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Joe Bob's week in review

By JOE BOB BRIGGS   |   Aug. 16, 2002 at 7:59 PM
President Bush convened an economic forum at Waco's Baylor University, home of the Bears, instead of Chicago's United Center, home of the Bulls, then made a speech about economic policy that would be worthy of Canberra's soccer stadium, home of the Ostriches.

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The 41 members of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes were fired en masse when their union contract expired and were told that from now on there will be no permanent Rockettes jobs and that open auditions will be held for each show. The clear message from Radio City management: a varicose vein is not a crowd-pleaser no matter how high you can kick it.

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US Airways filed for bankruptcy, but assured consumers that its 3,800 flights would continue at the their customary level of service. Darn.

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Ed Headrick, the man who perfected the Frisbee, died in San Francisco at age 78 and left instructions for his ashes to be molded into Frisbees. Some of the mortuary Frisbees will be given to family members, and others will be sold to fund a Frisbee museum. The original flying disc, called the Pluto Platter, was invented by Walter Morrison after World War II, but it had a wobbly flight pattern. Headrick, working in research and development at Wham-O Inc., added aerodynamic ridges in 1964 and was awarded the patent for the first "professional" Frisbee in 1966. Okay, people, we know it's tempting, but let's not let this funeral get out of hand.

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Jennifer Lopez' new fragrance, Glow by J-Lo, may be laid low by a trademark suit filed by Glow Industries, a Los Angeles company which already sells bath and body-care products under the Glow name in Nordstrom stores and at boutiques in Ritz-Carlton hotels. With J-Lo's perfume expected to hit stores in September, this could get smelly. Our suggestion would be that she simply expand her line: Poe by J-Lo (for writers), Dough by J-Lo (for Wall Street), Yo by J-Lo (for Brooklyn), Faux by J-Lo (when you need to fake it), Fro by J-Lo (for that retro seventies feeling), Roe by J-Lo (for girls who love caviar), Schmo by J-Lo (special nerd fragrance), Cousteau by J-Lo (for the beach), Freak Show by J-Lo (for Dennis Rodman), Go-Go by J-Lo (for strippers), and the simple Ho by J-Lo, for when you just don't care.

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Adam Ant walked into a pub in north London wearing cowboy duds, causing the customers to whistle the theme to "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." The pop singer was not amused, left, returned later brandishing a starter's pistol, and threw a car alternator through the window of the pub. He pled guilty to a single count of brawling after being chased down by a posse, but he ain't takin' kindly to it.

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F-16s pursued a UFO over the Washington area, according to witnesses on the ground who said they saw a light-blue object travelling at a a high rate of speed. Pentagon officials confirmed that the jets were scrambled and sent to check out "an area of interest" but scoffed at the idea of a UFO. "Everything was fine, so they returned home," said Major Douglas Martin, a spokesman for the North American Aerospace Defense Command in Colorado, which has responsibility for defending U.S. airspace. "Klaatu barada nikto."

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Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham and the same evangelist who called Islam "a very evil and wicked religion" in November, said during a Charlotte radio interview that all Muslims owe the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks an apology and a check. Failing that, Christians can always just suit up again for the Fourth Crusade.

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Ten supporters of the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans were taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility when a platform collapsed and they plunged into the shark tank. Two people were treated for minor cuts and bruises, but the sharks were frightened away by the fact that they were all commodities traders and lawyers.

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Mister Softee ice cream trucks are being sued by residents of Hartford, Connecticut, who say they just CAN'T STAND THAT DAMN MUSIC ANYMORE. The trucks play "Turkey in the Straw" and "The Entertainer" over and over again. In the latest fracas, the driver of a Mister Softee truck faces third-degree assault and breach of peace charges for attacking a neighborhood activist with a baseball bat. "Mister Softee tried to kill me!" claims Wil Troutman, a frequent critic of the truck's loudspeakers, who said the attack was "monstrous," although it didn't cause any serious injuries. Luis Amaro, the ice-cream truck driver, told police he only "shook a stick" at Troutman, and was backed up by his boss, who says his drivers have been constantly harassed for weeks. He said Troutman follows Mister Softee trucks everywhere, taking pictures and intimidating drivers, in an attempt to get them banned from the streets. Mister Softee is offering to compromise by adding "Roll Out the Barrel" to the tape loop.

