anna's archive anna's archive anna's archive



[IMG: Newspaper article - 'Man offers squirrels in prostitution sting']

-- These are some of the earlier editions of the Clippings, before I began doing them more regularly and, sadly, before I started making sure I kept copies of all the items. Anything else that isn't shown here has been lost in the mists of time. If you still have copies of any of these items, please send them to me.




Before 1999


24 January 1997

A repairman came to Cassano's Pizza and Subs to fix the Dayton, Ohio, establishment's oven. When he decided to check the vent on the roof, he found the problem. A corpse was blocking the vent. It wasn't readily apparent whose body it was or how long it had been there, but authorities believe the man was a would-be burglar.

Timothy White worked at a balloon and costume shop and was a part-time comedian. As one of the gags with which he entertained tellers at the Mellon Bank in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he put on a ski mask while the teller at the drive-up window's back was turned. White then pointed a comb at her and demanded money. The teller, he said, "looked at me and her eyes got real big and then she laughed". While he was keeping the pose so other tellers could have a look, a woman in another car rang the police, who showed up in droves. He faces a $300 fine.

Early 1999


Sometime in early 1999

Because idiots often amuse me except when I'm they or in their wake, I found funny the AP report of the resolution of a Honolulu 911 call. On reaching the target apartment, where an elderly woman lived, police found Denny Usui at the door. When the police asked to see the woman, his grandmother, Usui said she wasn't at home. When the officers insisted on talking to her, Usui changed tack, they reported: 'Oh, I think she's dead', he offered, adding: 'She's in the shower.'
He was correct about the whereabouts and moribundity of the woman, who was 'neatly covered' with a blanket. Idiot Usui reportedly said that 'I don't want to say anything else until I speak to my attorney because this is a felony and I never committed a murder before'.

The US's National Atomic Museum decided to stop selling earrings shaped like Fat Man and Little Boy. The silver miniatures were the most popular jewellery item the museum store sold, according to manager Tony Sparks. The earrings sold out on Friday morning.
Friday's decision to discontinue sales of the earrings followed complaints from anti-nuclear-stuff group Gensuikyo. Museum director Jim Walther said, 'The foundation just decided since it's a sensitive day [the anniversary of Hiroshima's bombing] and there's so much concern, it just wasn't worth the bad feelings'.

Also in the news, as Clinton and Barak met in Washington, a Reuters report describes how Clinton's remark that he felt 'eager as a kid with a new toy' was read by Israeli reporters, one of whom asked Clinton 'What kind of ... game do you want to play with him?'
The US President went on at some length, saying of the idiom, 'In English, what that means is that you are very excited. It has no reference to the prime minister. I would never do that', he said. Clinton continued, 'If I were taking a trip to Hawaii, I might say I'm as excited as a kid with a new toy. Doesn't mean I think Hawaii's a toy, if you see what I mean'.
Barak said he took the remark to be an 'innocent, favourable statement'; he added, of his own feeling, 'I feel like someone who got the mission of defusing a time bomb'. He didn't add that Clinton is as a kid with a time bomb to play with.

? SomeOtherMonth 1999

In the Czech Republic they're doing nude weather reports. Prague's TV Nova's 11pm slot features a naked voluptuos woman (or, more recently, a muscular man) who proceeds to do a reverse striptease as the forecast is read. The clothes used are appropriate to the weather that is being predicted.
This has helped TV Nova's ratings.

And here's to the horrible. It's my fault. When I griped about AOL, it heard me and offered WebTV. I didn't learn, for I griped about WebTV. It's my fault.
Mattel announced that it plans to offer computers that are tied to its Barbie line of toys and its Hot Wheels toy cars. The brightly coloured PCs will sell for $599, thanks to an agreement with Patriot Computers.
Each computer will include a 333 MHz Celeron processor, a 15-inch monitor, a 56K modem, a 3-gigabyte hard drive, and Windows 98. But the fun part is that the Barbie PC will be silver with pink and purple flowers. And it comes with the Barbie Riding Club CD-ROM, among other titles. The Hot Wheels PC will be blue and gold. It will come with a Hot Wheels steering wheel.

