afternoon, the wind brought a foul odor wafting his way. “Dead meat,” he says. “I opened it up. Inside was a badly decomposed human fetus.”