Well kidlings, it's time for the first round of "You Can't Make Up This Stuff" for 2024.  You'll remember the game is based on my brother Big Rob's theory that reality is stranger than any fiction. We'll kick things off with a Michigan item that's made national news. 


Last Saturday, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office said they were called to a fight at Valley View Elementary school in Springfield, Michigan. “Police said a man and woman got into an argument over the placement of eggs for an Easter egg hunt. Another family member intervened and pulled a knife, cutting one of them multiple times.” 


Fortunately, no one was seriously injured during the incident. The children had not yet arrived for the event, so they didn't witness this “adult” behavior. (


Human stupidity aside, there's interesting news in the animal kingdom. A Smithsonian headline screamed: “Five Shocking Animal Hybrids That Truly Exist in Nature.” Apparently, distinct species interbreeding can produce surprising offspring.

This phenomenon is real. “It can most likely be explained by parthenogenesis, a type of asexual reproduction akin to cloning that’s performed by some fish, reptiles and birds.” One of these is the grolar bear. 


“A mix between a polar bear and a grizzly, a grolar bear (sometimes called a pizzly bear) is a rare occurrence aided by climate change. As the planet warms, their ranges have begun to overlap more. Grizzlies might venture to the warming north as humans settle in their more southern habitats, and some polar bears might foray to the south for food.” See more hybrids at:


You'll be happy to know that your tax dollars were at work in the 1960s regarding another member of the animal population. “The CIA spent millions training cats to be spies.” Feel free to hit your forehead with the palm of your hand. 


“Operation Acoustic Kitty was essentially a disaster. The idea was to create a sort of cyborg cat by implanting a microphone in the animal’s ear, a radio transmitter at the base of its skull, and an antenna in its fur.”


The experiment could not have gone worse. “Acoustic Kitty agent’s first test was simple enough: sit near a park bench and capture a conversation between two people. Instead, the unfortunate feline was hit by a taxi and killed.” The CIA concluded: “The program would not lend itself in a practical sense to our highly specialized needs.” Really? Well, duh! (


Spring is supposedly here. Alfred Tennyson once wrote: “In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” Back in the 50s, this was a good deal for young men, but not so much for young women. History Facts detailed some “Surprising Dating Etiquette From the 1950s.” 


For example, back then in a restaurant women didn't order for themselves. “Women were expected to be demure and reserved, telling their male counterparts — the protectors and providers — what they wanted and allowing the man to place the order with the wait staff on their behalf.”


What they “wanted to eat” came with some restrictions. “If a date took place at a restaurant, women were encouraged to eat foods that wouldn’t make a scene. Cherries should be put in the mouth whole, and the stones carefully placed on to a spoon. Plums and other large fruits with stones should be dissected in the dish and the stone placed at the side. Other potentially problematic foods, such as celery and cheese, could be eaten by hand as long as they were cut into small pieces first.” 

More rules at:


When it comes to human beings, It's difficult to make up unvarnished reactions to simple questions. Honest feelings tend to just spill out. BuzzFeed does a good job of posing these queries and then letting the quips fall where they may. 


For instance, one article was targeted at more “experienced” readers: “Boomers Are Sharing The Design Trends They Despise For Very Specific Reasons, And Younger Folks Should Listen Up.”


There are thirty-seven items on this list. One deals with books. "I can’t stand seeing bookcases with the spines of the books facing backward! How do you find the book you want to read? And it looks awful — like a sea of white instead of interesting spines of books." See thirty-six more at:


The “pre-experienced” are also getting in the act: "I’m 37, And I’m Beyond Over It; Older Adults Are Revealing The Things They're Too Old To Deal With Anymore.”


One of the twenty-one items gets an “Amen” from me. "I will never again pay to attend a concert without seats. I mean, who wants to STAND all evening to see an artist perform? Or sit in some itchy grass? Count me completely out!" See twenty more at:


Finally, you all know what iconic thing happens during every Easter season. That's right! New flavors of Peeps! You just can't make up the creativity behind these taste treats. This year the flavors include: S'Mores Delights, Rice Krispies Treats, ICEE Blue Raspberry, and Sour Strawberry. 


That's not all. Go to and click on the Easter recipes. How about a PEEPS S’mores Brownie Pie? “Our s'mores brownie pie recipe combines crunchy graham cracker crust with fudgy brownie filling, melty milk chocolate and (eighteen) PEEPS Delight S’mores Graham Cracker Flavored Marshmallow Chicks!” Now that should satisfy even the most demanding sweet tooth, eh? 


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