Previous “Money Quotes” posts

Holding Hands and Demonstrating 

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

Speaking of nonsense, friend-of-the-site Chris D. alerted me to a terribly stupid argument New York and New Jersey are having over automated enforcement of traffic laws.

A little background: At present, over 1/3 of American states ban the use of red light and speed cameras. There are many good reasons for this, including issues with privacy and due process, as well as perverse incentives for local governments (such as shortening yellow light times to be able to issue more red light violations and collect more fines). Like my own state of Massachusetts1, New Jersey bans automated enforcement. They’re now considering extending that idea with a proposed bill that would prevent the state government from sharing information with other states that do use automated enforcement.

That brings us back to the aforementioned nonsense. In retaliation for New Jersey potentially refusing to share driver information, New York state legislators are proposing a not-particularly-serious $50 fee for NJ drivers to enter New York. New Jersey legislators are countering with an even-less-serious proposal for a $100 fee for New Yorkers to drive into New Jersey. It’s all quite dumb, as New Jersey state Senator Declan O’Scanlon notes:

“It’s one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard. It will drive more people away from a city desperately trying to recover from COVID,” O’Scanlon told NJ Advance Media. “New Jersey bans automated enforcement because we know it doesn’t improve safety and is theft.”

O’Scanlon said New Jersey lawmakers could retaliate by proposing a $100 fee for New Yorkers to enter New Jersey. “It’s toll to enter NYC. If they want to go down this path … we’ll propose our own fee,” he said. “Let’s hold hands and demonstrate how stupid we are.”

That is an option, but it’s probably not the best one.


Footnotes:

  1. While I’m very wary of the use of automated enforcement, Massachusetts has a very real and very dangerous problem with red light running. It’s the single biggest difference I notice driving here versus other places, and I sure do wish we could manage to correct it. ↩︎

The Sheriff Never Has Any Good One-Liners 

Monday, August 15th, 2022

Portable toilets spilling out over a highway is a mildly amusing story. However, it becomes worth a link when you get a quip like this:

One of the responding sheriff’s deputies could be heard on radio communications saying he was “responding to that crappy situation.”

Nicely done! That is why you don’t shoot the deputy.

Pictures of Engines of Old Farm Equipment 

Friday, June 11th, 2021

Thanks to friend-of-the-site Colin T., I learned about this supposed big fan of big fans. Unfortunately for the unnamed trespasser, his supposed avocation led to him getting trapped for multiple days, ultimately necessitating a rescue by the authorities.

“The man indicated he liked to take pictures of the engines of old farm equipment,” the statement said. “After a thorough investigation, which revealed the farm equipment wasn’t antique and the man had far more methamphetamine than camera equipment, the motivation to climb into the fan shaft remains a total mystery.”

It’s almost always possible to inject a little levity, no matter what your job is.

A Small Accounting Discrepancy

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Because I don’t have stock in German payments company Wirecard, I can get a rueful chuckle out of this phenomenal headline:

  • Wirecard stock plummets 37% after the payments firm says $2 billion in missing cash likely doesn’t exist

Without knowing anything beyond the headline, that’s just funny. Is there a closest somewhere that’s literally bursting with this “non-existent” money? Or did some programmer fat finger something? No, no, it was almost certainly just massive fraud. That’s terrible, and it’s probable that some people who don’t deserve it are going to be hurt financially by this.

Still, I just can’t stop thinking about the conversation surrounding this:

“Sir, you know that two billion dollars we have?”

“Oh, you mean the two billion dollars? Yes, yes I do.”

“Right, so, we apparently don’t have it.”

“What do you mean we don’t have it? Where is it?”

“Well, it turns out, uh…it seems like it was never real.”

What?!

“Yeah. It turns out that two billion dollars likely doesn’t exist.”

“…Shit.”

It’s highly likely that some unknown number of people within Wirecard have been committing fraud, likely for quite some time. More recently, someone else cottoned on to this fact, and then had to tell the world. I don’t care who you are, that’s a rough day at the office.

That Does Seem Logical 

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

Speaking of New York City, a wind turbine came crashing down in the Bronx on Monday. Fortunately, no one was injured. Even better, the story gave us this quote:

  • A wind turbine shouldn’t be taken down by the wind.

It’s hard to argue with that.

Objection, Assumes Facts Not in Evidence 

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

Attorney Christopher G. Hook went more than a little overboard in threatening opposing counsel. The story of his menacing emails is somewhat disturbing, but the way the Washington Post summarized onne line gave me a good laugh.

  • “Haha,” he said. “F— you crooks.” He then told the attorneys to eat a bowl of male genitalia.

Perhaps. Alternately, he was instructing them to eat a bowl of detectives. Or perhaps he wanted them to consume a bowl of men named Richard.

A Very Tried and True Method 

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

A New Zealand man wound up in the hospital after an explosion on his boat. Paramedic Chris Deacon described the incident thusly:

“[The man] smelt gas and confirmed that there was gas by lighting a match. Which is a very tried and true method of finding gas. Unfortunately, it is not a very good method.”