July 1999


19 July 1999

When the .nz parliament asked the Inland Revenue what criteria it uses for tax-deductibility, the department supplied 35000 pages of regs. Included, perhaps unsurprisingly, are rules for prostitutes. (This is quite common, allowing someone to be charged with tax fraud in addition to other stuff. Every once in a while, someone does pay the US drug dealing tax.) The rules specify that work-related bubble bath, condoms, whipped cream, lubricants, lingerie, and see-through clothing are tax-deductible. However, 'ordinary stockings are not tax deductible but patterned stockings used for work are', according to the Washington Post, which researches such things for the benefit of tireless annas and their friends.

In other news, has anything ever inspired you to action? Then you might understand something of the woman who made Colorado headlines recently for suing a Denver Six Flags amusement park. Her claim is that she sustained head injuries since she was not strapped in securely when she went for a ride there two years ago. Deborah Lee Benagh said, 'I could have a conversation with someone and turn around and have no memory of it'. In case you think she lost her mind in a nonspecific way, she clarified, 'I would lose time. I'd be standing at the stove with a spice in my hand and couldn't remember if I'd used it or not'. The 44-year-old nutter(Am I writing a news item? No.)'s ride was called the Mind Eraser.

August 1999


? August 1999

You ought to use Charter One Bank or just borrow this little lady's credit card. Alessandra Scalise recently received her first credit card. The Rochester, NY, Alessandra was aided substantially by her mother Antonia, who filled out the credit card application for her. Truthful statements on the form included that Alessandra was 3 years of age, that her occupation was 'preschooler', and that she wanted the card though 'my mommy says no'. When the card arrived, Antonia was somewhat miffed that its $5000 credit limit was greater than the limit for herself and her husband. The humour may have been lost on the bank, who revoked the account shortly after Alessandra's parents taught her to say 'Charge it' and made this and the other facts of the story known.

In every country along the line of totality, the television controllers were going wild with enthusiasm. A UK supplier of telescopes asks us to imagine the consternation of the controllers at the technical operations centre of the television service of a country somewhere near the Black Sea. It seems they switched over to the cameras which had been allocated to the eclipse, upon which they found that the camera crews were busy filming a porno film. They had completely forgotten the eclipse.

18 August 1999

Former US Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders recently visited Butte, Montana, to help in a project aimed at restoring the Dumas Brothel. The International Sex Workers Union hope to turn the brothel, closed in 1982, into a museum. Elders also dedicated a 1935 postcard to the brothel. The card, found in the brothel, shows a man, woman, and car. Reading 'Safety First, Carry a Spare', it has a condom attached where the car's spare tyre was.
Elders told the sex workers, to 'keep working. It's controversy that gets the press. You know I know that.'

31 August 1999

If her foray into the world of computers wasn't enough to prove Barbie a contender in the Real World, how about Surgical Barbie? Jane Bahor, a North Carolina researcher, reported her discovery that the doll's knee joints make ideal knuckles for prosthetic fingers.
The university researcher came up with the idea in co-operation with engineering student Jennifer Jordan, who wanted her own prosthetic fingers to work better. Since first examining Jordan's dolls, Bahor has used the knees of old Barbies for about a dozen patients' fingers. Others are now carrying the idea across the country.
'After all these years of being maligned' as fostering unhealthy body image, Bahor said, 'she's finally come up with a social conscience'.
Those Barbies with fixed-position knees instead of ratchet joints are less useful to Bahor, who presumably has few plans for head transplants. Mattel, hoping to keep Bahor from mutilating more dolls, sent Bahor a bag full of unsolicited Barbie parts. 'Everybody here is really excited that Barbie not only brings joy to little girls but also can help adults who have had accidents', said Mattel spokesbeing Lisa McKendall.

And for those who want a more intelligent role model than Barbie, there is the Mexican who recently came up with the idea of impersonating a US citizen in order to get over the border. However, he chose poorly. 'This guy basically cloned the identity of a wanted fugitive', a Customs Service representative told the Associated Press. He described the attempt as 'kind of a loser thing to do'.

