Best of America

Best of America 2013: Weird and Funny Stories

We found a few funny folks, silly stories, and surprising reasons to love our country.

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If you auction it, we will bid.

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• A tissue used by Scarlett Johansson: Sold! for $5,300.

• The opportunity to name a Connecticut woman’s baby: Sold! for $15,000.

• An image of the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich: Sold! for $28,000.

We won a whiskey showdown with Scotland.


The world’s best single-malt whiskey no longer hails from Scotland. It’s distilled in an old welding shop beneath a bridge in Waco, Texas. Last year, Balcones Distillery beat storied Scottish spirits to become the first American whiskey to win Best in Glass, a blind taste competition judged by a panel of British experts.

We'll sell (or buy) anything!


Linda Katz, of Prairie Tumbleweed Farm in Garden City, Kansas, sells bona fide tumbleweeds—at $15 to $25 a pop.

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Cities fight over bread bragging rights.


For years, Battle Creek, Michigan, purportedly claimed to be the "Home of Sliced Bread." Until 2003, that is, when a journalist discovered the truth: In 1928, right after Otto Rohwedder invented the bread slicer, a newspaper ad heralded the arrival of the first pre-sliced loaf—in Chillicothe, Missouri.

Our inventions are low in pretty, high in practical.


Until the late 19th century, people used a variety of unpleasant items to clean up in the loo, including leaves and corncobs. Then, in the late 1880s, New York inventor Seth Wheeler wrapped narrow perforated strips of paper around cardboard tubes. And a happy ending has been had by all!

Some comedians still work clean.

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"I called a discount exterminator. A guy came by with a rolled-up magazine."—Will Shriner

"I spilled spot remover on my dog, and now he’s gone."—Steven Wright

"I constantly walk into a room, and I don’t remember why. But for some reason, I think there’s going to be a clue in the fridge. "—Caroline Rhea

"I was the best man at the wedding. If I’m the best man, why is she marrying him?"—Jerry Seinfeld

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We have our own way of measuring stuff, and we're sticking with it.

Jonathan Kitchen/Getty Images

Under the metric system used in other countries, the rock band Nine Inch Nails would be called Two Point Two Eight Six Decimeter Nails—just one more reason our system rocks, according to blogger Christopher Rife.

Other examples:
• A fine work of speculative fiction: Ray Bradbury’s Celsius 232.78.

• Football fans’ favorite flick: The Longest 0.9144 Meters.

• The “thing in the room”: a 362.9 kilogram gorilla. See what we mean?

A person can find success as a "crochet geek."


Teresa Richardson uploaded a single how-to-crochet video to YouTube on a whim. Now she earns a living from her tutorials, which have over 173,000 subscribers, many of whom also make money from their crafts.

Sentiment overrides sanitation.

Siri Stafford/Getty Images

Despite the objections of health officials, two dozen turkey wishbones still dangle in New York City’s Civil War–era tavern, McSorley’s Old Ale House. Originally hung on a gas lamp for good luck by departing soldiers, today they remind us of the ones who never made it back.

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Even our robots got game.

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The Mars rover Curiosity has its very own Twitter account (#humblebrag). “I’m a-firin’ mah lazer!” was one funny tweet. Even better, it checked in on Foursquare after it touched down on the Red Planet’s surface in August 2012.

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Funny Jokes
Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane. Dennis Miller
Funny Jokes
I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.” Kevin Nealon
Funny Jokes
“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram @kristencarney
Funny Jokes
A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water. Comedian Greg Davies
Funny Jokes
Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous. @sixthformpoet
Funny Jokes
Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral. From
Funny Jokes
My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.” @NicCageMatch
Funny Jokes
“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol @yoyoha (Josh Hara)
Funny Jokes
My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that's the law. —Jerry Seinfeld
Funny Jokes
Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse's mouth? A: A mechanic.