Jane Barbe, the queen of telephone recordings, whose voice was heard an estimated 40 million times a day saying things like "Press '1' to hear your message" on voicemail systems, died in Roswell, Georgia, at age 74, but pressed pound for further options.
The Pentagon cancelled a plan to run a terrorist futures-trading market after it was pretty much ridiculed by everyone on the planet. The architect of the plan, retired rear admiral John M. Poindexter, announced he would step down, because if you can't bet on assassinations, revolutions and coups
Next to the dead body of Uday Hussein, U.S. troops recovered a briefcase carrying Viagra, cologne, dress shirts, fresh underwear, a silk tie and a condom, according to Newsweek. Now THAT'S an optimist.
A man in Malaysia divorced his wife by leaving a text message on her cell phone, thereby satisfying the Islamic law requiring him to declare his intention. E-mail divorce, voicemail divorce and the very popular fax divorce are under review by the Malaysian government, which fears serious polygamous Muslims will start using the dreaded Spam divorce.
Democrats in the Texas Legislature fled the state once again in order to deny Republicans a quorum, this time holing up in Albuquerque. Republicans were spitting and fuming about the effort to sabotage their redistricting plan, but the fugitive lawmakers said they were simply indulging their passion for Indian jewelry.
The North American Nude Bikers Club held its first rally in Rutherford County, Tennessee, and it was hell on the inner thighs.
Chevy Chase is the frontman for a series of Turkish TV commercials for Cola Turka, the national drink invented to drive Coke and Pepsi out of the country. In one of the spots, Chase parks his station wagon at his suburban home, where his wife is preparing a Turkish meal for a big family gathering. Everyone sings "Take me out to the ball game" at the table -- until they take a sip of Cola Turka, then break into a Turkish-language 1930s Boy Scout song. Chase then sprouts a mustache. They say there are some beautiful villas in Ankara.
Sir Mick Jagger celebrated his 60th birthday in Prague with a nice bracing bowl of oatmeal.
Former baseball star Jose Canseco is auctioning off an afternoon with himself for a minimum of $2,500. Suggested activities for the winning bidder's trip to Canseco's south Florida home include private power hitting instruction, private martial arts instruction, a workout with Canseco, and a cookout by the pool. (Nightclub brawling instruction currently not available.)
Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who accidentally discovered LSD in 1943, observed the drug's 60th anniversary by reminiscing about how he was trying to develop stimulants for the circulatory system in his lab when he made a batch of LSD from ergot, a fungus that grows on rye. Riding his bike home from the office that day, Hofmann had hallucinations, "a beautiful and pleasant trip." His employer, Sandoz AG, distributed the drug free of charge to research labs and clinics until 1966, when it became illegal in most countries. Hofmann is 97 and has some funny-looking tubes and beakers in his bathroom.
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.