French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, gave a big "no thank ya" vote to the Bush administration, saying they vote for a peaceful solution to the Iraq problem. Asked if he would proceed without the support of Europe, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, "France and Germany aren't Europe. That's Old Europe." He then announced that military preparations are moving forward, with New Europe forces taking their positions -- paratroopers from Liechtenstein, tank commanders from Andorra and Bohemian shock troops equipped with slingshots.
A 16-year-old boy in Roselle, Ill., was hospitalized after soaking his shorts in gasoline and setting them on fire. He and two friends were taking turns lighting one another's shorts, then dropping to the ground and rolling around until the shorts were out. The game was so much fun that they did it several times, and the boy's shorts got permeated with so much gasoline it was impossible to put them out. "To the best of our understanding," said Elgin police officer Mike Sullivan, "it was some kind of challenge." The boy suffered second degree burns from the waist down, and learned a great life lesson -- about polyester.
Old Forester, the famous southern bourbon launched in 1870, shipped 135,000 cases last year, accounting for 1 percent of the domestic bourbon market, as the prejudice against "brown spirits" continued in favor of vodkas and gins. As a result, the great-grandson of the inventor, George Garvin Brown IV of Louisville, Ky., is launching a huge ad campaign to make Old Forester hip again. Correct us if we're wrong, but doesn't Terry the Toad attempt to buy a bottle of Old Forester in "American Graffiti"? And then puke his guts out later? The new ad slogan could be "Are you tougher than Terry the Toad?"
Long Island cops arrested an 81-year-old man for soliciting prostitution. Dominick Salerno offered a woman in Coram, N.Y., $20 for oral sex, but she turned out to be an undercover cop who rounded up 40 johns that night. Dominick was the only one who wanted to talk to the media, however, saying that his wife died two months ago and he's never used Viagra and he needed a quickie and so what was so wrong with that? The county district attorney will prosecute him for the crime and he'll probably have to pay a $165 fine.
The assembled justices of the Washington Supreme Court, bless their hearts, ruled that it's perfectly legal to take pictures of what's under a woman's skirt, as long as the woman is in a public place. Originally Sean Tyler Glas and Richard Lynn Sorrells had been convicted of voyeurism for taking photographs at a mall and videos at a food festival. But the Supremes overturned those convictions.
Mayor Giancarlo Gentilini of Treviso, Italy, is trying to kick out all immigrants, and to show how serious he is, he bulldozed the shanty towns of migrant workers, used the police to drive immigrant squatter families into the streets, ordered all park benches removed to stop African immigrants from using them for picnics or sleeping, and now says he wants to ship foreigners home in "lead-covered railway wagons." He also suggested that local rabbit hunters occasionally take out a black or a non-European so he won't have to deal with them anymore. If they were filming "Roman Holiday" today, Audrey Hepburn would have to wear a bullet-proof vest.
Two Scottish researchers -- Barry Jones of the University of Glasgow and Ben Jones of St. Andrews University -- proved that only one or two drinks makes the opposite sex 25 percent more attractive. One hundred-twenty students from St. Andrews were asked to rank attractiveness of photos on a 7-point scale, then asked to rank them again after drinking. Their conclusion: alcohol stimulates the nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain used to measure facial attractiveness. Their secondary conclusion: the words "last call" stimulate the part of the brain that doesn't care who goes home with you.
The New York state legislature passed something called the Obesity Prevention Act. Presumably public signs will be placed on restaurants featuring a beer gut with a diagonal slash across it.
Police in Huntington, N.Y., busted a piano store in a strip mall that turned out to be a massage parlor where more was tickled than ivories.
In "Die Another Day," the latest James Bond movie, Agent 007 does not drink Smirnoff vodka. From the first time he ordered a medium-dry vodka martini, shaken not stirred, in "Dr. No" (1962), Bond had always preferred Smirnoff, but this time the product-placement deal went to Finlandia, which has relatively small sales in the United States but is big in Europe. Someone should ask Halle Berry which one smells better on Pierce Brosnan's breath.
Pastry shop owner Chen Zhengping of Tangshan, China, placed rat poison in the fried dough sticks, sesame cakes and sticky rice balls of a rival shop, causing 38 schoolchildren and soldiers to drop dead after eating breakfast there. Because communism has no real way for individuals to sue, plaintiffs attorneys all over the Western world wept and gnashed their teeth.
Scenes from our secure republic:
When Steven Feuer started behaving erratically on a Delta flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia, two U.S. air marshals got up from their seats in first class, confronted the disoriented man, then -- when he refused to remain in his seat -- handcuffed him, moved him to first class, and restrained him in a seat next to Dr. Bob Rajcoomar, a retired Army colonel from Lake Worth, Fla. One of the marshals then pulled a gun, brandished it, and demanded that everyone remain in their seats, stay still, don't stand for any reason, keep arms and legs out of the aisle, don't visit the restroom, etc., obviously implying that gunplay could ensue. When the plane landed, Feuer was taken into custody -- and so was Dr. Rajcoomar! He was held for three hours and released, apparently because he had watched the incident "too closely." Once again, Dr. Rajcoomar is of Indian descent. Why is it always Indian guys? They're our ALLIES! Important safety tip: if a terrorist ever sits next to you, AVERT YOUR GAZE.
Scenes from domestic life:
Susan Mooney, a Wall Street computer executive who lives in suburban Crompond, N.Y., got tired of her 7-month-old son's crying, so she put her hand over his mouth and nose until he turned blue. It was postpartum depression, she told the authorities who locked her up for murder. So she postparted.
(Joe Bob Briggs writes several columns for UPI. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)