Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

OCTOBER 5, 1998: 

Dateline: Russia--Teachers in the central Russian province of Altai will be receiving their monthly salaries in vodka because the government is out of cash. The 8,000 educators in the Altai republic will get 15 bottles of vodka each while local leaders press the federal government to cover its debts. Officials in Altai, some 1,850 miles east of Moscow, had previously tried to pay off part of the teachers' six-month wage arrears with toilet paper. The offer was refused. Now, if Russia would only pay off students in vodka, the nation could do something about its drop-out rate.


Dateline: India--Curators at India's Baroda Museum report irreparable damage to a priceless 5,000-year-old mummy after an overzealous cleaning person apparently opened the mummy's case and vacuumed the dusty corpse. The violative vacuuming loosened bandages, removed toe paint and sucked off part of the mummified nose.


Dateline: Sweden--Members of the notorious Hell's Angels bikers' gang have been denied membership in Sweden's Liberal Party. Just two days before a general election, a Liberal Party spokesperson announced that "they won't be accepted to the party because they work in an organization that works against the purpose of our party." Liberal officials accused the Hell's Angels of "acting provocatively" and "trying to create some kind of debate." Hell's Angels leader Thomas Moller of Malmo, Sweden, said he paid his membership fee and received a welcome letter. The political party may be a bit nervous over reports that the Angels have been fighting a guerrilla war with rival motorcycle gang Bandidos since 1994. The rivalry has occasionally erupted into skirmishes involving machine guns, hand grenades, bombs and anti-tank weapons.


Dateline: Texas--In the latest and most outrageous example of sports fanaticism gone berserk, a 20-minute brawl erupted during the halftime show at a Beaumont, Texas, football game. The combatants? The Southern University and Prairie View A&M marching bands. As the two rival groups passed each other in formation, a squabble broke out landing three militant musicians in the hospital. Several uniforms were damaged, four $5,000 tubas were bent and one saxophone was reported missing.


Dateline: Idaho--Former Green Beret colonel, right-wing leader of the Patriot Militia Movement and self-avowed gun nut James "Bo" Gritz, apparently depressed over a pending divorce, shot himself in the chest last week in Clearwater County, Idaho. The wound is not believed to be life threatening.


Dateline: California--A member of the radical environmental group Earth First! was killed last Thursday while protesting logging efforts in California's Grizzly Creek Forest north of San Francisco. A tree fell on him.


Dateline: South Carolina--In what is clearly a violation of the Eighth Commandment, an unknown thief broke into actor Bill Oberst's car and made off with several props, including pottery, a bread basket, a handmade wig, a costume and theatrical make-up. Oberst uses props to teach the Scriptures in a relaxed way. He was about to go on stage at South Carolina's Anderson College to perform as Jesus, when his costume and props were stolen. Oberst was forced to cancel that night's Jesus gig. No word on whether or not Oberst has forgiven the blasphemous burglar.


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