September 1999


3 September 1999

A special Darwin edition of Anna's News Clippings:

The benefit of chain email [compiled from AP and Reuters reports and reliable memory]

Joshua Ladran suffered death by urban legend on 27th July.
The insurance salesman from Fresno, California, was the victim of killers inspired by a popular urban legend. His friends found him in a bathtub filled with cold water - but he was the only one to have had a hand in his death. He had been drinking the previous night and, police reports indicate, apparently decided it would be a cool idea to remove his own kidney for sale 'on the black market'. He fell unconscious and drowned in the ice-filled tub. Officers found a bread knife, a container filled with aspirin pills, and a sewing kit next to the body.
Initially officers assumed the death to be a simpler alcohol-related tragedy, but Benjamin Trudel explained that he had been discussing the kidney thieves urban legend at length with Ladran on the night of the 26th. Trudel speculated that Ladran may have been trying to regain some of the money he had recently lost in 'day trading' online. Indeed, Ladran supposedly placed an ad on the eBay auction site. Bidding on a 'full, funtional kidney' was set to start at $30000. 'You can choose either kidney. Buyer pays all transplant and medical costs. Of course only one for sale as I need the other one to life. Serious bids only', spake the advert.
The item has since been pulled by eBay, who are probably sick of negative publicity - but not before bids reached $5.7. It is unknown what whether or not there will be a 'two for the price of one' offer for Ladran's kidneys.

Poor eBay
Steve Westly, the vice president of eBay, had an 'easy out': in the US, trafficking in human organs is a felony with a minimum price tage of five years in prison and fines of at least $50000. He said, 'eBay has zero tolerance for illegal items on the site'.
Further thoughts were added by eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove, who said, 'Any time you have an open trading environment, with almost six million registered users, you're likely to see somebody who tries to bend the rules, or to pull a prank on their fellow users'. Other recent eBay items have included a package consisting of a dozen programmers, engineers, and managers; a trojan horse which can be used in eBay item descriptions, and probably other weird stuff I've missed hearing about. As far as human organ sales are concerned, 'It happens very rarely, and when it does we are on top of it right away', Westly said.
Body parts are on eBay's list of prohibited items. After attempted sale of a rocket launcher and a bazooka, eBay also banned guns and ammunition.

A Hartford, Connecticut, couple knew they needed not be forever bound by debt, by their $54000 mortgage. Norman and Melissa Cameron's explanation of their American dream to the Federal National Mortgage Association was inspirational; it certainly took an FNMA lawyer aback. Their claim, in response to foreclosure proceedings, was that 'It was our desire to be free from this mortgage debt'. They told the court, 'Therefore we asked God our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. He heard us and he freed us from this mortgage bondage'.

6 September 1999

Take this report for what it's worth. It is the story of a man trying to find himself. Our South Carolina hero appears to be a drifter named Lenny Savino or Daniel. He had stayed for a month with a Hare Krishna community in Miami, Florida, where he enjoyed communing with nature and writing in his journal, but he left, perhaps because he didn't really like the sect's dietary restrictions, 4:00am wake-up time, and doctrine on alcohol, sex, and gambling. Hare Krishna priest Paul Seaur said he preferred to meditate in the chapel while listening to heavy metal.
After leaving the community in spring, he said 'I want to be free. I want to travel around' and then took a vow of silence. In his travels, he completed a three-day sentence in Indian River County Jail for stealing a candy bar from a 7-11 shop. (A Vero Beach officer reported that he denied the charge in writing, resuming his vow of silence for the court date.)
We join him three days later, where he entered Sea World and stayed near the whale pools, evading security officers when it reached the 10:00pm closing time. The man stripped to his swimming trunks and negotiated a 3-foot plexiglas barrier and a stone wall; then he climbed into the 80x100-foot pool of killer whale Tillikum. At 7:35am an employee noticed a naked body adorning the whale. The cause of death was reported to be hypothermia or drowning. The sheriff's office for Orlando reported that marks on the body were probably due to the body being dragged along the bottom of the tank.

30 September 1999

Oh .my God
We know how to react to email on kidney theft and AIDS needles at the cinema: extract the toenails of the urban legend propagator. Although people in Malaysia are familiar with tales of hantu kum-kum (a purdah- subscribing woman who kidnaps newborn babies), they are now having to deal with legends given wing by the Internet. There have even been riots because of this one. One man refuses to drink water.
The idea is simple enough, that Christians are being quite zealous in their attempts to convert university students, to the extent of putting holy water in water coolers and public drinks receptacles. Muslims are warned to keep a close eye on their drinking and bathing water, especially if strangers - who could be priests - are lurking in the area.
For proof of the success of this frightening approach, the anonymous author tells how his own university now has a church to cater to the inadvertent kafir.

