NewsQuirks 373

ONE'S PLENTYA Philadelphia charity that gave away 42,000 pounds of sweet potatoes last year arranged to have 44,000 more yams delivered this June for another giveaway. Trucks from North Carolina dumped the sweet potatoes in the parking lot of the Community Associates of Strawberry Mansion. Director Liz Bacone said she expected a large turnout, but only 500 people signed up to take some yams home. After six days, neighbors began complaining about the smell. City-dispatched trash trucks took a whole day to haul away the rotting 40-ton pile.MARK YOUR CALENDARSThe Andrology Institute, a private reproductive firm in Lexington, Ky., reported that its survey determined the time when most people are likely to be having sex is 10:34 p.m. Glamour magazine announced the best month to have sex is October, explaining, it's "the annual peak of testosterone in men."GOTTA LEGISLATECalifornia Senate Majority Leader Henry Mello proposed a bill that would appropriate $132,000 a year for removing tattoos from young people. An aide explained the bill was aimed especially at youths released from the California Youth Authority who emerge with tattoos in visible places -- hands, face and neck -- that make finding jobs difficult. The conservative newsletter Inside California objected to the legislation, declaring, "Tattoos help identify criminal suspects."Belgian agricultural minister Karel Pinxten proposed banning camel and ostrich racing, even though neither occurs anywhere in Belgium.During a deadlock over the legitimacy of Taiwan's new cabinet, Fu Kun-cheng, deputy whip of the opposition New Party, got into an argument with Shen Chih-hui of the ruling Nationalist Party over who should address Parliament first. When Shen refused to let go of a tag giving her priority over Fu, he bit her on the hand and kneed her in the thigh. After order was restored, the New Party said it would replace Fu as whip.IN THE DRIVER'S SEATJose Pinto, who is 95 percent blind, drove himself to work for three years until Madrid police arrested him this spring after receiving a tip-off from his employer, Spain's National Organization of the Blind. Records showed police stopped him the year before for not having a license, but they never noticed his poor eyesight. Pinto explained he found his way through seven miles of city streets each day by avoiding shapes and shadows. Arresting officers reported his car had no dents or scratches.Wendy Maines was driving through Versailles, N.Y., in January when she saw five dogs attacking a cat. She stopped to rescue the cat, scaring off the dogs by honking her horn and slamming the door. Figuring the cat had run into the woods, she started to drive off but felt a bump. It was the cat, now flat, she admitted, adding, "Maybe it was just Mother Nature's way of telling me to mind my own business."CAN'T BE TOO CAUTIOUSAlerted to 64 tiny piles of white powder along a 2.2-mile stretch of streets between San Marino and Pasadena, Calif., authorities dispatched a hazardous materials team and warned area pet owners of a possible attempt to poison animals. After spending six hours cleaning up the still-unidentified substance, officials were informed the powder was ordinary baking flour marking a trail for a race. "It was biodegradable," said Rick Muller of race organizer the Hash House Harriers club. "We thought the reaction was very amusing." Authorities thought otherwise, although Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Nestor admitted the runners broke no laws.IT HAD TO BE EWEPolice in Palmerston North, New Zealand, arrested Shane Patrick Neho, 17, and a younger accomplice for breaking into Barbarella's sex shop. The suspects fled with a blow-up woman, a female mannequin dressed in rubber underwear, a large drinking mug shaped like a vagina and an inflatable sheep. "We have not yet ascertained why a sex shop should be stocking blow-up sheep," Sgt. Ollie Outrim told the New Zealand Herald, "especially as Palmerston North has a large sheep population."THE NAME GAMEOft-convicted flasher Ubiquitous Perpetuity God, 68, who was arrested again for exposing himself in San Rafael, Calif., last February, disclosed that he changed his name to give his victims "some type of awareness of God."Dallas police arrested an 18-year-old Roadway Express loading-dock worker who tried to cash a check made out to his employer by presenting a photo ID as proof that he was indeed "Roadway V. Express." The Western Union clerk told the man, "OK, Mr. Express, I'll be right back," explaining he had to get the money from another room, where he called police.Two Minnesota counties failed to meet the state's deadline for renaming 19 natural geographical features that include the term "squaw." Koochiching County said any changes the state wanted were the state's responsibility, not its. Lake County tried to change Squaw Creek and Squaw Bay to "Politically Correct Creek" and "Politically Correct Bay," but the state rejected them, and the county did not resubmit names in time. The state's anti-"squaw" law was passed last year after high school students testified they had traced the word to a French corruption of an Iroquois slang term for the vagina.The British town of Scunthorpe was banned from cyberspace for containing a certain four-letter combination that Internet censors forbid. After blocking e-mail containing the term, Internet provider America Online advised users intent on mentioning the place to spell it "Sconthorpe."PLEASE PEE HEREAn Irish intercity bus passing through Tuam, County Galway, stopped to let passengers use the public toilet. Finding the facility closed for demolition, one woman went to the rear of the building, which is located on the bank of the river Nanny. As she stooped to go, she lost her balance and fell into the river. Two men working in the yard of a nearby hardware store heard her cries for help and rescued her. "We got her dried up as well as we could," said store worker Padraig Glynn, "and the other passengers on the bus then used our toilets." Councilor Joe Burke said the incident highlighted the need for a public toilet in Tuam, declaring, "People passing through the town should be able to attend to their bodily functions with dignity, and they should not need to bring a change of clothes with them."Compiled by Roland Sweet from the nation's press. Send clippings, citing source and date, to POB 8130, Alexandria VA 22306.

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