Fifth-Grader to Teacher: "Oh, Sorry. I Was Busy Hangin' Out With the President."

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This beats "My dog ate my homework" by a long shot.
11-year-old Tyler Sullivan wanted to see President Obama speak in Honeywell, Minnesota, and he didn't really care if anything stopped him. Especially school.

After sitting front row and shaking the commander-in-chief's hand, Sullivan needed something to show to his teacher that he was absent with good reason. So what better way to justify hooky than an excused letter from Obama himself? It's like an executive order from the world of Ferris Bueller.

The letter reads, "Mr. Ackerman - Please excuse Tyler... he was with me!" The Presidential signature is below it with the White House insignia as a hefty reminder that the executive does have privileges.

We're assuming that the teacher was speechless. And that the kid is now the most popular 11-year-old in his entire school district.

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Andrew Hyde, the Guy Who Only Owned 15 Things, Has Upsized

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Adria Ellis
Imagine minimizing your life to the extent that you have but 15 items in your possession -- and none of them, not a one, is a $65 Dave Eggers shower curtain! We're talking about the very efficient shopping life of "extreme minimalist" Andrew Hyde, who has been written about widely as owning a mere 15 possessions (not counting underwear or socks). We were curious to find out if that was still the case in 2012, and he's written a post detailing what he's acquired since and what he's gotten rid of.

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Bronx Man Accidentally Gets $44 Million Hospital Bill; Hilarious Headlines Ensue

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A Bronx man got charged some $44 million for a $300 hospital bill, which he says worried him so much that it almost prompted an asthma attack, the Daily News reports.

Alexis Rodriguez, however, realized that he couldn't possibly owe that much money, so he did some investigating and found out that Bronx-Lebanon Hospital's billing company just screwed up.

The invoice was the result of a computer error, so Rodriguez and several other patients with similar billing problems will not have to pay Bronx-Lebanon a small nation's GDP for simple medical services. The story's happy ending gets even better: The company behind the mistake has apologized, which is real thoughtful and stuff.

Since all's well, we have decided make absurdist lemons into lemonade, and find the humor in something so terrifyingly Kafkaesque.

Behold the best headlines about Rodriguez' saga.

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Couple Marries on Mile 22 of the New York City Marathon

Perhaps you spent yesterday in your pj's, surrounded by boxes of pizza. Or maybe you put on your Saturday pants and ventured about, cheering for marathoners and throwing them bananas and bagels (be more careful next time, you could put someone's eye out!). But whatever you did, we're pretty sure you are in a very small minority if you put on your sporty/fancy wedding clothes, ran a marathon, and, in so doing, got hitched. You are in an even smaller minority if you officiated that wedding. But these people did.


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Carlos Cancel Saves Second Drunk Man on Subway Tracks

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Wikipedia
An essential New York City question is this: What would you do if someone fell on the subway tracks in front of you? Jump in and save the person? Make a call? It's a difficult question for most of us, but if previous actions are any indication, one that Carlos Cancel can answer in a heartbeat. The doorman from the Bronx has now saved two drunk men after they have fallen onto the tracks, the Daily News reports. Early Friday morning Cancel was waiting for an uptown 2 train at the 72nd Street station when he jumped to saved a stumbling man who fell "face-first." The man weighed about 10 pounds more than Cancel, and was four inches taller. "I scooped him up like a baby, like cradling him with his head on my arm and supporting his legs," Cancel told the Daily News. "And I swung him really hard -- I basically threw him up onto the platform." In 1992 Cancel performed a similar feat 34th Street. Wow, just wow. Kudos. [NYDN]

Pierre Hotel Maids Learn Self-Defense to Prevent Sexual Assault

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After prominent Egyptian banker Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a maid at The Pierre Hotel (to say nothing of DSK's alleged attack on a maid at the Sofitel), management has decided that they aren't going to take any more chances. Yesterday, the entire staff of the famous hotel took self-defense classes with second-degree-blackbelt instructor Mary Ann Carron. The staff took half-hour classes in shifts while dressed in their full uniforms (including high heels). The staffers reported that after the classes, they were more confident in their abilities to defend themselves. One employee told the Post, "It was good... I feel prepared." John Turchiano, a spokesman for the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council is confident that other hotels will take the Pierre's lead and start offering similar training. [NYP]

Cat, Swept Away by Storms, Floats to Governor's Island...Do You Recognize Her?

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Trust for Governors Island
Do you know this cat? She washed up on Governors Island near Water Taxi Beach last Sunday, after the torrential downpour on Saturday. According to Elizabeth Rapuano, chief of staff for the Trust for Governors Island, "She has a great personality and she seems to like people," reports DNA Info. Staff believe she may have been swept into the harbor, maybe from New Jersey, during a storm and hung on to a piece of debris to arrive on the island. (She had bits of seaweed clinging to her salt-matted fur when she arrived.)

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92-Year-Old Marathoner Is Way More Awesome Than You

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Here's some inspiring news to make you feel lazy. A 92-year-old woman named Gladys Burrill, who has the rather bad-ass but adorable nickname "the Gladyator," has become the oldest person in the world to complete a marathon, beating the previous 90-year-old world record holder (boo-yah!). She did the Honolulu Marathon in nine hours and 53 minutes, power-walking and jogging her way to the finish. The Hawaii House of Representatives gave her a certificate and a lei for her troubles.


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Man Makes Beautiful Quilt of Women's Panties

A creative fellow named Louis Garrett , who hails from Louisiana, Montana Missouri, has a new type of "outsider art." That is, art made of 58 pairs of women's panties. Functional art, that you can also use to warm yourself by the hearth, or just look at and admire your handiwork, or perhaps even hang on a wall! His art is a quilt, inspired by something he found in a magazine. Watch for the exciting answer to "From where do you get all the panties?"

[via The Frisky]


It's Snowing; 4-Year-Old U.S. Citizen Returned to Guatemala, Sparking Immigration Debate; Fake Ads Decorate Lower East Side

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• Today will be overlaid with a delightful rain/snow mix, and thirtysomething-degree temperatures. Tomorrow will bring more of the same. We recommend an umbrella, and a trip to the Bahamas. [Weather]

• Emily Ruiz, a 4-year-old girl born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents who live in Brentwood, New York, was returned by immigration authorities to Guatemala with her grandfather on March 11, setting off a legal battle over citizenship rights and how to treat the U.S. citizen children of illegal immigrant parents. [NYT]

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