It's not a picnic with Mark Thomas wannabe
During a Clinton family picnic on the White House south lawn, Investor's Business Daily bureau chief Paul Sperry took 10 minutes from President Clinton's socialising and hand-shaking with members of the press. Sperry asked him when he would have his next press conference. When Clinton asked why, Sperry said 'The American people have a lot of unanswered questions'. After Clinton asked his hole deeper and Sperry answered 'questions about illegal money from China and the campaign finance scandal', Clinton said that no-one else has asked about the wayward money.
As his face reddened, the President took the opportunity to subtly crash into a diatribe about Waco, guns, the FBI, and Republicans. For good measure, Clinton put his hands on either side of his head, wiggled his fingers, rolled his eyes, and pulled a face at Sperry. It's a good thing the President had made sure there were photographers at the picnic.
In the aftermath, Clinton ordered Sperry banned from near him. White House press secretary Joe Lockhart, bemoaning the picnic being turned into a political event, told an associate that Sperry is a 'class A shit-head'. She said Sperry will never be invited back to the White House.
Although Sperry said the incident left him 'woozy' for some hours, he did not feel intimidated by 'the most powerful man in the world'. 'He's only about a half an inch taller than I am', Sperry said.

Fries with that?
In Friday's Washington Post we hear of the other white meat. Turn your attention to the urban legend made fact. The month-old baby boy was found dead in a microwave oven yesterday in a Lanexa, Virginia, home. Joseph Lewis Martinez had burns consistent with those a microwave would produce, said Marcella F. Fierro, the state's chief medical examiner.
The New Kent County Sheriff's Department said a deputy responded at about 5:45am to a 'missing infant' call. They found the baby in the microwave in a one-story home where the baby lived with his young parents, said a neighbour. The anonymous neighbour added that the couple were friendly and that the father had said a week earlier that 'it was a good baby'.
Later there were reports that the baby's sister, who is epileptic, claimed to have had a seizure when putting the baby's bottle in the microwave. She did not specify whether or not she was seized by hatred of dribbly infants or merely seized by hunger.

October 1999


7 October 1999

Studies show the effects of boxing...
Boxer Daniel Caruso decided to prepare well for the Golden Gloves fight in New York City, taking the exampe of former champion Marvin Hagler, known for punching himself in the face. Just before the fight was due to begin, Caruso had to bow out, suffering from a broken nose.
In other news, boxer Thomas Hearns hired Harold Rossfield Smith as his chief financial advisor. Smith had just spent five years in prison for embezzlement of US$21 million from the Wells Fargo Bank.

And throw away the key
In Hermiston, Oregon, police were investigating the scene of a bank robbery when they heard a man crying for help. They followed the emanations to a car trunk, where Lucas Winters was locked. A police spokkesman said, 'We think he wanted to do a quick change, get out of the trunk, and walk off in a new disguise'. However, 'he got accidentally locked inside'. Winters is being charged with bank robbery.

The 'B' ark
If you want to go on a Caribbean cruise and can't find suitable company, how about taking the example of over 200 passengers who will set sail in March from Miami, Florida, on the 'NowAge 2000 Healing Cruise'? Take a dead relative. These people have paid upward of US$1000 for the trip, which includes on-board lectures and other guidance from medium Suzane Northrop, who wrote 'The Seance: Healing Messages from the Beyond'. For those who happen to share the boat with this lot, their booking agent's representative, Cindy Clifford, said, 'Tough luck'.

Further insight into the criminal mind
Reports were confirmed that Michael Coulter was arrested for shoplifting. After stealing shoes, socks, and boxer shorts in Cookstown, Ireland, he was quickly spotted and captured. Coulter, who may well be the tallest man in Ireland, is 7'5" tall.

11 October 1999

The wild west, where booze-swiling, foul-mouthed men of the land do their thang far from the land of the pasty white, fainting lilies of Washington, DC, - sort of... Leonard Carlo's Colorado bar was rough 'n' ready. The toilet signs 'Fucking Women' and 'Fucking Men' and 27 other signs, such as 'No fucking tap or draw beer', draw the attention of a state liquor agency representative. Carlo said 'The mother fucker came in like a German storm trooper. He walked in my door and started ripping signs off my fucking walls'. The agent confiscated the signs but left Carlo's US Constitution and 10 Commandments posters.
Carlo's rebuttal included the statement 'If you walk in and see "fuck" and you don't like it, get the fuck out. There's 700 bars in town' and the statement on his bald head - a tattoo reading 'Fuck U. Leave me the fuck alone'. He issued the challenge, 'Now, mother fucker, take that one!'

