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Know the West

California’s ‘covfefe’ craze; Bearthoven; How to stop a wedding

Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.


President Donald Trump’s recently minted
neologism, “covfefe,” will now be immortalized on license plates across the state. The president coined the seven-letter word in an incoherent tweet in May, which announced, simply: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” SFGate reports that the word, which fits perfectly on California plates, has been snatched up in all its iterations. Los Angeles attorney Craig Cooper told CNN he thought the word funny even after the “initial excitement wore off.”

More initial excitement was reported from the Golden State after lawmakers passed a law to extend bar hours to 4 a.m. The new law gives bars the option of serving drinks for an additional two hours, and, according to state Sen. Scott Wiener, D, “recognizes that … local communities can make responsible decisions.” Absolutely: The bar at 4 a.m. is where most responsible decisions are made. 

Rare footage has emerged
of a former Republican governor of Arizona describing his experience with a notorious mass UFO sighting. In an interview with UFO hunter James Fox in 2006, Fife Symington called the March 13, 1997, “Phoenix Lights” incident “our first major encounter with the unknown over Maricopa County.” Fox released footage of the interview for the 20th anniversary of the sighting, during which thousands of people reportied seeing a huge object glowing over Phoenix. The event has never been explained, though we support the theory that it was then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s giant ego temporarily leaving his body.

Speaking of weird lights: A semi flipped on an Arizona freeway near Tempe in early June, spilling thousands of cans of Bud Light from its trailer. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Footage taken by KCRA, a Sacramento, California-based TV station, shows a half-dozen local law enforcement personnel gathered around the overturned truck and its glittering cans of watered-down lager. They were probably cursing their luck: Of all the beers in all the trucks in all the world, it had to be Bud Light?

A school bus driver in Colorado Springs
got into a tight spot after trying to squeeze the bus between two large rock formations at the Garden of the Gods. Officials told 11 News that the bus sustained most of the damage, after it was stuck for nearly two hours. A witness said some of the bus wheels were lifted off the ground, which makes us wonder how hard the driver tried to get through. It was unclear whether the driver will face charges. We hope not; the world could use more of that kind of can-doism.

Less optimistic, it seems, is a Denny’s franchiser who suddenly closed all his restaurants in Colorado Springs. Employees say the closures happened with no warning whatsoever, and 11 News reports that customers were forced to leave one restaurant, near Chapel Hills Mall, in the middle of their meals. The Colorado Department of Revenue says the owner, Abe Imani, who has been accused in the past of not paying his employees, owes nearly $200,000 in back taxes. Welching on workers and taxes, eh? Perhaps our man is prepping for a presidential bid.

In Vail recently, a bear climbed through an open kitchen window and began foraging for food and music, according to Steamboat Today. The homeowner initially reported a burglary, but after checking security camera footage realized that a bear had entered the apartment, taken food from her freezer, and eventually clambered onto the piano for a few notes. Vail police said in a statement after our own hearts: “The chords captured on video were unbearable and the tune was equally grizzly.”

How do you stop a wedding if you’re not a guest
but still don’t want to hold your peace? A beaver found a creative way to make its objections clear during a wedding in Saskatchewan, CTV Saskatoon reports. Kim and Calum Martin were to be married May 27 at a lodge in the woods in Cypress Hills, but a beaver chewed through a nearby power pole, knocking out electricity across two towns. The guests took it all in stride, we suppose, Saskatchewan being no stranger to weird animal stories. In 2016 alone, the province reported stories about a dog named Arrow that survived being struck by one; a man who fought a bear off with a wine bottle; a family of ducks escorted across the street by police; a deer that crashed through a master bedroom window; and the rescue of a goose that singed her wings on a set of power lines. In this particular incident, generators and candles kept the ceremony going, and the Martins were eventually wed. No word on whether the beaver has moved on. 

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected] or tag photos #heardaroundthewest on Instagram.