Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

DECEMBER 1, 1997: 

Dateline: Canada--Mad scientist alert! Researchers at Lavel University's Infectious Diseases Research Center have unveiled a prototype for an "invisible condom" to help fight HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Developed over seven years, the new "condom" is actually a nontoxic polymer-based liquid (kinda like "Flubber"). The liquid solidifies into a gel at body temperature, forming a water-proof film that drastically reduced transmission of the HIV virus and other STDs. The substance has been dubbed the "invisible condom" because it can be used by women without telling a partner who doesn't want to use a latex condom. Laval is planning human clinical tests in the next two years.

Dateline: France--Members of the Garden Gnome Liberation Front were busted by a French judge who didn't seem to appreciate their deep political message. Four French students who stole ornamental gnomes from gardens in northeast France over several months were taken to task by Magistrate Bernard Lemaire. Lemaire sentenced the unnamed ringleader of the GGLF to a two-month suspended sentence and a $500 fine. Two other members drew one-month suspended terms and a fourth lost his driver's license for four months. During their multimonth reign of terror, the GGLF "liberated" dozens of happy plaster statues, leaving behind cards which read: "The Garden Gnomes Liberation Front has been here. Your gnomes are now free and can finally live in peace together deep in the forest."

Dateline: Louisiana--The U.S. Coast Guard launched its largest-ever ship, the icebreaker Heely, with a splash last week in New Orleans. When the ship was lowered into the Mississippi River, the resulting disturbance kicked up a tidal wave of muddy water and debris which roared into the dignitaries' viewing stand. Some 20 people were injured. Several were treated for broken bones.

Dateline: Washington, D.C.--President Clinton sent five pounds of barbecued meat to Senate Republican Leader Trent Lott last week. The lunchtime feast--complete with ribs, beans and jars of barbecue sauce--came courtesy of a football bet between Lott and Clinton. Lott had bet five pounds of Mississippi shrimp to the President's five pounds of Arkansas barbecue. The day after the University of Mississippi beat the University of Arkansas 19 to 9, Lott sent Clinton a note with the score, adding "please include cole slaw." According to Lott's spokeswoman, the meat arrived within the week, but the coleslaw was not forthcoming. No response yet on the lack of slaw from Clinton's camp.

Dateline: Ivory Coast--Two hearses collided near the western town of Divo last Saturday night, killing one of the drivers and injuring nine other people. One hearse was carrying a deceased tax collector and his family, the second was hauling mourners to the Ivory Coast capital of Adibjan to collect a body.

Dateline: California--Nine half-ton bison escaped briefly from the Oakland Zoo last Tuesday. The bison wandered some 200 feet from the zoo grounds and onto a nearby bluff. Zoo workers tempted the 1,000-pound animals back with slices of Wonderbread.

Dateline: Wisconsin--There's fetishes, and then there's fetishes. A 34-year-old Muskego, Wis., man, who has admitted a sexual proclivity toward saliva, was charged with disorderly conduct after attempting to collect children's saliva. The man allegedly left bags of plastic cups and candy in a local park. Notes attached to the bags asked children to enjoy the candy and then spit into the cups. The man was arrested while collecting them.

--Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary

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