There exists a place — a solemn hall of shame, of sorts — where the profane, snide and otherwise inappropriate greeting cards you always wished for go to die.
There they hang in all their unread glory, rendered incapable of wreaking their sardonic brand of havoc on the generally unsuspecting population.
This place is a giant fabric “NO” on the wall at Hallmark Cards Inc. And these greetings are the ones that didn’t make the cut.
Even though employees who work for Hallmark’s Shoebox division, a line of irreverent cards created 20 years ago for the off-kilter goober in us all, make their living writing humorous little ditties every day, only a small fraction ever end up on actual cards for our viewing pleasure, the Associated Press reports.
"It could be that it's highly inappropriate. It could be that it feels like too much of an internal joke," said Sarah Tobaben, an editorial director for Shoebox. "We want to write for the mainstream while taking some appropriate risks."
Included among the discarded messages are Christmas cards:
FRONT: “Spread some holiday cheer.”
INSIDE: “Or drink alone. Who am I to judge?”
FRONT: "Christmas just wouldn't be the same without peanut brittle."
INSIDE: “Or Jesus.”
FRONT: ''My ex-girlfriend had a cat named Love because she said that's what it gave her.''
INSIDE: ''So I called it Bloody Forearms. Hope no one gets you a cat for your birthday.''
Wedding and engagement greetings:
FRONT: ''Did I hear wedding bells?''
INSIDE: ''Or was that the natural disaster siren? Sometimes I get them confused. Whatever it was, it was loud. Congratulations ... or take cover!''
FRONT: ''Marriage is a bond that is unbreakable except by two-thirds of the population.''
INSIDE: ''But it's you top-third couples that give the rest of us hope.''
Get well cards for any occasion:
FRONT: (Big smiley face)
INSIDE: “Hi! Welcome back from your coma!”
And even cards for your mom:
FRONT: ''When I think of you, Mom, I swell with pride.''
INSIDE: ''At least I hope it's pride. Otherwise, I'm pregnant again.''
How could these potential knee-slappers end up on the wall of shame?
Writers typically put their ideas on blank index cards — folded like the real thing — and they are tried out on co-workers in a roundtable read-off. If they don't get a chuckle, they don't make the cut.
Bill Gray, a Shoebox stylist (the highest title bestowed on card writers), says that in his 18 years writing cards have produced about 80,000 ideas — only 7,000 of which ultimately made it to the shelves.
PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) — Four burgers at his neighborhood Burger King cost George Beane a whopping $4,334.33.
Beane ordered two Whopper Jr.s and two Rodeo cheeseburgers when he pulled up to the drive-through window last Tuesday. The cashier, however, forgot that she'd entered the $4.33 charge on his debit card and punched in the numbers again without erasing the original ones — thus creating a four-figure bill.
The electronic charge went through to George and Pat Beane's Bank of America checking account and left the couple penniless. Their mortgage payment was due and they worried checks they had written would bounce, Pat Beane said.
"We were thinking, 'No, not now!'" she said of the overcharge.
Terri Woody, the restaurant manager, said Burger King officials tried to get the charge refunded. But the bank said the funds were on a three-day hold and could not be released, Pat Beane said.
The hold is designed to prevent customers from spending money that no longer is available in their accounts and to let the bank confirm a transaction is legitimate before transferring funds, said Bank of America supervisor Joel Solorio.
Burger King did not charge the Beanes for their meal, and the couple got their $4,334.33 back on Friday.
"For those three days, those were the most expensive value burgers in history," Pat Beane said.
Thanks to Out There readers Don W. and Melissa P.
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — Residents of the neighborhood of Sunset Circle say they have been terrorized by a ruthless, hairy, scary prowler — a crazy cat named Lewis.
Lewis is so scary, in fact, that he's been personally issued a restraining order by the town's animal control officer.
"He looks like Felix the Cat and has six toes on each foot, each with a long claw," Janet Kettman, a neighbor said Monday. "They are formidable weapons."
The neighbors said those weapons, along with catlike stealth, have allowed Lewis to attack at least a half dozen people and ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car.
Some of those who were bitten and scratched ended up seeking treatment at area hospitals, so Animal Control Officer Rachel Solveira placed a restraining order on him.
It was the first time such an action was taken against a cat in Fairfield.
In effect, Lewis is under house arrest, forbidden to leave his home.
Solveira also arrested the cat's owner, Ruth Cisero, for failing to comply with the restraining order and reckless endangerment.
Thanks to Out There reader Jessica S.
A Creative Solution for a Case of 'The Big Head'
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — A Buffalo-based company is fitting the Big Apple with some really big hats.
The New Era Cap Company will place two inflatable baseball caps on a pair of rooftop water towers in Manhattan in time for opening day.
A Mets cap will be placed this week near the 59th Street Bridge connecting Manhattan and Queens. A Yankees cap will be perched on a water tower in midtown Manhattan next week.
New Era — the official cap maker for Major League Baseball — plans to decorate a total of four rooftop water towers in New York City as part the company's plan to promote its brand name. In May, New Era plans to open its first store in Greenwich Village.
The caps — size 61 and a half — are 14 feet high and 16 feet wide. They were made by a Florida that specializes in giant inflated objects.
Before they hit the Big Apple, the big hats will be inflated at sporting goods stores in Rochester and Syracuse.
AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) — A machine filled with toys must've been awfully tempting to a 3-year-old boy.
The little boy crawled through the toy discharge chute in the Toy Chest claw machine at a Godfather's Pizza in Austin and got stuck amid all the toys.
Fire Chief Dan Wilson says it was one of the funniest things he's ever seen. Wilson was one of three people to respond to the non-emergency call. He says the boy was inside the transparent container playing, smiling and laughing and people were taking his picture with digital cameras.
Firefighters pried the door open to get the boy out.
The child wasn't hurt.
Thanks to Out There readers Molly M., Joseph J. and Brock C.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Taylor Timmins.
Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things) to firstname.lastname@example.org.