O-Bits: Accidents Will Happen Edition

From our Would You Like To Buy A Bridge file: We just don’t know where to begin with the story about the napping morgue security guard who was accidentally cremated. To start, it was greatly exaggerated. So greatly, there’s not a grain of truth to be found. To put it another way, the sleeping guard lies.  Amongst the problems? The morgue where the mis-burn supposedly took place, in Macomb Country, Michigan, does not perform cremations. But the fact that even after being told about fake news farms, people were taken in worries us.  We saw it, and as much as it’s the kind of story we love around here, we didn;t run it. It didn’t pass the smell test. For one thing, the only source was a story floating around Facebook, which when you clicked on it, took you to an ABC-news.us URL, which is not the same as the American Broadcasting Corporation. And it wasn’t showing up anywhere else, save for our more credulous friends’ Facebook feeds. As fans of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, we know that between fact and legend, print the legend is a great line in a movie, but as a way to make editorial decisions…

Which is not to say morgues are infallible. Last year, the LA Times reported that the Los Angeles County Coroner cremated a young man’s remains  by accident; there was a mix-up when another body in the morgue had the same same. According to the Los Angeles Times, the attendant didn’t follow procedure and check both the name and coroner’s case number. Officials blamed “staffing and budget shortages, broken equipment and the difficulty in recruiting and training highly skilled employees.”

Finally, here’s a weird but true scary story: there’s a giant hybrid animal stalking suburban New York. Residents of Rockland Country claim a coyote-wolf hybrid, who prefers to go by its proper name, Coywolf, thank you very much. has been seen roaming the streets. Some have even told reporters they believe the Coywolf has not exactly been coy, and can be seen checking out  their neighbors like they’re a potential lunch. So far, no coywolf attacks have been reported, but that hasn’t stopped us from refining our pitch for a new horror movie: Night of The Coywolves! If you thought the Lepus were scary, wait ’til you get as look at Coywolf! You pass? Well, what if takes place in a high school, and the Coywolf is just attacking his classmates for attention. We call it “Coy-Teenwolf!”

Steven Mirkin

Steven Mirkin’s diverse career has taken him from politics to pop culture to high art, offering him a front row seat to some of the most fascinating events and personalities of our time: writing speeches, fundraising appeals and campaign materials for Ed Koch, John Heinz and independent presidential candidate John B. Anderson; chronicling the punk/new wave scenes in New York and London; interviewing musicians such as Elton John, John Lydon and Buck Owens; profiling modern masters Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader and Jonathan Safran Foer; and writing for TV shows including 21, The Chamber, Let's Make A Deal, and Rock Star: INXS.

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