12/11/02: Surprise Guest

It's Round 3 of Headline Honku and the bizarre automotive news stories just keep rolling in. We've got a good one today from Long Island.

What is Headline Honku, you ask? It's a new game that we've got going here on the web site. The game works like this: Someone presents a recent news story. And you try to boil it down into a pithy little honku gem. A "honku" is a haiku poem about traffic.

For some great examples, check out our first and second rounds of Headline Honku. Last week I posted the press release of a company called IbisTek advertising their new line of Cobra and Viper SUV's. These trucks come souped-up with gun turrets and are all set for "peacekeeping," "low-intensity conflict," or whatever your mission may be. Many excellent honku were written about the Cobra and Viper. Here's one of my favorites, posted by Tessie:

Built-in stereo,
leather seats, two cup holders,
Oh, and machine gun.

So, on to the next Headline Honku. Check out the crazy automotive news story below and take a crack at summing it all up in 17-syllables. I'm not making this stuff up...

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Pit Stop at a Home in Medford:
Car catapults to 2nd floor of residence

LONG ISLAND, NY -- For Kathy and Robert Ilardi of Medford, Monday night was winding down uneventfully. A little laundry. The first half of "The Tonight Show" -- George Clooney talking with Jay about "ER." She clicked the lights out by midnight.

That's about when the Corvette catapulted over an embankment and tore a hole through their upstairs bedroom wall.

"I remember a thud and little bit of a shake," Kathy Ilardi said. "I went to look out my window, and couldn't see anything."

Cold air pumped through the hole a few feet from the foot of their bed. She peered through and saw the red car smoking and groaning 15 feet below. Its owner, Louis Tirella, 56, was leaning against the house, smoking a cigarette and waiting for police to arrive.

Tirella was arrested later and charged with driving while intoxicated.

The incident happened about 11:55 p.m. when Tirella, was driving his 1987 Chevrolet and lost control just south of the Ilardis' house.

The car plowed over a mailbox on the other side of the street, then careered across four lanes of traffic and was launched over a snowy, dirt embankment in the Ilardis' front yard. It tore a hole in the wall, then bounced off and landed in the front yard.

Police don't know how fast Tirella was traveling. "But for that car to go airborne," police spokesman Sonny Di Stefano said, "then the speed was definitely a factor.