Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Death, Taxes and Indians

By Devin D. O'Leary

AUGUST 24, 1998: 

Dateline: India--Viagramania continues worldwide. A young couple in Bangalore, India, has announced plans to market a new clothing line called "Viagra." Priya and Gautam Puri are both former fashion models and the brains behind Priya Apparels, which will market the Viagra shirts. The 100 percent cotton shirts will cost between 525 rupees ($12.35) and 695 rupees ($16.35)--just slightly less than the actual impotence drug costs on the Indian black market (an estimated $18.80 per pill). The government has yet to authorize the sale of Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company's Viagra drug in India. The fashion-minded Puris launched the new clothing line last Monday with the slogan, "What the World Wants Today." It is not known whether the shirts are marketed toward males with erectile dysfunctions or just anyone familiar with the "Viagra" name.

Dateline: Sweden--A Swedish teacher who stripped naked in front of her class has won a legal battle after being "unfairly dismissed." The unnamed teacher was fired last year after shedding her underwear in front of a women's class at Kristinehamn's adult education college. The ecdysiast educator told Karlstad court in central Sweden that she decided to teach her class in the buff to "strengthen her students' self-confidence." The court ordered the woman's former employer, Varmland City Council, to pay 1,150,000 crowns in damages.

Dateline: Lithuania--A recently discovered alcohol pipeline from neighboring Latvia may share at least part of the blame for a sharp drop in profits reported by Lithuania alcohol producers. Last week, police near Vilnius, Latvia, seized the small country house of a former border guard after several days of close surveillance. The police discovered a wellspring of contraband alcohol flowing from a plastic pipeline that stretched 3 kilometers across the border into Latvia. The Lithuanian government announced a step-up in their fight against alcohol smuggling after excise taxes for the first half of 1998 fell some 139 million litas ($34.8 million) short of last year.

Dateline: Russia--The provincial Russian town of Naberezhniye Chelny in central Russia has ordered all pet owners to stop their dogs barking between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. and to stay off the booze if they want to take them for a walk. Drunken owners of barking dogs who fail to comply with the new measure face a fine of 15 rubles ($2.40). The Russian news agency Interfax reports that there are 4,500 registered dogs in the town.

Dateline: Florida--Speaking of drunken pet owners, two men in Clearwater, Fla., were charged with animal cruelty after smuggling a parrot and a snake into a local nightclub. One man was accused of choking his parrot, the other of dunking the bird five times into a margarita. Animal cruelty carries up to a $5,000 fine and a year in jail. The parrot, Woody, is recovering at an animal shelter.

Dateline: Nevada--Actress Debbie Reynolds' bankrupt hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nev., went on the auction block last week and walked away with an unlikely new owner. The Debbie Reynolds Hotel & Casino is now the property of the World Wrestling Federation. Although Reynolds said several times in the past that she was willing to license the use of her name to the casino's new owner and to continue performing at the venue, it seems unlikely the Singin' in the Rain star will be appearing at the casino alongside such WWF superstars as Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker.

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