A Swiss-American boy has been jailed for sexual harassment. The 11-year-old is awaiting trial for crimes a neighbour saw him perpetrate against his younger sister. The neighbour saw him help her urinate in the garden and rang the police because of this perverted behaviour.

It seems like a tongue-in-cheek comment on the millennium bug. In Maine, several hundred owners of 2000 model cars found that their state-issued car titles were for 'horseless carriages'. After reading the last two digits of '2000', the computer applied the 'horseless carriage' designation, which is stil on the books for application, typically, for cars used in parades or car shows. The state is sending out new titles.

17 October 1999

Remember Columbine...? Dylan Klebold's parents plan to sue the county for not keeping their gun-toting son away from gun-toting schoolmate Eric Harris's bad influence. But sheriff John Stone will do his best to ensure that the case is not an open-and-shut one. He said, 'It's their parenting thing, not our fault for their kid doing this thing'.

In Plymouth, Wisconsin, two bored cousins decided to see what it would feel like to be shot. The 17-year-olds were well on their way to finding out when an older relative intervened, offering to do it for them. Both were shot in the leg, and the older man was arrested. Although the teenagers didn't die, it could have been worse; they could have decided to procreate due to boredom.

Moe is 'a good citizen' who has become 'a political prisoner' according to residents of West Covina, California.
Moe the chimp got in trouble for biting people, including a cop and an animal control worker. He is in quarantine pending decision of what to do with him. After St. James and LaDonna Davis took him from Africa 30 years ago when his mother was killed by poachers, local officials tried to remove Moe from the town, but a judge ruled that he 'was somewhat better behaved than some people'. Moe's situation has gripped the town.
'I want our family back together', Mrs. Davis sobbed. The like-minded carried 'W. Covina Loves Moe' and 'Moe is a political prisoner' signs. Citing the chimp's help at parades and in selling Girl Scout cookies, some said he is indispensable to the community. One dissenter is a community relations officer whose fingernail, Moe's friends claim, resembled candy...

In other family news, George Telidis is not alone in being an energetic soccer dad. Some think he went overboard by leaping from his seat to punch a member of the opposing team in the mouth.
However, he may be alone in deciding to sue the school board for depriving him of his liberty and violating his constitutional rights. What he means is that he is annoyed that he won't be allowed to attend his son's future games.

If this doesn't surprise you, perhaps the next item won't either. I was favourably impressed with what I saw of people who fight US wildfires. Their tactics may be great, but their equipment has been called into question. Tent-like emergency shelters have been credited with saving 250 lives from heat since their introduction in 1977, but a US Forest Service research team has found that the shelters do not protect very well against flame; instead they 'fill with a highly flammable toxic smoke, which can ignite into a fireball'. A good quote from the AP report is: 'we've always said it's important to keep the shelter out of flames, and now we know why'.

25 October 1999

Other than that it took place in California, it's someone's dream come true. A woman on the fifth floor rang technical support. We don't know what was wrong with her computer, but a tech support worker came up from the second floor to fix the problem. He took the elevator, calmly approached the woman, stabbed her twice with a small blade - perhaps a Leatherman or similar multi-tool - and left the building. (The denouement is predictable: police shot him when he didn't follow their instructions to drop the knife.)

According to the Times, when Roland Tough took his film to Tesco's for developing, employees looking through the prints (as one does) noticed snapshots of the men who had robbed the store two weeks earlier. Tough had taken the photos, which included the loot, to impress friends in prison. He will now join them for six years.

Jim Brown, inducted into the US Football Hall of Fame, claims that his most recent legal sentence was issued by a racist judge.
Brown, who has several times before run afoul of laws on violence against women, was convicted of damaging his wife's car in a fit of anger. (Her refusal to testify cleared him of the charge of threatening to kill her.) The judge sentenced him to 400 hours of community service, which Brown said shows prejudice agaisnt blacks. He said he will not 'clean trash on the freeway'. This is 'cruel and unusual punishment'.

In the course of protesting a ban on leaping off cliffs with a parachute at the Grand Canyon a woman tried to prove the practice safe. The 60-year-old woman failed in her attempt.

