Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

MAY 11, 1998: 

Dateline: France--Cover model Claudia Schiffer has entrusted her famous face to a French airbag. Franco automaker Citroen somehow talked Schiffer into crash testing their new Citroen Xsara for a new TV commercial, proving that their airbags are among the safest in the world. Schiffer told French reporters that she had not hesitated to perform the 30-second sequence herself, rather than use a double, despite the risk of injury. Havas Euro RSCG, the ad agency which thought up the clever campaign, insisted that the crash test--complete with exploding airbag--be genuine. Despite the high level of confidence at Citroen, Schiffer's face was insured with Lloyd's of London for $5 million.

Dateline: Pennsylvania--Apparently, crime can be very tiring. A Pittsburgh woman returned to her home at 4:30 a.m. last Sunday to find her front door open, a window smashed and her jewelry boxes looted. She also found the intruder fast asleep in her bed. Careful not to wake the bushed burglar, the woman crept downstairs and phoned police. Walter Morgano, 35, was soon aroused, arrested and charged with burglary.

Dateline: New Jersey--Workers at the Nachi America Corp. in Carlstadt, N.J., got more than they bargained for when they opened a box of ball bearings that had just arrived from Japan. Besides a lot of ball bearings, the box contained a furry little marmot in seemingly perfect health. The "groundhog-type animal" had apparently been in the container since it was shipped from Osaka three weeks ago. The workers dubbed the creature "Hector" after the man who opened the box. Hector (the marmot) was taken to the Bergen County Animal Shelter. After a carrot and some water, the animal tried to attack shelter director Mary Ellen Stout. "I guess he's feeling better," Stout said. Hector will be quarantined then released into the wild.

Dateline: New York--Thanks to a write-in campaign championed by Howard Stern, "Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf" has now eclipsed Leonardo DiCaprio in People Magazine's online poll for their annual 50 Most Beautiful People issue. Hank currently leads DiCaprio 106,238 votes to 6,951.

Dateline: Nevada--Famed sexual amputee John Wayne Bobbit has lost his job as a greeter and bartender at Carson City's famed Bunny Ranch. The legal brothel's owner says Bobbit "could not keep his hands off the girls."

Dateline: Illinois--Some police in Kankakee, Ill., were skeptical about their department's recent guns-for-gifts exchange. In an attempt to get handguns off the streets, the city offered to accept guns from citizens in return for Beanie Babies. Demand for the collector-coveted bean-bag creatures exceeded expectations, however. Half-an-hour before the unusual swap began, people were already lined up around the block. Kankakee police wound up with 40 guns and no Beanie Babies.

Dateline: California--Once the bullets stopped flying, police in Fresno, Calif., decided not to press charges against a woman who shot her husband during a church marriage counseling session. According to witnesses, Michael Martin had a gun in one hand and a beer in the other when he shot his wife and tried to walk out of their counseling session at St. James Episcopal Cathedral. Bonnie Martin promptly pulled a pistol from her purse and returned fire. The gun battle continued outside of St. Martin's, where Bonnie was shot a second time before collapsing. Police did arrest the husband. "We believe that the appropriately charged party was Mr. Martin," said District Attorney Ed Hunt.

--Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary

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