Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

NOVEMBER 10, 1997: 

Dateline: Surinam--Quick-acting police in Surinam foiled a government coup last Saturday. Seventeen low-ranking soldiers and ex-military men were arrested before the insurrection even began in the tiny nation on the northeast coast of South America. Boredom was reported as the number one reason for the coup attempt. "If the Army doesn't have much to do, there will always be soldiers willing to join actions like this one," Armed Forces Commander Col. Glenn Sedney told a local radio station. Low pay and inadequate equipment were cited for the poor morale among troops. Surinam's Navy has no functioning ships, and its Air Force has only one working plane.

Dateline: New Zealand--An Auckland man finally got tired of the illegal drag racers who roared up and down the road in front of his factory every weekend. After phoning the police at 4 a.m. to no avail, the man took matters into his own hands. He climbed into a bulldozer and flipped over four of the speeding cars. None of the drivers were seriously injured. When police finally did arrive, the man was brought up on charges of "assault with a deadly weapon." Some 46 drag racers have "been spoken to" by New Zealand police. Nine were charged with various offenses.

Dateline: Spain--At the recent Madrid Marijuana Cup Competition, a panel of very happy judges was prevailed upon to smoke 10 homegrown samples each. The judges then got 24 hours to recover before voting on a winner. A Spanish court recently OK'd the growing of some marijuana for private consumption.

Dateline: Italy--In a nationwide sting operation designed to crack down on welfare abuses, Italian police arrested an alleged blind man for welfare fraud. Seems the man, who worked under a special government program, actually had a valid driver's license and could see quite well. A judge freed the "blind" man, though, after he claimed to have "miraculously" regained his sight during a recent visit to Lourdes.

Dateline: New Jersey--Just before the evil holiday struck, the Hillsborough, N.J., school board voted to ban Halloween. Under the new policy, the school district is forbidden to celebrate any holiday with "religious overtones." Traditionally, All Hallow's Eve marks the day before the Christian Feast of All Saints Day. Halloween parties were replaced with "Fall Festival" parties. In accordance with the new policy, Valentine's Day (named after a saint, don't you know) will be replaced with "Special Person Day."

Dateline: New York--Officials at Cornell University are puzzling over a pumpkin impaled on a weather vane atop the school's steep 173-foot bell tower. No one can figure out how the Halloween prank was accomplished. Faced with erecting scaffolding or hiring a helicopter to remove the skewered squash, the school now plans to just leave it and hope Mother Nature takes her course.

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