new old this that

02.04.02.12:29 pm

Headlines

The headlines are real, the story and the take are mine.

SUPER SHOCKER
Patriots stun favored Rams on last-play FG, 20-17

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 4 - Stun-gun maker Taser International Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR) said on Monday it is taking all the credit for all the stunning going on in the NFL as of late. "We got such a boost from airline contracts arising out of post-September 11 security fears, that we didn't think we could get any higher... So we took some ludes and gave away a couple hundred of our guns to the NFL."

Did the ads score?
The ads: Beer, cars (Cadillac, Volkswagen, Saturn, Toyota), fast food (Taco Bell, Subway, Quiznos), meeting women (Bud Light, AT&T Wireless), and being shown up by suave guys (Dockers Casual).

The new anti-drug pitch: Fight terrorism by leaving your bowl unpacked because if you buy drugs you support terrorists. Truth be told, about half of the 28 organizations identified as terrorist by the State Department are funded by sales of illegal narcotics.

The not at all unexpected but suprised by it's intense theme: Patriotism. Due to the largest surplus of American Flag paraphernalia since the 1976 bicentennial, the super bowl organizers were able to purchase 6 billion flags and 45 quadrillion pieces of red white and blue confetti. "Every last item was used."

Brill: Post-Sept. 11 excess of riches

NYC Limo Drivers - still making $700 to $1,000 a week, but can get tax-free checks from the Red Cross for 5 to 10 thousand dollars. They have only to prove that their company had accounts near the World Trade Center and that they lost income as a result of the September 11 attacks. How much they've lost is not an issue, so drivers who's income is down only 20 percent now get double pay.

True News - Sadly from here on, the headlines AND the story are all true.

Iguana bites off boy's fingertip - HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 15, Police shot and killed a 4-foot long iguana after it bit off a Hollywood teen-ager's fingertip. Police first tried to zap the iguana with a Taser gun. But the iguana was unfazed. "It will drop a man but not an iguana," said Matt Phillips of Hollywood Fire Rescue.

In January, after the California restaurant chain Carl's Jr. began televising a commercial chiding competitors' chicken-nugget meals (the ad: executives examining a chicken in a futile attempt to find a body part called the "nugget"), the animal rights group United Poultry Concerns objected, not just because the chicken was mishandled but because the examination hurt the chicken's feelings (treated the chicken "derisively," United's chief Karen Davis told the Los Angeles Times).

Democracy in Action
Right-to-Life Party candidate Richard Hobbs, 47, overwhelmingly lost his campaign for the legislature of Westchester County, N.Y., in November, probably because it got out that he was a twice-convicted pedophile; he told reporters that he didn't think the convictions were relevant to the campaign because "there are no children at the county legislature."

Very Bright People

In November, Mexico City began its latest tactic to help drivers cope with the capital's monumental traffic problem, by hiring five mimes to team with four special traffic officers in street theater sketches to encourage drivers at the city's most dangerous intersections to buckle up, curb their cell-phone usage and obey all traffic laws. (A 1999 tactic had the city reassign its 900 traffic cops in favor of handing all citation-writing over to 64 female officers, who, it was felt, would be less likely to accept motorists' bribe attempts, but the traffic problem has soared since then.) [NationalPost, 12-4-01]

Crime and Punishment

In October, police in Fairbanks, Alaska, charged Gail Bergman, 41, with second-degree assault for stabbing her live-in boyfriend in the buttocks with two paring knives in a domestic squabble. Bergman denied it, claiming that the boyfriend actually showed up at the door that night naked with the two knives already stuck in him. According to police, Bergman's main concern seemed to be that she had finally relocated the knives: "I've been asking him where those knives have been for the last three weeks. Why is he walking around town with knives sticking out of his butt?"

From the Crime Watch column of the Leaf-Chronicle (Clarksville, Tenn.), Dec. 5, 2001: "A 36-year-old cab driver reported one of his riders sexually attacked him Saturday morning in the 100 block of Keith Drive. The cab driver pushed the rider away. The rider then forcibly performed a sexual act on the driver, the victim told (Det. Larry) Boren. The report indicated the driver didn't know if the attacker was a man or a woman." [Leaf-Chronicle, 12-5-01]

From the police report column of the Union Democrat (Sonora, Calif.), Dec. 31, 2001: "1:35 p.m., Groveland: A driver told the California Highway Patrol that two people were parked outside the entrance to Yosemite National Park with the hazard lights on and their hands in the air. Yosemite rangers said the two men admitted ingesting 'speed' and became paranoid that a sniper was in the bushes aiming a high-powered rifle at them." [Union Democrat,12-31-01]

Kimberly Herricks, 36, a manager for Donato's Pizza, Lakewood, Ohio, was indicted in December for stealing $38,000 from the company, an amount that included the value of 400 decaying pizzas found in her garage. According to police, she had invented big call-in orders at her store for schools, hospitals, etc., just to get her store's sales figures up and her name in the company newsletter. She would then adjust the books to cover the costs and deliver the pizzas, herself, to her own garage. She was busted when she asked her boss (the owner) to help her move to a new house, and he discovered the rotting pizzas. [Plain Dealer, 12-4-01]

On New Year's Eve, Los Angeles police arrested bicycle-shop owner Michael Howard, 47, and charged him with eight counts in connection with a series of incidents in which a man forcibly cut the hair of women on the street. Though Howard's alleged obsession with hair was apparently not well known to his family, one longtime friend told the Los Angeles Times that Howard "liked playing with (hair), brushing it, everything about it. He says he likes the sound of scissors cutting hair." [Los Angeles Times, 1-5-02]

A judge in Winnipeg, Manitoba, acquitted a 26-year-old man of rape in December after finding that the 45-year-old victim's testimony was not credible. The victim (an acquaintance of the man) presented no evidence of unwillingness except her word that she didn't want to go through with it, did not try to escape when she had plenty of time to do so, and failed to bite the man during oral sex (because, as she told the defense lawyer, "I'm not like that; I'm not a person who likes to be rude"). [Winnipeg Sun, 12-20-01]

A man escaped after robbing an auto parts store of $50, but not before losing his prosthetic leg and his pants in a scuffle with an employee (Kansas City, Mo.).

The owner of seven large (up to 6 feet long), house-roaming Monitor lizards died, apparently of natural causes, but then became dinner for his brood before a relative discovered the body (Newark, Del.).

A wealthy director of Finland's Nokia telecom company was fined about $103,000 for speeding, based on the country's system of assigning fines by income, but he said his income has dropped, and the fine should only be about $20,000 (Helsinki).



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Since Feb 2001





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