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, we begin with an item from Rob's stomping grounds of Flint.  


Big Rob lives near I-75, so what's happening on that expressway interests him. Last Tuesday, the Michigan State Police nabbed two speeders near Flint. One was going 105 mph and the other was clocked at 106. (


Oddly enough, those speeds were not even a record for the month. “Michigan State Police caught someone driving 113 mph on northbound I-75 near Birch Run on January 16.” 


In the future, police may consider those speeders as historical slowpokes. That's because the world’s first flying motorcycle is on the way. “Jetpack Aviation's Speeder is undergoing flight tests and working towards FAA certification. The Speeder could potentially reach 250 mph, though even the best riders would have trouble staying on at that speed.”


In case you want to be the first person in your neighborhood to own one of these, you need to get in line now. “ The company has already started taking preorders for the Speeder, with an initial price of $381,000.” More at:


Whether on the ground or in the air, it's a good idea to see where you're going. This time of year that entails keeping your windshield free of fog. suggests many of us are defogging our car windows wrong. “Some people say to use heat, some to use the AC—but which is correct? The short answer is that to defog the windshield quickly in cold weather, you want to turn on the heat and the air conditioning.” (


There is some reasoning behind this operation. “Air conditioners dry air out. When you run the heat and the AC at the same time, you get hot, dry air. This starts warming the windshield while also drying up the moisture. Put the AC and heat on full blast, and often the whole windshield will clear up in seconds.”


Defogging a windshield is an example of an easy solution to a common problem. However, sometimes something simple can get out of hand. Take, for instance, operating a light switch. 'At a high school in Massachusetts nobody can turn the lights off. The lights have been burning around the clock since August 2021. A software and server failure reset everything to default mode—meaning all the lights burn brightly 24/7, and they can't be manually adjusted.” (


This has cost the school district (and taxpayers) thousands of dollars per month.  "The company that installed the system changed hands a few times, and supply chain issues have slowed replacement parts. However, the lighting company that now owns the original installer says everything needed has finally arrived, and it plans to make the fix.” 


Another simple problem here in Michigan has a simple solution, but that solution could cause some confusion. It seems the Detroit area is running out of phone numbers. “Detroit may no longer be just the land of 313, when it comes to area codes.” 

It's a tricky situation. “The Michigan Public Service Commission is looking at adding a second area code in metro Detroit, as 313 phone numbers are projected to be used up by the third quarter of 2025. 


The new area code would be 679. The new 679 area code would encompass the same territory as the 313 code. Nobody with a 313 area code will need to change their number. However, if the area has two area codes, people there would no longer be able to dial seven digits for local calls. The full, ten-digit number would be required to make calls.” (


No comment from Eminem has been forthcoming. He has a song called “313,″ referring to Detroit. Somehow “313 and 679” doesn't seem as catchy. 


Aha, but when it comes to simple solutions, nothing tops an idea being floated as a way to end the budget battle going on in Washington. In short, in order to to pay for the US government’s expenses, just issue a trillion-dollar coin. 


There is a law on the books to allow this. “A 1997 law intended to help the Mint make money off of coin collectors gives the Treasury secretary the power to mint platinum coins of any denomination, for any reason. This power could offer a way to sidestep the legal cap Congress places on the federal government’s borrowing. Instead of issuing new debt and running afoul of the debt ceiling, the Treasury secretary could simply fund the government by minting platinum coins.” Easy peasy. Problem solved. See more explanation and a picture of a trillion dollar coin at:


Finally, when it comes to solving problems maybe we should just seek the opinion of Teddy Hobbs. See, he's so smart he taught himself to read. An IQ test placed him in the top 99.5 percentile and he is a member of Mensa. He can count to one hundred in six languages other than English. (


By the way, in case you're wondering, he should be around for quite a while to offer sage wisdom. He's four years old. 


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