Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
SEPTEMBER 8, 1998:
Dateline: Japan--A Canadian "tourist" living
in the passenger terminal of Tokyo's international airport for
nearly three months now may be deported this week when his visa
expires. Michael Omane arrived at Tokyo International Airport
at Narita on a one-way ticket from Toronto on May 28. The 38-year-old
traveler told authorities he was waiting for friends to meet him
and accompany him to Nigeria. The "friends" never arrived,
and Omane has spent his days since then sitting on a bench in
the passenger waiting room and washing up in the airport bathrooms.
Dateline: India--The year's annual Gotmar festival near
Chhindwara in India has resulted in some 800 injuries, 25 of them
critical. The injuries resulted from part of the traditional festival
in which residents from two nearby
villages gather on opposite banks of a river to hurl rocks and
abuses at each other. Afterward, the two groups meet to feast
and rejoice together. Getting pegged with a rock is considered
Dateline: India--In other Indian party news, a batch of
locally brewed liquor served at a giant soiree has killed 45 people,
blinded 25 others and sent at least 100 villagers to the hospital.
The tainted liquor was purchased from a shop in Paruveedhi, a
village in southern India. The drink was believed to be spiked
with methyl alcohol to make it more potent. In addition to the
eight people arrested for manufacturing and selling the killer
cocktails, at least 30 police officers have been suspended in
connection with the incident. No further details have been released.
Dateline: Texas--The BBC program "Newsnight"
has reported that an unnamed Texas millionaire is forking over
$5 million to the cloning laboratory at Texas A&M University
to produce a duplicate of his beloved pet dog, Missy. According
to the report, the pet-loving Texan has given the scientists a
Dateline: Utah--A ton of cereal that was recalled in June
after nearly 200 people contracted salmonella was missing from
a garbage bin at the Malt-o-Meal warehouse in Salt Lake City last
week. Some 120 cases of Toasty O's were apparently stolen from
the trash by cereal-loving thieves. State officials are concerned
that the thieves will try to unload the tainted Toasty O's at
area flea markets.
Dateline: Arizona--A contractor who was hired to erect
wrought-iron fences around four closed campus schools in Scottsdale,
Ariz., ran out of material before he hit Coronado High School.
The short-sighted builder simply wrapped Coronado in barbed wire.
Needless to say, the students at Coronado High didn't exactly
take to their new prison camp surroundings. The school board has
ordered the contractor to remove the barbed wire.
Dateline: Minnesota--An 18-year-old who vandalized a park
honoring veterans on July 4 was sentenced last week to watch Steven
Spielberg's World War II drama Saving Private Ryan. Roger
Bendickson of Winona, Minn., confessed to judge Dennis Challen
that he did not even know what a veteran was. In addition to the
movie watching, the judge ordered the teen to repay damages, perform
20 hours community service and stay out of trouble for one year.
If he really wanted to punish the kid, though, he should have
made him watch The Avengers.