Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

NOVEMBER 17, 1997:

Dateline: Iran--Unable to pay their hospital bill, the parents of a newborn baby girl found themselves the victims of an unusual blackmail scheme. According to a French newspaper, a hospital in Tehran actually "kept" the baby for six months until her parents could pay the entire balance on their bill. The father, a poor laborer, tried to pay the two million rial bill (approximately 450 American dollars) two months after the birth, only to be told that his tab had "nearly doubled" in the interim. You gotta wonder what these Iranian docs do if you can't pay for your heart transplant.

Dateline: West Virginia--A pickup truck hauling some 200 gallons of moonshine in plastic milk jugs ran off Interstate 81 in West Virginia's eastern panhandle and crashed into a tree, exploding in flames and killing the driver. The illegal alcohol fueled the explosion and burned the surrounding grass. "It still smells like alcohol," said South Berkeley Fire Chief Bruce Chrisman, who lives about 1,000 feet from the crash site.

Dateline: Tennessee--Speaking of hicks, Nashville's famed Opryland musical theme park has announced plans to close in January. Attendance has been dropping lately. The site will be converted into a giant retail mall called Opry Mills.

Dateline: New York--A particularly adamant hater of Howard Stern has registered a complaint with the American Medical Association, claiming that Stern has been illegally practicing medicine without a license. Apparently, the shock jock administered on-air breast "exams" to several volunteer women as a joke during October's National Breast Cancer Awareness Week. No word on whether or not officials are taking the charges seriously.

Dateline: Illinois--The Saybrook Lions Club has officially apologized for issuing first prize in a Halloween costume contest to a young girl dressed in KKK robes covered in swastikas and slogans like "White Power" and "Kill Them All!" The 14-year-old contestant claims that the outfit was a statement against racism.

Dateline: Ohio--A visitor to Yoko Ono's recent art exhibit at Cincinnati's Contemporary Arts Center took the songstress-turned-painter's advice a bit too literally last week. A plaque in the Arts Center told visitors, "No one can tell you not to touch the art." Jake Platt, 22, of Seattle took out a red marker and drew lines across several of Oko's stark black-and-white paintings valued at $10,000 apiece. A friend of Platt's says the man's actions were a "statement" consistent with his belief in the Flexus art movement, which encourages viewer participation. Museum officials, apparently unimpressed with Platt's artistic knowledge, are pressing charges.

Dateline: Virginia--A nurse and her husband shopping in a home center in Fredricksburg Va., were shocked when an employee, who had just severed his arm on a lumber saw, stumbled out of the back of the store and collapsed in front of them. The couple quickly applied a makeshift tourniquet, retrieved the severed arm and packed it in ice--all before the ambulance arrived. Thanks to the husband-and-wife team's quick thinking, surgeons were successfully able to reattach the employee's arm.

Dateline: Latvia--And while we're on the subject, a team of Latvian doctors are reportedly approaching The Guinness Book of World Records after successfully sewing back four severed hands in just five days. Three of the patients' limbs were cut off by saws while cutting down trees. The fourth, a woman, had her hand severed in a dough machine.

--Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary

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