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. Usually when we play this game we begin with an item from Big Rob's stomping grounds of Flint, but this time we'll begin with an item from Owosso, just west of Flint. 


If owners of small pets are nervous in Owosso it's no wonder. Recently, an Owosso homeowner received a ticket after an alligator escaped from its cage and ran loose – twice! A resident spotted the gator galloping down the street and alerted animal control. “Owosso police issued a ticket for violating a city ordinance that prohibits keeping alligators as pets.” I don't even want to know what kind of “baggie” you have to carry when you walk a pet alligator. 



Assuming there are no pet gators on the prowl, this is the time of year when you can get outside and enjoy nature. However, I am sorry to say an activity in the Bahamas has yet to reach the states – swimming with pigs. Apparently, there are many Bahamian islands populated by pigs. “The swimming with pigs phenomenon began years ago when some tourists boating through the Exuma chain noticed as their boat approached, some of the pigs began swimming toward it.” Now, attractions have “sprung up across the island chain offering tourists the opportunity to wade or boat in shallow waters as pigs beg them for scraps of food.” 


Swimming with pigs has yet to become popular in the states. One drawback has been noticed by the Centers for Disease Control. “States’ health departments might look askance at permitting humans to swim in water alongside pigs and their waste. Where is all the pigs’ waste going? In the water.” You might want to let that Baby Ruth just float on by. (


Speaking of swimming at the beach, a serious problem has the attention of sunbathers. Recently, instances of sunbathers being run over by vehicles have been in the news. At least twelve states allow you to drive on some beaches. “It's preposterous,” says a lawyer who's identified more than 40 incidents in Florida alone.


“Kelly Nantel, of the National Safety Council observes: "Any time there is a combination of motor vehicles and pedestrians in a relatively unprotected environment, and a very chaotic environment, the risk is really elevated." No kidding?  Maybe we need to form a committee to study what happens when a pickup truck uses a sunbather as a speed bump. I figure it will only cost a few million taxpayer dollars to solve this mystery. (


Of course, you could avoid the beach by staying home and gathering around a kiddie pool. Just make sure you have a pump to inflate the pool, otherwise you could get into trouble.  


How? “An Illinois mom is in custody after police say she had her two children ride on the top of her car to hold down an inflatable swimming pool. Officers received a complaint from a concerned citizen that a car was driving with children inside of a pool on the roof of the vehicle. Officers said they pulled the car over and learned that the mom drove into town to inflate the pool at a friend's house, then had her two daughters ride inside the empty pool to hold it down on their drive home. She is now charged with two counts of endangering the health or life of a child, two counts of reckless conduct and failure to secure a passenger of the age of 8 and under the age of 16.” (


In another fit of parental irresponsibility, a Canadian man was ticketed by police for using a 30-pack of beer for his child's booster seat. “While this might seem like a rather mundane (yet dangerous) event, police say that the case of beer being used as a booster seat substitute certainly wasn't normal.” To make things worse, the child wasn't strapped to the car's regular seat and just sitting on the beer, he was strapped to the beer itself. (


These two occurrences bolster my theory that there is no off position on the stupid switch. 


Note: The Cadillac KISStory Project is coming along, but something odd is happening. I am getting more personal stories from people outside of Cadillac than inside of Cadillac. I really encourage all the Cadillacans out there who have first-hand KISS Cadillac experiences to share to send them to me. Go to for details.


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