William Woods's trial has been delayed because he was called for jury duty at the Ottawa courthouse - for his own trial. His defense lawyer said 'He should have gone out and bought a lottery ticket'. (Canadian criminal trial jury pools - lots of 250 - are selected at random from lists of voters.)
Woods fit the preliminary criteria for serving at his trial for dangerous driving causing bodily harm, but he knew the principals in the case and had a vested interest in the outcome. The case was delayed due to concerns about what kind of interactions Woods may have had with other prospective jurors. An example, that 'he's in front of somebody in line to get coffee in the cafeteria ... and next week they're sitting in judgment of him', was provided by assistant Crown attorney Mark Holmes.

November 1999


2 November 1999

Back in 1923, some bright spark decided to have prison inmates build an electric chair. They actually did a reasonable job, giving Florida 'Old Sparky', which served in 238 fryings before being retired (something about flames shooting out of the heads of a couple recent occupants).
The Florida Department of Corrections has decided not to accept the offer of either of the museums who requested the unit. The owner of the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum said 'If some of these kids could see the chair, or sit in it, look at it, their thoughts might change if they thought about putting on a trench coat, putting a gun under it, and going out'. He assured the state that it would be displayed in a tasteful manner.

In related news, again showing good taste in Florida, Thomas Provenzano killed a bailiff 15 years ago. His execution, finally due, was delayed when he claimed to be Jesus Christ. This, some say, proves that he is mentally ill and therefore not an appropriate member of death row. Howard Futch asked his colleagues in the state house of representatives, 'Why don't we just crucify him? I'd make him a cross and we could take it out there [to death row] and nail him up'. Constituents have called the comment 'crass'.

There must be something in the water. Herman Hill decided he needed a disguise. The robber waited until he was in the Florida convenience store to select his disguise, a clear bin liner, which he pulled over his head for the benefit of security cameras and the clerk. After reviewing the security tapes, Hill was caught. A spokesman for the sheriff's office said it 'looked like a big prophylactic down to his waist'.

3 November 1999

News Supplement: crazy Americans

POLITICIANS (I did not do all of these write-ups myself and can't vouch for all of them)
First we look to 1996, when Republican Mark Althouse, 34, lost his bid for the state legislature from York, Pa., despite promising voters that he would regard a victory as a mandate to end his virginity and marry his girlfriend, Michelle Taylor. And Michael Gubash lost his state Senate bid in Minnesota, though he had had the foresight to create a fallback position in his campaign ads stating that, by the way, he was 'also seeking a faithful, devoted, obedient, God-fearing woman to be my wife'.

In September, Mickey Kalinay, 43, was defeated in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate in Wyoming, despite his tantalizing proposal to make the space program more efficient by constructing a 22,000-mile-high tower so that space stations can be accessed by electromagnetic rail cars.

The candidates for Oregon Senate, District 8, include Thomas Wilde, a Democrat who, if he wins the primary in May, will face his wife, Republican Melinda Wilde, in the general election. (Thomas started out as Melinda's campaign manager but discovered that the two hardly agreed on anything.) And running for the Missouri Senate seat from Concordia are husband Al (Democrat) and wife Janette Hanson (Republican), who both face challengers in the August primary. Then there's Bill Yellowtail, running for the U.S. House from Montana, who was revealed to have had his Montana state senate pay docked in the 1980s for child-support payments and to have kept secret his expulsion from Dartmouth College for burglary convictions. This leads to the 'brilliant' California Republican Sen. Don Rogers, who, facing bankruptcy four years ago, filed a declaration denying that he owed the $150000 in federal taxes that the government claimed. The reason, he wrote, was that he was not a 'citizen' under the 14th amendment to the US Constitution because that provision applies only to former slaves; rather, Rogers said he possessed a 'white man's citizenship'. This year Rogers renounced the declaration, claiming he had received bad tax advice. Then we have the political candidate who dies during the campaign but still wins, as did the late Don Gnirk, who turned back challenger Bert Olson in a South Dakota state senate primary in June.

Italy (I may have the wrong country here) once had a porn actress make it into their government. Time for the US to get in the act. Former prostitute Jessi Winchester, 53, announced in February that she would soon file papers declaring her candidacy for Congress from Nevada's 2nd District. (According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the highest-ranking elected ex-prostitute was Sausalito, Calif., mayor Sally Stanford in 1972.) And Mistress Madison, 32, a San Diego dominatrix who operates the Slave Cave and runs a phone-sex service, is running for Congress in this month's primary under the banner of Ross Perot's Reform Party. And dominatrix and former stripper Madame Lash, 50, has campaigned vigorously around Sydney in her quest for an Australian Senate seat in this month's elections.

