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Archive for November, 2009


Friday, November 27th, 2009

In recent months there’s been a rash of stories about animals getting their heads stuck in things.

Admittedly, these stories have surfaced only on slow news days, like, say, while we’re waiting for Obama to clue us in on Afghanistan. A reporter’s gotta come up with something while Barry keeps us hanging about troop numbers. I think that’s why we got the news about the raccoon with his head stuck in a peanut butter jar.

Then I heard about a hedgehog who got a yogurt container stuck on her head. That story slipped into headline position when people needed a break from the health care debate for a couple days. In a related story, a squirrel was caught on video, also wearing a yogurt container. Either he was bored with acorns and sampling dairy, or maybe, after he’d got his head un-stuck from a vodka botle,  he was wearing the squirrel equivalent of a lampshade. (You decide: click here.)

One week, when there was no tasty news about some governor having an affair, reporters seized on the story of that elk wearing a bar stool. This story has juice: how did that happen? Was he the loser in a bar fight? The elk story stirred almost as much discussion as Tiger Woods.

But maybe the most intriguing was the news about the cow who somehow got her head stuck in a washing machine. For a brief time, when Sarah Palin was neither resigning nor promoting a book, reporters loved this. It was such a refreshing change from covering the antics of humans.


Aussie Drinking Crackdown

Monday, November 16th, 2009



I just read a very upsetting news story.

The Australian police, fed up with alcohol-related violence at car racing events, are cracking down. At the recent Bathurst 1000, a three-day race in the town of that name, they decided to set some fun-killing limits: only 24 cans of beer per person per day. I mean, for Pete’s sake, we all know the fun doesn’t start till 25, right? Am I right?

Just when I was gonna cash in some mileage and head to Bratwurst, or whatever it’s called, for some awesome party time, I have to ask, what’s the point? I mean I might as well stay here and go to a damn Rams game (or are we the Vikings ? The L.A. Colts? I can never remember) where they no such limits and better hot dogs.

Not to mention the Aussies are limiting wine, too: don’t try to show up with more than four litres per person. I know, so what’s a litre, right? Don’t the Aussies speak English? Well, I Googled it: a litre is 33 ounces, roughly, so each person is limited to  uh, what’s 33 times 4?…uh, well you get the picture. It’s downright Draconian, if you ask me. If I imposed those limits on my book group, they’d never come over.

For a bunch of people who go around saying “cheers” all the time, you’d never guess Australians could be such party poopers.


Glow-In-The-Dark Gefilte Fish

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

I am sometimes accused of unnecessary gefilte fish-bashing. This is because, although I have never actually eaten the stuff, I just find it, you know, gross, to the point of being comical, so I write about it in scathing terms occasionally.

I know I should make an effort to choose more challenging subjects: it’s so easy to pick on gefilte fish. But then I heard this story in the news about a certain young woman in England who had an unusual encounter with the fish, and I just can’t help myself.

It seems Jessica Taylor went to the fridge for a midnight snack, her heart set on scarfing down a little gefilte fish. (Okay, time out. I can think of lots of things I’d like to eat at midnight, most of them in the chocolate family. Why gefilte fish at that hour, a food that has been known to cause nightmares? I know you’re with me on this.) Anyway, Jessica Taylor opened the fridge and found that her midnight snack was glowing in the dark. Witnesses (the mom and dad) were summoned and they confirmed: the gefilte fish was “brighter than a glow stick.”

A spokesperson for the Moshe company, who distributes the fish, said that maybe it had consumed some phosphorus before it got gefilted, but that in any case the family should have brought it in for testing if they wanted a refund or an apology. Then the Moshe man offered his personal theory on the glow-fish:  “It was an act of God.”

Now, I would never presume to know what’s on God’s agenda, but it’s my guess that, with all the other crap She’s dealing with right now, setting fish aglow is probably low on Her list of priorities.

Until Moshe’s company finds a better explanation for this phenomenon, I’ve got myself one new, compelling reason to avoid eating (and to ridicule) gefilte fish.