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