If you give the news a casual glance, the big picture tends to be fairly goddamn dreadful. After all, news outlets rely on readers coming back day after day to see which one of the planet's 7 billion people decided to go insane the day before.
But amid the horde of world-ending dipshits hogging the headlines, there are those kindly folks out there who don't cause us to pray for Ragnarok on a daily basis. Who are we talking about?
#4. Burglars Return Loot After Realizing They Stole from a Charity
This past July, burglars broke into the offices of California's San Bernardino County Sexual Assault Services and stole thousands of dollars' worth of computers and office supplies (and probably several pamphlets about avoiding men exactly like themselves).
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"Just because we take what we want from someone, without their consent, doesn't mean you can compar- oh, right."
Their heist was elaborate -- they climbed over walls, disabled a security system and motion detectors, and absconded with the electronics, leaving hardly enough evidence to give the police a solid lead. But several hours later, the unexpected occurred. This letter was found at the crime scene ...
The first draft was written in crayon.
... along with every item that had been stolen. Upon realizing they'd robbed a charity devoted to making the world a less terrible place, the burglars turned around and returned the stolen property, applauding the charity for making "a differerence in people's live."
The break-in damage amounted to approximately $1,000, but the charity's employees were nonetheless grateful to have their stuff back. Hopefully the burglars will learn from their mistakes and avoid future run-ins with both regular law enforcement and the grammar police.
#3. Court Clerk Gets Canned to Free Wrongfully Imprisoned Man
Robert Nelson of Kansas City, Missouri, was convicted of rape back in 1984 and finally began his 70-year sentence for the crime in 2006. But Nelson claimed he didn't do it, so he and his sister filed two separate motions to get DNA testing. Each time, the motion was denied on a technicality, because apparently allowing a DNA test that would determine whether or not someone deserves to rot in jail is too much of a burden for the legal system.
"It's only jail; quit being a little bitch."
So 70-year-old courthouse clerk Sharon Snyder decided to step in and fix this bullshit. Snyder provided Nelson's sister with public documents on how to appeal for a successful DNA motion, and Nelson was finally granted the testing on their third try. And like the ending of a Nicholas Sparks novel (minus the leukemia), the test found Nelson innocent, and the man was released from imprisonment.
But see, Snyder's acts weren't as simple as one might think. Suggesting and participating in a case is grounds enough to be fired -- which was exactly what happened to this court employee of 34 years, who was just nine months away from retirement.
"I'm getting to too advanced of an age for this hooey."
And her response? She would gladly do it again. (Snyder was also able to keep her pension. Which you probably already know, because the Earth would've exploded from an injustice overdose otherwise.)
#2. 911 Operator Lends Theft Victim Her Own Wedding Dress
Earlier this month in Kent, Washington, thieves saw a trunk hanging out of a car. They decided to steal whatever was inside, which -- unfortunately for the crooks -- was a $6,000 wedding dress. In other words, this wasn't the kind of boosted good you could easily wear in public or pawn off in a crack house alleyway.
"A wedding dress? Perfect! He just proposed; look at the rock he got me!"
And unfortunately for the dress' owner, her wedding was that very day. In tears, the bride-to-be called 911 to report the theft (and likely prepared to dust off her high school graduation gown).
But the 911 operator saved the day. As a newlywed herself, the operator had a wedding dress of the exact same size that she was willing to lend to the bride. She then rushed the dress over and saved the day. Expect to see this heartwarming tale end up as a Lifetime Original Movie, but padded for time with 18 car chases.
#1. Commuters Push 32-Ton Train Off Trapped Woman
During a Tokyo morning rush hour this past July, a 30-year-old woman tried to exit a train and instead fell into the gap between the train and the platform. Lost among the surging throng of salarymen overhead, she almost assuredly faced certain doom.
But eight minutes later, the train was leaving the station and she was totally not dead. What the hell happened?
Instead of convincing themselves that they'd seen a shadow fall between the tracks, 40 passengers and railway employees worked together and pushed the 60,000 pounds of train off of her.
The train's design allowed for a certain amount of sway, and the entire mishap put only a surprisingly minor dent in everybody's morning commute. Remember this the next time you lose your zen when the interstate's been bumper-to-bumper for 45 minutes (because some insufficiently caffeinated jerkoff smashed into the median while looking for a Baha Men CD in his glove compartment).
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