News of the Weird

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British TV program guide: The BBC gave one more try in December to save the 1980s hit program One Man and His Dog, whose viewership has fallen off; the program consists entirely of shepherds (each with his dog) competing to efficiently herd sheep into pens (although producers jazzed it up by equipping some sheep with microphones to capture their "baa's"). And a fall 1999 British-made documentary, Hidden Love: Animal Passions, reported on practitioners in Missouri's "zoophile" community (i.e., humans romantically involved with animals), including an interview with an uncloseted zoophile gushing over his "wife" Pixel, a horse; said one activist, "We are not sick at all. Zoosexuality is [merely] an alternative lifestyle."

According to London's Daily Telegraph, U.K.-funded research revealed in January indicates that within ten years countries could require car manufacturers to install $300 electronic governors that would use satellite technology to control the maximum speed that cars could travel, varying it depending on traffic, highway design and driving conditions.

Latest Nearly Ultimate Wisdom

Convicted murderer William "Cody" Neal, at his sentencing hearing in Golden, Colorado, in September: "I [accept] responsibility for the [murder]. If I lose my life, I can live with that." And an unnamed woman, when police in Appleton, Wisconsin, came in December to remove her children because of a complaint that she had given her 11-year-old daughter a "swirlie" (holding her head in a flushing toilet): "I haven't had a vacation in 13 years. Go ahead and take them."

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

In a December profile, the Village Voice touted the hand-carved potato dildos of California artist Pommela de Terre, who said spuds are more sensual than carrots or cucumbers, than clay or Play-Doh, or than candles or commercial dildos. De Terre adds lemon juice to prevent color change and olive oil for flexibility and said she has never had a potato break during use.

People Who Are Not Like You and Me

Subtenants Stuart and Susan Levy were at last fined $8,000 in December by a New York appeals court, but not before they had refused to move from their rented Manhattan apartment for 11 years after being given their 30-day notice to vacate by the tenant, who said in March 1985 that she needed to move back in. Because of the Levys' delay tactics, it took seven years for the principal tenant even to get a formal ruling that the Levys had to move. After that, the Levys stalled for four more years by claiming that the principal tenant should pay all of their legal fees for the 11-year battle.

Also, in the Last Month...

A Canadian judge denied a work permit to an "unqualified" immigrant stripper, saying she had worked only topless in Romania while the Canadian job required full nudity. Britain's nuclear agency said a Christmas kids' exhibit built by Dounreay nuclear power employees was safe despite its consisting of containers that once held radioactive waste. A one-year-old girl, idly punching numbers on a telephone key pad, hit 911, bringing police to her home, where her father was hiding out on a parole violation (Winnipeg, Manitoba).

-- By Chuck Shepherd


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