1996 seems to have been a very good year for weird senate races such as this one. Colorado Senate candidate Laurie Bower, after weeks of bashing her opponent, incumbent Dave Wattenberg, abruptly changed her mind during a radio program on the Saturday before Election Day, quit the race, and endorsed Wattenberg, saying he would do a better job than she would. And there was Democrat Teresa Obermeyer, who lost a US Senate race in Alaska to incumbent Ted Stevens with a campaign performance that some journalists likened more to stalking than to running for office. The bulk of Obermeyer's platform was the role Stevens allegedly played in keeping Obermeyer's husband from becoming a lawyer, for example blaming Stevens for Mr. Obermeyer's failing the bar exam 22 times.

And in 1994, candidates included Leslie Elaine Perez, at 56 the leading vote-getter in the March primary to head the Texas Democratic Party organization in Houston. She is a convicted murderer whose death penalty was stayed at the last minute in 1963. She was paroled in 1971. (Perez is the former Leslie Douglas Ashley, having switched genders shortly after his/her release.) And ex-state senator George Hohman still owes almost half of the $20000 fine he was assessed on a 1981 bribery conviction. He is running again for the Alaska Senate because, he said, it was the only way he knew to get enough money to pay the fine.

In Salem, Oregon, in 1992, former Baptist minister Joe Lutz withdrew from the US Senate race in January, saying that his 'family values' campaign had lost credibility because he had abandoned his wife to marry another woman and was reportedly $2000 behind in child support payments.

29 November 1999

Following the example of Americans who create jobs for themselves on their way to an American Dream, Jun Sato made a job for himself in downtown Tokyo. He stands by the street in protective padding and offers passersby the loan of boxing gloves. He charges 1000 yen for a three-minute pummeling. He describes 'being used as a punching bag' as a favourable experience and 'another way to experience life'. The 25-year-old man said, 'I want to continue as long as my body holds up'.

For those of you who haven't seen many Taco Bell adverts or who have suppressed the memory of them, their mascot is a Chihuahua who says 'Yo quiero Taco Bell' ('I want Taco Bell' as translated by newbies). With that background, put yourself behind the eyes of the man in the Corvallis, Oregon, Taco Bell's parking lot.
When his Jeep was rear-ended, Tinker Melonuk stepped from behind the wheel to confront the aggressive Chrysler's driver, who turned out to be a chihuahua. 'If this dog's mouth moves, I'm getting out of here', the Baptist minister reported thinking.
The incident did not occur because dog owner Connie Sies had too much faith in dog. She was just clutzy or dumb when she stopped to get the animal some Chicken McNuggets at the McDonald's across the road. She probably stopped too far from the window, for she tried to lean out of her car to pay. She let her foot slip off the brake pedal. After that, the driver, with one paw off the wheel, eased the car between a telephone pole and a tree and across five lanes of traffic before coming to a stop at Melonuk's Jeep.
The 77-year-old said that she simply wanted 'Mr. Chips' back after the ordeal. When she and her companion were reunited, 'he licked me and licked me'.

December 1999


6 December 1999

Readers of previous Anna's News Clippings mailings may have the idea that residents of Florida are all retirees who don't get out much, so this item's purpose is to give a balanced view of Floridians. With recent flooding near De Bary, several concerned motorists rang emergency services to report the plight of a cow in a nearby field. Several cars stopped while drivers tried to figure out how to rescue the cow from drowning/wading up to its knees. To prevent further traffic jams, the state's Highway Patrol put up an electronic sign saying 'The Cow is OK'. Evenings came and mornings followed. Traffic jammed again because drivers wanted to get a look at the OK cow, which was no longer standing there.

It is easier for Canadians to find something to do. Barbara Lewis was recently found to have kept her former son-in-law as a sex slave for her family. The 47-year-old's family had fun with Robert Lee Warner for at least four years before his death.
Two members of the family have already been convicted, and another is likely to be extradicted after his return to Canada. Since the Canadian's body was badly enough decomposed that the coroner could not determine the cause of death, the three family members were charged only with harbouring an illegal alien in Rowena, South Dakota. The body was found buried behind the Lewis family's mobile home.
Steven Lewis's testimony against his mother indicated that the family dressed the man in pink lingerie and suspended him from the ceiling. They were in the habit of using carrots in unspecified sexual torture of the shackled man. They then made him eat dog food off their bodies. A police spokesman, in true spokesman fashion, said it was, like, the 'most totally heinous and bizarre' case he'd encountered.

