Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

NOVEMBER 3, 1997: 

Dateline: Vietnam--A Communist country announced last week that it would be the first on the planet to officially ban war toys. On Tuesday, Vietnam's Trade Ministry publicly announced plans to outlaw all bamboo and plastic swords, knives, bows, guns, rifles and grenade-shaped cigarette lighters. The ban applies to both imported and locally produced goods. Communist officials believe that such violent toys have a "bad impact on children's psychology." Last month, Vietnamese officials tried to ban the Japanese "virtual pets" known as Tamogotchi.

Dateline: Michigan--A 79-year-old woman in Allegan, Mich., tried to exercise her dog and mow her lawn at the same time. She chained her dog to the lawnmower and let him go. The mutt quickly entangled himself around his owner's legs. They both fell into a nearby pond and drowned. The lawnmower is fine.

Dateline: Washington--Seattle-based Zegrahn Space Voyages is now offering future rides into space, including snappy spacesuits and actual weightlessness, for a mere $98,000. A seven-day space camp full of training sessions will be topped off by a 2-minute ride into space (defined as 100 kilometers above sea level) in Zegrahn's "Space Cruiser." A $9,000 deposit is required (presumably to help build the currently nonexistent "Space Cruiser"). The first flight is scheduled to take place on Dec. 1, 2001. If you're really interested, you can check out the company's Web site at www.spacevoyages.com.

Dateline: Wisconsin--A Milwaukee, Wis., man in his mid-20s realized he was too drunk to drive last weekend, so--in a fit of genius--he turned the wheel of his car over to his eight-year-old daughter. Since her legs were too short to reach the pedals, the father crawled onto the floor and worked both gas and brake himself. The dynamic duo soon got into a seven-car pileup. Six people were injured. The man and his daughter escaped with minor injuries. The so-called "father" is going to be spending a little time behind bars.

Dateline: Illinois--For more than a month, 54-year-old Shirley Ann Allen has successfully fended off a small army of police surrounding her Robey, Ill., home. Allen's family had obtained a writ for a mental exam after the woman began mumbling about being "followed" and "observed." Allen chased off the Sheriff's deputy with a few well-placed shotgun blasts and has since fended off tear gas by smearing her face with Vaseline and beanbag rounds by wearing multiple sweaters. The shotgun granny is now attracting a sizable amount of support in the patriotic militia movement.

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