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No Longer Weird

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Adding to the list of stories that were formerly weird but which now occur with such frequency that they must be retired from circulation: (85) The errant animal (often a squirrel) that wanders into an electrical line or substation, kills itself, and thereby plunges a wide neighborhood area into darkness, as in Ashland, Wis., and Auburn, Calif., in November.

And (86) the parent who decides to commit a crime (often, shoplifting) with his or her toddler in tow, only to irrationally decide, when spotted by police, to abandon the child and run away, as a panicked Suzette Gruber, 39, did in October, leaving her baby in his stroller after being caught in a T.J. Maxx store in Hartsdale, N.Y.

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