Entertainment in Chester, Pennsylvania, is simpler. One thing to do on a quiet morning involves throwing petrol on a boy on his way to school, then lighting him.
The boy, Vincent, suffered burns to the back of his head and around his ears. He avoided further injury, said Weatherill Elementary School principal Marion Lane, by tearing off his jacket and rolling on the ground. The fourth grader's coat, hat, and bag were 'burned to ashes'. The principal took the opportunity to stress the importance of children learning fire safety.
There was apparently no provocation and no prior relationship between the perpetrator and Vincent. Camera footage of 33-year-old Kelly Chapman's earlier purchase of 85 cents' worth of petrol was quickly linked to the incident.

20 December 1999

'I like reptiles, especially sea crocodiles, although many of them don't make great house pets', said Erik Sprague. The 27-year-old philosophy student at the State University of New York in Albany has decided to begin a new life as a reptile. To this end, he has had bumps implanted in his forehead, his teeth sharpened, and green scales tattooed on his body.
He says he is not odd because many people tattoo themselves. He claims to be one of five people in the world who have had single-theme conversions and who now appear in side shows. The others chose a zebra, tiger, leopard, and a blue puzzle called The Enigma.
Sprague is taking time off from his studies to appear in circuses. His more mainstream circus talents are not as spectacular - tapping nails into his nostrils and sword-swallowing. Readers may not be so prepared to emulate his other talents, which include piercing his cheeks with needles, lifting car batteries with chains attached to his nipples, and swinging bar stools with ropes attached to his ears.

Robert Horton bailed his wife out of jail, but she threatened to skip a hearing, and he didn't want to see his money disappear. Shortly thereafter, wife Belinda appeared at the Phoenix, Arizona, courthouse, wrapped in duct tape.
Maricopa Sheriff's Department spokesman Sergeant Don Rosenberger said that on Monday Mr. Horton carried his wife through the door like a groom with a bride. Rosenberger said that Horton placed her on the court security officer's desk and said, 'Here she is'. He then asked for a wheelchair so he could take her to the courtroom. Deputies called the Phoenix Fire Department because they didn't want to hurt her by removing the tape themselves.
It was the wrong courthouse.
Also, the Hortons had not been notified that the hearing had been cancelled. Mrs. Horton would later have to face the charges, of obstructing a public thoroughfare, aggravated assault on a police officer, and resisting arrest.
Now the 52-year-old husband may come before a judge. The city police department will decide whether or not to file charges for the taping.

Following the October legalisation of brothels in the Netherlands, Yab Yum Brothels plan to open a branch next year at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. Yab Yum spokesman Theo Heuft said that people who have had stressful flights 'could pop in before going home to the lady wife'.
This will be a refined brothel. 'Passengers will be treated to a luxury welcome with champagne and caviar and can opt for a relaxing massage', Heuft said. He said he expects that the Yab Yum Caviar Club would target those with some time between their flights.
Local authorities do not appear to have a problem with the idea. The wait is due to building work in the airport's departure area.

30 December 1999

Before all the new year's news of plagues of frogs and of Toxico Megacorp destroying the last tree on the highway-encrusted planet, I had better get in these final items for 1999:

Tennessee parents have raised a fuss about the Christmas spirit of an Elizabethton High School anatomy class. The students used cat cadavers when making a Nativity scene. One dead cat was dressed up as Mary and another as Joseph. In addition to Jesus and the three wise cadavers, there was a haloed cat hanging from the ceiling. Local students were reported to be psychologically scarred by the incident.

And meanwhile 502 Iranians have pledged, perhaps even voluntarily, to sell one of their kidneys. The proceeds are earmarked for paying for the murderr of Salman Rushdie. This is according to the same prses who published the 'Rushdie must eat flaming death' edict a full 10 years ago. To see if they have finally found a way to get him or if this is merely hype, stay tuned.
Six Muslims from outside Iran have also made the pledge. It is legal to sell organs in Iran, but they have not made travel plans yet.




Nobody reads the small print anyway.

Want to see earlier clippings? Grovel. Not that that will help me find any...
If you, reader, happen to have one of the first editions, please send it to me.

If you want, you can look at more recent clippings.

Go to the Clippings index page

Go to Anna's main index page


© 2000 Anna Shefl