The Hong Kong Tourist Board launched a new ad campaign with
the slogan, "Hong Kong will take your breath away." Yes, that's
what we said.
Omar Portee, leader of the Bloods gang in the Bronx and
better known as O.G. Mack (for "Original Gangsta"), pled for
mercy after being convicted of racketeering, conspiracy to commit
murder, illegal possession of an AK-47, conspiracy to distribute
crack cocaine and other charges, with the following speech: "I
was nothing like them guys have testified. I wasn't no church
guy. I was no angel. But where the money at? Where the guns at?
The leader of the East Coast massive Bloods should have some kind
of homicides under my belt. I should have some kind of property."
After this emotional appeal, which brought tears to the eyes of
many spectators in the Manhattan courtroom, Portee was sentenced
to 50 years in prison by heartless Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald,
who callously ignored the, "Where the money at? Where the guns
Restaurants in Cameroon were banned from serving gorilla
meat, chimpanzee steak and elephant veal, even if it's just a
little appetizer portion to prepare the palate for gibbon monkey
The Puffy-Cheeked Bandit is in the slammer. Cazzie L.
Williams of East Orange, N.J., admitted to being the goofy
guy who robbed 27 banks in five states over a four-year period,
disguising himself by puffing out his cheeks throughout the
course of each robbery. His hauls ranged from $1,000 to $16,300,
which hardly seems worth the breath.
Rodney King lost control of his SUV while weaving through
traffic at 100 miles per hour, crashed into a utility pole, then
a chain-link fence, then a house, which caused him to to be
hospitalized with a broken pelvis and to be drug-tested by Los
Angeles police. This would apparently qualify as a self-beating.
Masanori Murakawa, a professional wrestler who never takes
off his demon mask, was elected to the Iwate Prefectural Assembly
from the city of Morioka, Japan, and says he'll continue to wear
the mask throughout the legislative session. So far his
colleagues are not saying ANYTHING.
Heidi Fleiss is opening a 30-room brothel in Sydney, with a
restaurant, bar and staff of 200 prostitutes who are eager to be
trained by the Americans, with their reputation for global
In related news, 10 priests were suspended from the
Romanian Orthodox Church for blessing brothels and sex shops.
Obviously the church hierarchy is unaware of what Heidi Fleiss
can do with her pelvis.
Cypress Gardens, Florida, home of the water-skiing pyramid
of bikini girls, closed its gates after 67 years. Esther Williams
After 27 years at Mach 2.2, the Concorde will go into
mothballs this October. Air France will stop flying the world's
only supersonic passenger plane in May, and British Airways will
follow suit on Halloween. Nobody is in a hurry to get to Europe
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the far-right leader of France's National
Front, was kicked off the European Parliament for bitch-slapping
a Socialist in 1997. It took the Court of First Instance in
Luxembourg six years to make up its mind as to whether bitch-
slapping should be deemed non-European behavior, or regarded as
"just a French thing."
Voodoo priests in Haiti are now allowed to perform
marriages. Oddly enough, they're also allowed to perform
A 15-year-old boy, asked to lead the Turkish pledge of
allegiance in his village school of Bismil, said he didn't want
to because his stomach hurt, according to a report in The New
York Times. When he was forced to go ahead by his teachers, he
failed to say the line, "Happy is the one who calls himself a
Turk." Instead he said, "Happy is the one who calls himself a
Kurd." The teachers sent him home from school, reported him to
the police, and now he faces five years in prison for "inciting
hatred and enmity on the basis of religion, race, language or
regional differences." And we thought extra study hall was bad.
A special celebration of the 15th anniversary of "Bull
Durham" was canceled by the Baseball Hall of Fame because Hall of
Sarandon, stars of the movie, are unpatriotic and are undermining
the troops. Petroskey informed Robbins and Sarandon of the
cancellation in a letter which read, "In a free country such as
ours, every American has the right to his or her own opinions,
and to express them. Public figures, such as you, have platforms
much larger than the average American's, which provides you an
extraordinary opportunity to have your views heard -- and an
equally large obligation to act and speak responsibly. We believe
your very public criticism of President Bush at this important --
and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the
U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more
danger. As an institution, we stand behind our president and our
troops in this conflict."
Robbins wrote back: "You belong with the cowards and ideologues in a hall of infamy and shame. ... I didn't realize baseball was a Republican sport. I am sorry that you have chosen to use baseball and your position at the Hall of Fame to make a political statement. I know there are many
baseball fans that disagree with you, and even more that will
react with disgust to realize baseball is being politicized. To
suggest that my criticism of the president put the troops in
danger is absurd. ... I wish you had, in your letter, saved me
the rhetoric and talked honestly about your ties to the Bush and
Reagan administrations. Long live democracy, free speech and the
'69 Mets -- all improbably glorious miracles that I have always
believed in." All right, class, compare and contrast. Petroskey
was formerly the assistant White House press secretary under
Ronald Reagan -- in other words, a guy who writes press releases
and makes public statements for a living. Robbins is an actor.
Isn't this sort of like a guy from single-A ball hitting a grand
slam against the Yankees?
The governing board of Virginia Tech voted to bar advocates
of "extreme political views" from speaking on campus, then, at
the same meeting, voted to ALLOW discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation. So what brought this on? The "extreme
political views" were apparently expressed in February, not by al-
Qaida, but by a member of Earth First, an activist environmental
group that is disliked by the university's department of
forestry. (Also, it may not be a coincidence that the resolution
was introduced by board member Mitchell O. Carr, president of the
Augusta Lumber Company and a former director of the National
Hardwood Lumber Association.) And the reason for the gay and
lesbian discrimination? According to a board member, so that
Virginia Tech would conform with federal and state laws, which do
not include homosexuals as a "protected class." We should check
this with legal first, but we're pretty sure that another
unprotected class is the moron.
Scenes from domestic life:
* Unemployed forklift operator John Wyatt of Long Island was
babysitting five children, aged 1 to 13, when three-year-old
Tijuan Mayo wet his bed. Wyatt's solution was to discipline him
with "several blows" to the stomach. The boy later fell down the
stairs, after which Wyatt called 911 to report his injuries. The
child died -- odd, since Wyatt is well known as one of the finest
forklift-driving babysitters in the greater Long Island area.
Scenes from our secure republic:
* The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago was evacuated after a zoo
employee found a white flour-like substance on the ground
outside. Police, firefighters and hazardous materials experts
were all dispatched to the scene, where mobile testing equipment
identified it as something "in the anthrax area." Members of a
running club came forward to say that they sometimes marked
jogging trails with a white substance and that they'd run near
the zoo the day before. The substance they used, they said, was
flour. And the mobile testing equipment? "False positives," was
the official explanation. Translation: the equipment sucks.
(Joe Bob Briggs writes several columns for UPI. Contact him
at email@example.com or through his Web site, joebobbriggs.com.
Snail mail: P.O. Box 2002, Dallas, Texas 75221.)