The News You May Have Missed: November 2020
When Jimmy MacDonald found himself floundering far from shore, next to his tipped kayak, in the rough waters of Lake George, New York, he thought he was going to die. “I was absolutely powerless…. I was waving my hand and asked God to please help me,” he said. “And then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the tiki boat.” Aboard were seminarians and priests from St. Joseph’s Seminary in Washington, D.C., who had been on retreat nearby and were taking a break on the floating tiki bar. The Paulists helped the boat staff hoist MacDonald to safety. He called the rescue a “sign from God” that his life still has a purpose on earth. He added that he found the rescue ironic because he is an addict in recovery who counsels others through addiction recovery. “How funny is it that I’ve been sober for seven years and I get saved by a tiki bar?” (Catholic News Agency, Sept. 8).
Australian air carrier Qantas announced a seven-hour scenic “flight to nowhere” — and it sold out in 10 minutes (Fox News, Sept. 17). The unusual flight from and to Sydney on October 10 made no stops but provided passengers low-level scenic views over Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef, among other spots. Buyers quickly snatched up the 134 available seats, priced between $575 and $2,765, depending on the seating class. “It’s probably the fastest-selling flight in Qantas history,” a spokeswoman said. “People clearly miss travel and the experience of flying…. We’ll definitely look at doing more of these scenic flights while we all wait for borders to open.” Airlines in Taiwan and Japan have conducted similar flights to provide customers with the pleasures of air travel and help with steep declines in revenue during the coronavirus pandemic.
(Bud) Light My Fire
A northern California man whose home was threatened by one of the state’s largest wildfires managed to salvage it with the only liquid he could find: a case of Bud Light beer (Fox Business, Aug. 7). Chad Little, of Vacaville, and his family were preparing to evacuate when he decided to make a final attempt to fend off the LNU Lightning Complex Fire. He initially tried to use water from a hose but realized his utilities had been shut off. Then he remembered his 30-pack of Bud Light. “That was the only thing I had that I had a lot of, and it was wet,” he said. Using a nail to puncture the cans, Little began shaking them and spraying their contents to smother the flames. Eventually, firefighters arrived and were able to extinguish the fire on his property. Then Little breathed “a sigh of relief.” His cars, including an antique, were all damaged, but his house and workshop were spared. “My buddies all tease me about drinking water beer, and I say, ‘Hey, saved my shop.’”
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