! Odds & Ends
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 V.14 No.18 | May 5 - 11, 2005 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: India—According to a survey in New Delhi's Economic Times newspaper, only a quarter of condoms made in India are being used for sex. That isn't to say that Indians are not putting them to good use, however. Condoms not used as birth control are being employed to make saris, toys and even bathroom slippers. Sari weavers put the condoms on their thread spools. The lubricant on the prophylactics rubs off on the thread, making it move faster through the sewing machines. India manufactures more than a billion condoms a year, which are supposed to be used for disease prevention and to curb population growth. With many of these condoms being used as bathroom slippers, India remains one of the most populous nations on Earth.

Dateline: India—India's intelligence department is investigating reports that an ambitious con man sold an American businessman the prime minister's residence in the heart of New Delhi. According to the Hindustan Times daily, the businessman paid 35 million rupees ($802,600) for the house that was listed for sale on a popular website. The house was described as a “huge sprawling mansion in the heart of Lutyen's Delhi with 24x7 running water and electricity.” The unnamed businessman soon received the title deed for the house and came to the Indian capital late in March to take possession of the house for an office he planned to set up. Unfortunately, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was already in residence, and did not seem interested in giving up his abode.

Dateline: France—A man walking through a forest near Alsace reportedly stumbled across 20 tons of gourmet meats. The meats were still wrapped in plastic and untouched. The salami and cured hams, found last Saturday morning, may have been dumped by thieves who were only interested in stealing the truck that transported them, police said to the Dernieres Nouvelle d'Alsace newspaper. Police have not yet found the owners of the missing lunch meat. The gourmet haul, which still appears edible, will be checked by health officials before being offered to local charity groups.

Dateline: South Carolina—According to The Island Packet in Hilton Head, a local golfer encountered an unusual hazard after landing his golfball smack dab in the middle of an alligator's back. The golfers--Harold Parris, Mike Rothermund and Tom Lindon--arrived at the par-3 12th hole at Robber's Row golf course shortly before noon. There were two alligators near the green when Parris, who happened to be golfing without glasses that day, teed off. The ball bounced about two feet before landing directly on one of the reptile's tails. “Unbelievable,” the 77-year-old Lindon told the newspaper. “It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. The alligator didn't move an inch.” Parris chose not to take his next shot from off the alligator's back and started over with a new ball. “To us,” Lindon said, “it was a lucky shot, and in no way would we penalize him for that.” No word on who won the game or if the wayward ball was recovered.

Dateline: Florida—David Carpenter will now be looking for a new career after leading Florida Highway Patrol troopers on a high-speed motorcycle chase going the wrong way down a highway in rush-hour traffic. Authorities say Carpenter was set to take his physical exam to be a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper this week. For weeks, troopers and other authorities near Miami have seen Carpenter racing through traffic at speeds up to 140 mph. He managed to evade capture at least twice and almost caused two wrecks involving troopers, FHP spokesman Lt. Julio Pajon told the South Florida Sun-Sentinal. At 8:30 p.m. last Monday morning, however, the FHP waited for their speed demon with an airplane and troopers stationed strategically along the highway. Smashing over curbs and traveling south on the northbound lanes, Carpenter managed to outrace the troopers on his Honda 1000 motorcycle. Unfortunately, for Carpenter, the airplane managed to shadow him to his apartment in south Miami-Dade County. When officers arrived, Carpenter denied being the runaway motorcyclist, but a trooper peeked inside Carpenter's bedroom and saw the stashed Honda. Also inside the bedroom: Carpenter's application for the FHP. “We told him don't bother showing up,” said Lt. Pajon. “Getting arrested is an automatic disqualifier.” Police charged Carpenter with three counts of aggravated fleeing, two counts of aggravated assault on a law officer and one count of reckless driving.

Dateline: Illinois—A truck driver, obviously none to happy to be told what to do, pulled an electric cattle prod out of his rig and started chasing employees around an Aurora warehouse. The altercation began in an industrial area on Aurora's west side around 10:30 p.m. last Tuesday when Darion Barker, 42, was asked to move his loaded semi away from a dock at the Kraft Foods warehouse, police spokesman Dan Ferrelli told the Chicago Sun-Times. A warehouse employee asked him again about 20 minutes later, at which point Barker allegedly whipped out a 50,000-volt cattle prod and began chasing after the 26-year-old employee. Another warehouse worker phoned police, who arrested Barker for aggravated assault and unlawful use of a weapon.

Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. E-mail your weird news to devin@alibi.com.

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