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 from Big Rob's stomping grounds of Flint.


In Grand Blanc, just south of the Flint city boundaries, police responded to an odd 911 call. “Someone reported seven squirrels tied together by their tails clinging to a tree. Officers found them stuck together. The young squirrels apparently became entangled with each other as babies in their nest and continued growing until it no longer could hold them. The mother squirrel watched carefully as police officers and a civilian carefully separated all of the tangled tails.” 


The story has a happy ending. They all scurried away when they were unhitched and are now probably looking for nuts to bury in the yards of Grand Blanc residents. (


When it comes to nuts, those Grand Blanc squirrels could take lessons from their cousin in North Dakota. He filled the insides of a truck with forty-two gallons (seven six-gallon buckets) of black walnuts. “The foraged fare filled every vacant corner — packed tight behind the fenders, wedged between the engine parts, piled deep below the hood.” They were wedged in so tightly the fenders of the truck had to be removed in order to extract the nuts. The next time your vehicle makes a strange rattling sound, you may want to check under the hood. (


An oddity involving a vehicle also took place in Texas recently. “Authorities in Texas said a driver using a high-occupancy vehicle lane was ticketed when deputies noticed the only passenger was a Halloween skeleton. The driver was pulled over by deputies who noticed the driver was the only human being in the vehicle. The passenger seat of the vehicle was occupied by a Halloween decoration.”


The driver was actually pretty inventive because the skeleton was wearing a hat. Ah, but the deputies also had a sense of humor. “Our deputies issued the driver a bone-afide citation and wished him bone voyage!"



Maybe that driver was in a hurry to visit his nearest Arby's so he could get on the list for the new line of clothing being debuted by the restaurant chain -- sweatshirts and sweatpants that smell like a smokehouse. “The chain partnered with an actual Texas smokehouse to create the line of premium sweats that will smell as if you’ve been sitting next to the pit for hours.” (


These are perfect attire for date night. Nothing says “I love you” like the wafting aroma of Eau de Brisket. See the attire at:


You know, maybe smelling like a rack of ribs is not all bad. We humans can be an odoriferous bunch. “Scientists from the Rome Foundation Research Institute in the US polled nearly six thousand adults about whether they had experienced any of seven gas-related symptoms in the previous twenty-four hours. Eighty-one percent said they had passed gas recently.” The news gets worse. “Sixty percent had experienced a rumbling stomach, fifty-eight percent had burped, and forty-eight percent had bad breath.”  


If there's a silver lining in this study it's that we get less gassy as we age. “People ages 18 to 34 had an average IGQ score of 24; 35 to 49 scored 22.6; 50 to 64 scored 12.7; and over 65 scored 8.6.” (


Sometimes, it might be beneficial to give off an odor. The old phrase “sniff out a person” comes to mind. This would apply to a recent case in Turkey. “Beyhan Mutlu,   was reported missing after he wandered away from his friends in a forest. A search operation was formed to find him.”


It turns out Mutlu was a bit tipsy and eventually wandered out of the forest. “At some point, volunteers began shouting his name. Mutlu became confused and asked who they were looking for. He then realized he was that person. He had joined his own search party.” Police gave him a ride home. I guess you could say he had been on a journey of self-discovery. (


At least police did not ticket the man for imbibing illegal beer. That could happen in parts of our country. “The latest beer from Boston brewer Samuel Adams bears a piece tag of $240 per bottle. The beverage contains twenty-eight percent alcohol by volume, more than five times the average strength of U.S. beers, making it illegal to sell in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.” (


Finally, a heads up. says that the average American will spend $30.40 on Halloween candy and that most of the purchases will be made in the first two weeks of October. This means time is running out to snag bags of your favorites. To see the favorites in each state, go to an interactive map at:


On the Michigan favorites list, candy corn was the top finisher for several years. In 2021, the new champion is Starburst (followed by candy corn and Skittles). Oh, and fifty percent of parents say they plan to stash some Halloween candy to enjoy later in the year. 


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


(Interactive Map. Hover over the state to see the favorite candies.)