Happy Groundhog Day!

You won’t see these gems popping up year after year after year like that boring old rodent in Punxsutawney.

DOUBLING UP

Dedicated reader Michele Bishop spotted the following jewel in the Norton newspaper The Post:

“An officer pulled a car over on Bushey Avenue for allegedly running a stop sign at Hametown and Greenwich roads and discovered the Uber driver, Maria Colton Garcia, had a suspended license. ...

“Garcia was taken to Montrose to call for an Uber driver.”

Quips Bishop: “Pretty sure the employee discount won’t apply when they find out about the suspended license.”

STYLING OUT

Literally laughed out loud. Then read the email out loud to nearby colleagues, who also laughed out loud.

OK, maybe it was a slow news day. But the missive did seem a wee bit odd, even in this era of ever-growing inclusion.

“Hi Bob,

“With Fashion Week coming up, get ready to strut your stuff in clothing and accessories that are sure to turn heads! All you need to add are the perfect heels and a killer smile!

“Please let me know if you are interested in checking these out for a feature. Samples are limited!

“Best,

“Maggie”

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Maggie. It’s just that, even in 2017, I believe most people still would assume that somebody named “Bob” would likely be a male and unlikely to be a cross-dresser.

Within seconds, Metro Editor Cheryl Powell was offering reassurances.

“I’m not here to judge you, Bob. I’m here to support you.”

Initially I thought about opting out of future mailings from the PR firm, based in San Marcos, Calif., but then I realized I might miss out on future fun.

And I do look rather fetching in high heels, if I do say so myself.

COMPELLING CAUSE

I swear this was the very next email in my basket:

“Dear Bob,

“I wanted to pass on the updated story of my business, Tom Cridland, in case you would be interested in arrange [sic] an interview to cover it:

“Aged 18 I met Debs, now my girlfriend of 7 years and business partner, at University and upon graduating we founded a sustainable fashion brand, Tom Cridland, with a £6,000 start-up loan. ...”

Yes, a loan of 6,000 pounds. Not being up to speed on the current exchange rates, I figured I’d better pass up the “updated” story that I’d never heard in the first place.

RADIO WAVES

The Beacon certainly isn’t the only media outlet to get its share of goofy news releases.

Rubber City Radio news maven Ed Esposito found a lengthy email in his basket a couple of days ago about a nationwide contest for schoolkids to design a soap dispenser — or, as that PR person put it, “to promote hand hygiene in a unique and creative way and award impressive prizes to the winning student and their [sic] school.”

The Chicago publicist went on to say, “Students hear hand hygiene is important all the time, but by highlighting the message through artistic expression, it makes educating and promoting clean hands at schools more fun and engaging.”

Woo-hoo! Hey, Mom, can I go to school early today?

The official name of the competition: the Happy Hands Dispenser Design Contest. “Happy Hands” is a brand of soap.

Which elicited this comment from Esposito: “[I’m] just thinking that something called ‘Happy Hands’ shouldn’t be a contest for most teenaged boys. ...”

Bob Dyer can be reached at 330-996-3580 or bdyer@thebeaconjournal.com. To find his podcast, “Dyer Necessities,” go to www.ohio.com/dyer. He also is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bob.dyer.31.