January 14, 2015 7:00 AM EST

Lest anyone believe interest in weird or funny local-news stories is a phenomenon of the Internet age, here’s a look at some of the gems that ran in the “Miscellany” column — under the heading “TIME Brings All Things” — in issues of TIME from the 1920s and 1930s. Shining a spotlight on everyday people who do stupid stuff is, it turns out, an enduring news-media tradition.

Write to Lily Rothman at lily.rothman@time.com.