Saturday, February 23, 2008

Man Blames Car Wreck On Prehistoric Winged Reptile

By Rachel Schleif, Wenatchee World

DATELINE: WENATCHEE -- A 29-year-old Wenatchee man told police a pterodactyl caused him to drive his car into a light pole about 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Wenatchee police cited the man with first-degree negligent driving. A breathalyzer test showed "a minimal amount of alcohol," said Wenatchee police Sgt. Cherie Smith. Witnesses told police the man was northbound on Wenatchee Avenue and drifted into a southbound lane for less than a block. Oncoming traffic stopped and waited for the man to pass, Smith said. He then totaled his car on a light pole, Smith said. When police asked the man what caused the accident, his one-word answer was "pterodactyl," Smith said.

A pterodactyl was a giant winged reptile that lived more than 65 million years ago.

The man was treated and released at Central Washington Hospital, hospital officials said.

I have a number of thoughts on this article, forwarded by a party who wishes to remain nameless:

A) Do you have any idea how many B-movies start out exactly this way? The first witness is always bundled off to the nearest hospital by the authorities, on the assumption that he has a busted skullbone. By the end of the second reel, a small town in the Southwestern desert or the loneliest part of the Eastern seaboard is being TORN ASUNDER by the airborne menace. The fact that he was "treated and released" proves that there was NOTHING WRONG WITH HIM.

B) I happen to know that the Wenatchee P.D. is brutal on drunk drivers. The blood-alcohol level was clearly very low -- and thus not a factor -- in the sighting.

C) People just assume Michael Crichton is a novelist, but I want to remind you all that he bases his plotlines on hard scientific fact. They HAVE in fact found SOFT TISSUES, and and even DNA, in dinosaur bones, starting with a T. rex found at a spot that I think we can all agree is the perfect starting point for a horror picture: Hell Creek, in the Badlands.

D) The American public is unprepared for a dinosaur invasion. Witness the fact that the newspaper felt it necessary to explain to its fogbound readers what a Pterodactyl is. If they don't know that much, they probably won't fare as well as the plucky, resourceful shoppers you saw in The Mist. That's just my opinion.

E) It crossed my mind to wonder whether Pterodactyls dispense enormous bird-doodles, like the ones we saw in the Gamera remake. Or do they dive-bomb their victims with big, juicy golden apples?


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