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In other ice-cream truck news, a Good Humor driver in New Jersey was beaten by a Mister Ice Cream driver, police said. Rashed Awaadeh became enraged that Good Humor was trying to invade Mister Ice Cream turf in Ramsey, N.J., and Shiam Daoud ended up with bruises on her head, face, arm and hip, not to mention a bad humor.

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Mitchell Guilliatt pulled a hammer out of his backpack and whacked the Liberty Bell, resulting in $7,093 worth of gouge marks that had to be repaired. His lawyer said he didn't want to HURT the bell, he only wanted to hear it ring. The judge said she didn't want to PUNISH Guilliatt, she only wanted to see him spend nine months behind bars.

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A man in Wilson, North Carolina, pulled over on Highway 264 when he saw a nylon padded bag on the side of the road. Inside he found an MP-5 submachine gun, which he took home. A little later a woman traveling down the same highway found a nylon padded bag containing a Smith & Wesson revolver, which she took to work. Eventually both people turned the guns over to police -- which turned out to be a good idea, since they BELONGED to the police. Officer A.A. Boone and Lt. T.L. Earnhardt of the Raleigh Police Department lost them while driving to Wilson Technical Community College, where they were scheduled to teach a gun training class. About two dozen Wilson police officers and Wilson County sheriff's deputies had been searching for the guns from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The gun training class was postponed, and both officers were assigned to Barney Fife "Keep your bullets in your pocket" status.

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The Monticello Association, a group composed of 700 descendants of Thomas Jefferson and his wife Martha, voted 74 to 6 to deny membership to the descendants of Sally Hemings, a slave who some believe bore Jefferson's children. The only advantage to belonging to the association is that you can be buried at Jefferson's Monticello home, but given the level of animosity and name-calling at the decisive meeting, it doesn't seem worth the price of a burial plot. What would they put on the tombstones anyway? "Proud to be a bastard great-great-grandson of a president"? Some things are better left UNcommemorated.

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The co-op board in a 452-unit New York apartment building voted to ban smoking INSIDE the owners' apartments. Anybody who lights up can be evicted and forced to sell. That will teach those inconsiderate people who think that, just because we can't SEE them smoking, they can just do any damn thing to their bodies they want to.

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Michael McDermott told a Cambridge, Massachusetts, jury that he had to kill seven co-workers at a software company because he was killing Hitler and his henchmen in order to prevent the Holocaust. The jury gave him a Heinrich Himmler sort of sentence.

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Joe Dabney is suing American Airlines for losing his wife. On December 5 Margie Dabney, a 70-year-old Alzheimer's patient, was changing planes at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and was met by an airline attendant. She said she wanted to go to the bathroom and the attendant told her to meet up later, either outside the restroom or at the connecting gate. Mrs. Dabney hasn't been seen since. Her luggage, however, arrived in fine shape.

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For ten years now Archer-Daniels-Midland has been buying European wine, processing it into ethanol in El Salvador, and selling it as tax-free fuel at American gas stations. The scheme was discovered when a 1978 Toyota started behaving erratically, speeding like a German, bashing into parking spaces like an Italian, plunging through intersections like a Frenchman, and apologizing like an Englishman.

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Seven years of legal disputes over who gets Jerry Garcia's four guitars were resolved by compromise, with two guitars going to Doug Irwin, who built them, and two going to band members. Garcia left all of the guitars to Irwin in his will, but the band members claimed they were the property of the Grateful Dead because they, like, uh, sorta remembered Jerry saying that but, uh, they didn't remember when he said it and, uh, it's not like we know how to play them or anything but, uh, it would be cool if we had them.

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Joe Bob Briggs writes several columns for UPI. Contact him at joebob@upi.com or through his Web site, www.joebobbriggs.com. Snail mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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