Well kidlings, it's time for another round of "You Can't Make Up This Stuff," the game based on my brother Big Rob's theory that reality is stranger than any fiction. As usual, when we play this game we begin with an item that relates to Big Rob's stomping grounds of Flint. 


The effort to replace lead-tainted water service lines in Flint continues. Guess what, you'll get to chip in on the financing. As reported last week: “Gov. Rick Snyder wants water customers across Michigan to pay a $5 annual fee to help upgrade aging infrastructure and replace lead pipes in their local communities.” This includes Flint, of course. (


In case you are confused by the terminology, this will be a fee and not a tax. The Oxford Dictionary defines a tax as: “A compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government.” This is different because the proposed fee will be a compulsory contribution to state revenue, levied by the government. Now do you have a better understanding of the proposal?


Super Bowl LII is now in the books and the Philadelphia Eagles are the champs this season. For those of you who thought the big storylines were going to be about the quarterbacks, head coaches, line play, or even the halftime show, you were wrong. It was never going to be about any of those. 


You see, this was a duel to see which defensive coordinator would be cursed the most by their association with the Detroit Lions. In short, once a man becomes the head coach of the Lions, he instantly loses his ability to coach. So, ex-Lions head coach Jim Schwartz (Eagles) and the next Lions victim Matt Patricia (Patriots) were at the mercy of the football gods. That's why these “geniuses” coordinated their teams into giving up 1,151 total yards, the most in Super Bowl history. In the end, the gods figured since Schwartz had already served his sentence with the Lions he had already sufferer enough, so they let the Eagles win. 


By the way, there's a reason the Lions have been called “career kryptonite” for head coaches. “The last coach to get another NFL HC job after leaving Lions was Buddy Parker in 1957.” Seventeen coaches have come, gone since then without resurfacing. “Their names (become) so badly tainted by their association with the team that it makes them unhireable.” (


This brings me to my favorite quote of all time directed to a Lions coach. Harry “The Hat” Gilmer (1965-66) wanted running back Joe Don Looney to carry a play into the quarterback. Said Looney: “If you want a messenger boy, call Western Union." 


Hey, at least if you watched the Super Bowl on television you saved a bunch of cash on snacks. At the game, a medium-sized pop was $30, light beer was $13, a hot dog was $15, and a small serving of cheese curds was $19. I guess you could have braved the cold and tailgated, but then again a parking spot near the stadium set you back $200.  (


These were pretty steep prices, but at least those attending the game did not get penalized for sipping their drinks through a straw. That might not be the case in 2022 when the game will be in Los Angeles. “A bill proposed in California would make it illegal to give guests plastic straws...with the threat of a $1,000 fine or jail time attached.” (


In terms of parking, Super Bowls in 2020 and 2021 will be in Florida, so you might come out of the game and find your car has gone missing. A guy in St. Petersburg recently had a Florida parking malfunction when a valet handed the keys to his $300,000 Ferrari to the wrong person. The police were told “...the brightly colored Italian sports car worth six-figures was stolen with apparently minimal effort.” The dude who absconded with the car had a unique defense. “The man who officers arrested said he didn’t steal the Ferrari. The valet, after all, gave him the keys.” 



When it comes to parking (anywhere) things are about to get a bit more confusing for all of us. Have you ever come out of a store and forgotten where you parked? Or have you ever gone up to a car and tried to open the door only to realize that the car is not yours but just one of the same make and color? Ever wander around a parking lot like a squirrel looking for a lost nut? 


Now add this to the mix. What if all the cars in the lot were the same color? It's about to happen because the majority of the new self-driving cars are going to be either white or silver. “Self-driving cars are safer and more efficient when they're light-colored. One of their key sensors, the laser light-mapping systems called LiDAR, can more easily detect light-colored vehicles. A self-driving car needs to see other cars in order to avoid them. So in these early days of self-driving cars, automakers may favor light colors, such as white and silver, to make vehicles safer and more affordable. It's all going to come into play soon.” (


I don't know about you, but I have visions of a news item sometime in the future. “Jim Neff was found buried in the snow of the Big Box parking lot. His hands were frozen to a grocery cart. Tragically, once the snow melted in the spring, it was determined that his white car was only two parking spaces away.”


Finally, if you see a bald guy smearing french fries on his head don't be alarmed. Researchers at Japan's Yokohama National University have discovered that a chemical in the oil used to cook fries (at some restaurants) will grow hair follicles on mice. More studies are required, but the findings could lead to a potential strategy for human hair regeneration.  (


The chemical is dimethylpolysiloxane. It's also an ingredient in Silly Putty and Rain-X. I look forward to the day when my bald head is covered in wavy locks, bounces when it hits something, and sheds water during a storm. 


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at and