Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
July 8, 1997:
Dateline: Michigan--A brother and a sister burned down their family's home in the small town of Kimmswick after watching a VHS tape of "Barney's Campfire Singalong" in which the purple dinosaur demonstrates how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. The kids used two matches instead of two sticks, but managed to get some pretty good results nonetheless. And you thought Barney wasn't educational.
Dateline: Florida--It's a case worthy of ... well, James Bond. The world-famous silver Aston Martin DB-5 used in the 1964 film Goldfinger was stolen from a Boca Raton airplane hangar last week. Barbed wire fences were scaled and alarms were disabled in order to nab the roadster. Police believe the car, which comes complete with bulletproof shield, rotating tire-slashers and a revolving license plate, may be smuggled out of the country. The car's owner, an automobile collector, had the vehicle insured for $4 million.
Dateline: Israel--Just last week, the Israeli Supreme Court outlawed alligator wrestling.
Dateline: Oregon--Don't these shoe guys ever learn? Mere weeks after Reebok had to recall their new women's running shoe "The Incubus" (after they figured out just what an Incubus was), Nike was forced to pull 38,000 pairs of their latest shoe from store shelves. The Council on American-Islamic Relations had called for a worldwide boycott of Nike after discovering that a flame-like symbol on the new Nike Air BBQ, Air Melt and Air Grille shoes closely resembled the Islamic word "Allah," or God. Spokesmen from Nike Inc., which is based in Beaverton, Ore., said the resemblance was unintentional.
Dateline: New York--Department of Motor Vehicles officials are catching a rash of flack after an entire Brooklyn third grade class passed the state's new "quickie" driver's learning permit test. Not only did the kids pass the test, but 19 out of 26 achieved perfect scores. Sample question: "What is the meaning of a 'No Parking' sign?"
Dateline: Michigan--Just hours after a local newspaper reported that he had called a phone-sex line 124 times from his courthouse office phone, a St. Joseph, Mich., district judge resigned his 24-year seat, citing "continuing difficulties with my hearing."
Dateline: Russia--Russian Justice Minister Valentin Kolyav was suspended after newspapers and TV caught him on videotape in a known Mafia bathhouse cavorting and having sex with two naked women. Kolyav insists the tape is a fake. Perhaps "continuing difficulties with my eyesight" would be a prudent excuse.
--compiled by Devin D. O'Leary
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