Odds and Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
JUNE 21, 1999:
Dateline: Belgium -- Strong voter turn-out or strong voter turn-on? Anke Van dermeersch, a lawyer who was crowned Miss Belgium in 1991, announced that if she wins a seat in the European Parliament in this Sunday's election, she will pose nude for Playboy. The 27-year-old Flemish Liberal Party candidate needs 200,000 votes to win a seat under the European Parliament's proportional representation system. Playboy has acknowledged Van dermeersch's offer, giving it space on the magazine's Dutch internet Web site.
Dateline: Thailand -- Transvestite Thai kickboxer Parinya Kiatbusaba announced in a news conference last Tuesday that he will give "a big kiss" to kickboxing champion Hiroyuki Doi if the Japanese opponent succeeds in besting Parinya in their upcoming match. Parinya caused a stir earlier in the week by requesting to wear a bra during the fight. According to Parinya's manager, the cross-dressing kickboxer has been taking female hormones and may need to wear a special bra "to protect his breasts since they are quite large now." The bout with Doi may be Parinya's last, as he is scheduled to undergo a complete sex change operation soon. The boxer recently gave up his career in the ring and switched to singing, but a failure in show business forced Parinya back into kickboxing. Parinya is undefeated in his 30 professional bouts.
Dateline: England -- A devout Jehovah's Witness is flying to St. James' Hospital in Leeds, northern England, after doctors in South Africa refused to operate on the dying man without the use of a blood transfusion. Ewan Opperman, 19, is dying of auto-immune liver disease, and his only hope of survival is a liver transplant. The Jehovah's Witness faith does not allow blood donations or blood transfusions due to a passage in the Bible forbidding the act of "blood eating." British surgeon Steve Pollard performed a similar "bloodless" operation on a Leeds-area Jehovah's Witness three years ago. Although the faith prohibits blood transfusions, Opperman and his family concede that there is some "gray area" regarding the recycling of a patient's own blood.
Dateline: New York -- A man dressed as a ninja was arrested in Central Park last week for attacking a passerby with a blowgun. Michael Tucker, 39, of Salem, Ore., was arrested and charged with assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Tucker was found in the Ramble, a heavily wooded area of New York's Central Park, wearing a black ninja warrior outfit and brandishing a 26-inch sword, a blowgun, and two six-inch knives and a seven-inch knife strapped to his legs. Tucker allegedly hit a passerby in the head with a dart from his blowgun. The victim was treated at an area hospital and released.
Dateline: Georgia -- Beanie Baby fever has officially hit the road. Rabid Beanie Baby fanatics risked life and limb last Thursday to snatch a spilled shipment of the stuffed animals from the middle of Atlanta's Interstate 285. Police suspect the case of "Stretchy the Ostrich" dolls was bound for an area McDonald's when it tumbled from the delivery truck. At least six or seven motorists abandoned their vehicles or leaned out of car doors in the middle of rush hour traffic to grab the precious Teenie Beanies. Unfortunately, police officers were able to remove the Beanie roadkill before any brainless collectors were killed.
Dateline: Washington -- It didn't take a Sherlock Holmes to figure out who vandalized Seattle's newly constructed baseball dome by scrawling the names Will, Sal and Jeff on the roof in insulation foam. Authorities have arrested Will, Sal and Jeff -- three roofers working on the project. Police had suspected an inside job considering the height of the stadium's roof. The three roofers were reprimanded and allowed to remain on the project. The new baseball stadium, called Safeco Field, is set to open on July 15.