Roy Exum: She Wants To Rent What?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

If I tried to rent a girlfriend this Christmas, offering to pay her by the hour, I’d probably get arrested but what about Jackie Turner, a 26-year-old in California who placed an ad on Craigslist seeking a family to rent? In what will be one of the best holiday stories of the year, the ad’s headline read, “I want to rent a Mom and Dad.”

Her ad read, “I am looking to rent a Mom and Dad who can give me attention and make me feel like the light of their life just for a couple of days because I really need it.”

She is willing to pay $8 an hour, she told TV reporter Nick Monacelli, “just to sit, just to listen, just to cry with me, no strings beyond that. I’ve never felt the touch of my Mom hugging me and holding me. I don’t know what it’s like to look in my Dad’s eyes and feel love instead of hatred.”

Jackie, it turns out, is a presidential scholar at William Jessup University and has a 4.0 grade-point average. “On the outside it looks like I am the American dream kid. But I have a back story that most people wouldn’t believe it they looked at me today.”

As a small child she was physically, sexually and emotional abused before she was abandoned in the streets. “I was in gang life, fighting, doing drugs … just making a mess of my life,” she told News10, and after getting arrested for grand theft in Sacramento, actually spent a year in jail before she decided to turn her life around.

She went to a Christian camp for troubled adults and today is working towards her degree, “but there is still something deep inside of me, this void. My biological parents aren’t here, and it’s kept this hole inside of me.”

Gloriously, dozens of people responded, offering to take her in for free with no knowledge of her “back story” or her comeback, but even better was a flood of reaction from people who have that same hole inside of them, who are also hurting. She has found she is hardly alone.

“These tears that are here and the things I feel right now, this is just a piece of a face that has experienced a lot. People are out there with the same heart inside of them, some with a greater drive than mine. When you speak up, people start learning they’re not by themselves,” she said on camera.

“Often we lock things inside ourselves, like a lockbox of our secrets, but then you let one out and realize, ‘I’m not by myself after all, am I?’”

So now she’s altered her plans somewhat; instead of renting a family, a group of those who have anguished like Jackie has are going to get together in the coming days and celebrate Christmas together. What a Happy New Year will soon follow.

* * *

Researchers claim a new study by Northwestern University’s medical school proves marijuana does indeed cause brain abnormalities and affect a user’s memory. “With the movement to decriminalize marijuana, we need more research to understand its effect on the brain,” said Mathew Smith, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, but – wait! – it gets worse.

Dr. John Csernansky, who authored the study, told reporters, "The abuse of popular street drugs, such as marijuana, may have dangerous implications for young people who are developing or have developed mental disorders. This paper is among the first to reveal that the use of marijuana may contribute to the changes in brain structure that have been associated with having schizophrenia."

* * *

If you think Eli Manning had a bad day Sunday when he threw five interceptions, how about Jet Chevrolet, a car dealership in Tacoma, Washington. They sponsored a promotion that if the Seahawks shutout Manning’s Jets, they would give 12 people $35,000 each.

After Seattle’s 23-0 win, dealer Jim Johnson said, “This is crazy! We never thought we’d actually be giving away the money!”

The way the promotion worked is that anybody who bought a car would get 100 chances and anybody who didn’t could go by the dealership to get one chance. On Monday $425,000 was awarded, as promised. Luckily the dealership had bought an insurance policy for about $7,000.

* * *

For the fifth straight year some Santa in Kokomo, Ind., has dropped a gold Krugerrand coin in a Salvation Army red kettle. The South African coin promptly brought $1,220 on the market, which was a little less than last year when gold was priced higher.

royexum@aol.com


Roy Exum: A Very Silly Apology

It didn’t get a lot of attention, as well it should not have, but when I heard Japanese giant Mitsubishi was offered an apology for heinous war crimes that took place during World War II, I thought it was an ill-conceived publicity stunt. But, no, in a solemn ceremony last month hosted by the Museum of Tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, that is exactly what ... (click for more)

How To Be #ChattanoogaStrong

Chattanooga is my home; I was born here 35 years ago. Without a doubt, this has been one of the most challenging times in our city's history. The #ChattanoogaStrong hashtag will remain for quite some time, but it means so much more than 18 characters on social media. It represents the sorrow and mourning, as well as the resilience and compassion, of our exceptional community.  ... (click for more)

Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Indicted On 13 Charges; Report Says He Drove Excessive Hours

The Chattanooga Police Department has issued a capias for the arrest of Benjamin Brewer, 39, concerning the multiple fatality traffic crash that occurred on I-75 northbound on June 25. Brewer was indicted on Monday on 13 counts.  They include six counts of vehicular homicide by impairment, a B-felony; four counts for reckless aggravated assault, a D-felony; one count for DUI ... (click for more)

Rawls Says Schools Could Have Better Spent $16,000 Than For Motivational Speech; County To Explore Performance Guaranteed Utility Contract

Bradley County Commissioner Dan Rawls said three school systems could have better spent $16,000 than for a motivational speaker to fire teachers up at the start of a new school year. He said the payment to Ron Clark, former National Teacher of the Year and the founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, could have gone for school supplies and other needs. Bradley County ... (click for more)

NPSL Championship To Be Played In Chattanooga

It's Chattanooga FC taking on the New York Cosmos B for the National Premier Soccer League’s national championship and the Scenic City's Finley Stadium is the site Saturday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. Thanks to a 9,000 plus crowd at Chattanooga's 3-0 semifinal win against the Indiana Fire, the Tennessee team broke the league’s previous record of 8,878, which was ... (click for more)

Jones Press Conference Kicks Off Vols' Preseason

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Coach Butch Jones held his preseason football press conference on Monday at Neyland Stadium. Jones heads into his third season with visible enthusiasm after the Vols finished off the 2014 season with an impressive win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl, following that up with another nationally ranked recruiting class. "In terms of our football team, we ... (click for more)