Well-put, Mr. Deacon.

Money Quotes: August 10th, 2016 Edition

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

It’s time once again for Money Quotes, the best in ridiculous quotes from the news. While it’s been quite awhile since our last edition, the collection process has been ongoing, and the archives overflow with goodness. Please enjoy!

Recently at New York’s botanical garden, the so-called corpse flower bloomed. When the flower blooms, it attract pollinators which ordinarily feed on dead animals by emitting its own foul odor.

Kathryn, an 11-year-old plant enthusiast, said it smelled like her cat’s litter box but sharper. Her six-year-old brother, Toby, said it smelled worse than “one thousand pukes”

Ah, from the mouths of babes. “Worse than one thousand pukes” is really a hell of a great line.

Meanwhile, though this particular story is a few years old, out-of-touch politicians remain a constant. While trying to explain how inflation is calculated, and why food prices were rising faster than inflation, president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank William Dudley told a crowd “Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful”. A man in the crowd was heard to retort:

“I can’t eat an iPad!”

Indeed you cannot, good sir. Indeed you cannot.

Speaking of eating (and over-eating), let’s turn to the NFL. After a successful season, running back Arian Foster gave each of his offensive lineman a gift: their own Segway.

The linemen screamed with delight when they discovered their new toys, and learned how to ride them with help from Foster, who has had one for a while.

The average NFL lineman weighs over 300 pounds, and is well over 6 feet tall. I just don’t think they “scream with delight”. But if they really did, well, that is just adorable.

Next, we go to space, which can often be very exciting. In this case, however, it’s dull. Very, very dull.

Asteroid 2005 YU55, a giant rock floating through space, looks like a giant rock floating through space, reports one astronomer, who observed the giant rock as it floated through space past the Earth on Tuesday.

It’s like the reporter was both bored and had a minimum word count to hit.

Finally, in stupid criminals, a man and woman were arrested after being caught engaged in sexual activity. Police believed this to be a case of prostitution (or as they called it, “engaging in sexual services for a fee”). However, the woman in question had a different spin on it.

The female told officers that they were not engaged in a sex for fee arrangement but instead that the male suspect was her boyfriend whom she had been dating for about seven or eight minutes.

The inexactness is what really makes this one. “Seven or eight minutes”! It’s glorious.

Money Quotes: May 15th, 2013 Edition

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

It’s been awhile, but it’s now once again time for Money Quotes from the news. Let’s watch!

In a story similar to one seen in the very first Money Quotes post, a cockpit distraction has again caused problems. OFT reader Ajay M. wrote in with the story of a possibly-pilotless Air India flight. Initial reports indicated that both the pilot and co-pilot had left their posts, but India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation is claiming that the pilots and two flight attendants were instead locked in the cockpit for an extended period.

“What happened inside is best left to your imagination. We’re conducting an inquiry,” a source said.

I dunno — my imagination can get pret-ty sexy.

Next up is the story of Hugh Jackman’s crazy-ass stalker Katherine Thurston, who apparently came after him with an electric razor. Why?

“I hated him having those whiskers,” Thurston told police.

Apparently Thurston also spoke to Jackman’s wife at some point, telling her “I’m going to marry your husband”. Wow.

Meanwhile, a man named Justin Green recently attempted to surf a subway train. That’s certainly stupid, but it gets worse.

When confronted by an officer, Green said he had a “God-given right to do anything he wants”.

More people should avail themselves of their right to remain silent.

Finally, we have the tale of crazed driver Mercedes Austin, who apparently attempted to run over a girl for quote “shaking her butt”. Austin was so outraged that she drove directly at a police officer and two young women as they crossed the road. In addition to saying that she needed to teach that girl a lesson “because she was shaking her [butt] in the middle of the road”, Austin stated:

“I didn’t know that guy was a cop, I thought he was a security guard.”

Seriously, idiots, the Fifth Amendment is there for you.

Money Quotes: Animal Edition

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s money quotes from the news!

First up, the tale of a dog named Maggie. While out for a walk with her owner, Maggie decided to chase some birds. When she chased them onto some thin ice, the birds flew off. Maggie…did not.

Instead, a team of firedudes used a surfboard to rescue her. About the rueful Maggie, Fire Chief of Operations Jack Gelinas said:

“The dog was wet and cold, but she’ll be around to chase more birds — that’s not so great for the birds, I guess,”

Meanwhile, a goose was not so smart when it came to icy waters, and found himself frozen in a Saugus pond. Animal rescue technicians eventually rescued this bird, and reported on his condition:

“He’s eating, he’s drinking. He’s doing everything he’s supposed to be doing,” said Vogal. “And defecating. Lots and lots of defecating.”

And finally, a caption-based quote. Awhile back, the always-great Big Picture blog featured a terrific collection of animal photos.

Cat and Squirrel

Part of the caption accompanying this amazing photo?

“Cat and squirrel parted without incident”.