It was not difficult to find critics when the Orlando-area government job-service engine Workforce Central Florida said it was spending more than $70,000 of federal stimulus money to help the laid-off by handing out 6,000 satiny capes for jobless “superheroes” to “fight” “Dr. Evil Unemployment.”
“Absolutely absurd” was the reaction of a laid-off customer-service representative.
Several critics interviewed by the Orlando Sentinel noted that such an awkward program further erodes the unemployed’s fragile self-respect. WCF, though, remained convinced.
In the words of a spokeswoman, “Everyone is a superhero in the fight against unemployment.”
Too-good-to-be-true stories have circulated for years about men who accidentally fell, posterior first, onto compressed-air nozzles and self-inflated to resemble “dough boys,” usually with fatal results.
However, in Opotiki, New Zealand, trucker Steven McCormack found himself in similar circumstances, and had it not been for quick-thinking colleagues who pulled him away, he would have been killed — as the air, puncturing a buttock, had already begun separating tissue from muscle.
McCormack was hospitalized in severe pain, but the air gradually seeped from his body — according to a doctor, in the way air “usually” seeps from a body.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)