Read and chuckle

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The front page of Wednesday’s newspaper was as serious as any day’s, but it still offered us two opportunities to chuckle.

First, there was the account of a U.S. diplomat expelled from Russia after allegedly trying to recruit a Russian agent as a spy.

Russians said the U.S. Embassy employee, Ryan Fogle, was caught with – except for the packets of cash – a spy kit that might have been ordered from the back page of a comic book, including wigs, dark glasses, a map and compass.

A compass? Really? In this age of smartphones and GPS?

This sounds like an episode of “Get Smart.” Did anyone check to see if his shoe was actually a phone?

Second, we were somewhat taken aback to read that the Federal Transit Administration had issued a grant to rehabilitate the Fredericktown Ferry in the amount of $970 million. That seems a bit much to spruce up a cable-driven boat. In fact, the grant was for $970,000 – still an awful lot of money, but not as much as we erroneously reported.

To put this in perspective, $970 million is enough to buy 21.2 tons of gold. Rebuilding the ferryboat in solid gold would go a long way to encourage riders.

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