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 V.18 No.12 | March 19 - 25, 2009 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Indonesia—Fundamentalist anti-porn protesters are threatening to ban a traditional Indonesian folk dance because it allows female dancers to expose their “erotic” underarms. West Java Governor Ahman Heryawan has warned practitioners of the jaipong dance—performed at official ceremonies and cultural festivals—to tone down their sexy moves and hide their underarms. Islamic parties in the multi-island nation are targeting the dance ahead of April general elections, after Parliament passed a controversial anti-porn law in December. “The worry is that once the anti-porn bill is fully implemented, the dance may be banned because it’s too erotic,” a senior leader of the Islam-based Prosperous Justice Party told Agence France-Presse. Outraged professional dance groups have called on Indonesians to teach the protesters a lesson at the ballot box come April. “What are they talking about?” Mas Nanu Muda of the Jaipong Care Community said. “The dancers are all covered up in long-sleeved traditional kebayas, not sexy tubes.” Bandung Tourism and Culture Office Chief M. Askary Wirantaatmadja admits, “Without shaking or gyrating, you can’t call it jaipong. I don’t consider it erotic, titillating or lustful. That’s all in the mind.”

Dateline: England—Fire crews in Hampshire have been called out four times to rescue a tiny pony—because the animal’s legs are so stubby they make people think it’s stuck in mud. Two fire engines and a specialist lifting vehicle have been dispatched four times at a combined cost of more than $12,000 to save the horse. The animal, known as Mayflower, has extremely stumpy legs, which appear to be out of proportion with her long body. This causes many casual observers to assume she’s sinking in the salty marshland where she grazes by the River Test. Owner Sandra Witcher said, “The emergency services have been out so many times they must know the way by heart. We might have to put up a sign so ramblers know the horse is not stuck. The only problem is that one day she might actually get stuck and then the fire brigade won’t turn up.”

“It means I live inside myself. I don’t live in the state of Pennsylvania.”

Dateline: Spain—A 66-year-old Chilean man was arrested at Barcelona’s El Prat airport after customs agents determined that the plaster cast around his broken leg was being used to smuggle cocaine. In fact, the cast was not stuffed with cocaine but fabricated entirely of the drug. Police tested the cast by spraying it with a chemical that turns blue when it comes in contact with cocaine. They also caught the man with cocaine hidden in six beer cans. The cans had been emptied, packed with drugs, resealed and then hidden inside the legs of two small folding stools. All told, the gimpy smuggler was carrying about 11 pounds of cocaine—2.2 of which were used to make his cast.

Dateline: New York—Some shoppers in Queens bought their vegetables by the pound—but they should have been paying by the kilo. A handful of customers at the Liberty Avenue store purchased peppers only to take them home, cut them open and find plastic bags filled with cocaine stuffed inside. “That’s really scary,” one shopper told WABC. “You open your pepper and see cocaine.” Another customer said, “Somebody’s got to be held accountable. That’s not right.” At this point, police are not investigating the Ozone Park neighborhood market but are pursuing the distributor that sold the peppers, believing it may be responsible for stashing the drugs in the produce. Police would only confirm the name of the store and the fact that vegetables were involved. Other sources indicated that red bell peppers were used.

Dateline: Pennsylvania—An Allen Township man accused of driving drunk told a judge that the law does not apply to him because he is a “sovereign man.” Wearing a Coors Light sweatshirt in Northampton County Court, 44-year-old Scott A. Witmer explained to Judge Leonard Zito, “It means I live inside myself. I don’t live in the state of Pennsylvania.” Witmer was arrested by state police early in the morning of Aug. 24; he allegedly drove drunk from his home after troopers responded to a domestic violence call. Police also charged the motorist with several summary offenses upon learning he was driving on a revoked license and did not have insurance for his vehicle, which lacked valid license plates. Witmer filed a 20-page motion in December in which he insisted the charges against him were unconstitutional. In filing, he served notice on the court that to rule otherwise would be a “blatant act of TYRANNY” and likened the charges to “committing acts of treason, usurpation and tyranny.” The claims concerned Judge Zito so much at a bail hearing last week that he asked public defender James Connell to represent Witmer. “I’m alarmed that you may be a danger to yourself and our community,” Zito was quoted in Allentown’s Morning Call newspaper as saying. Witmer’s bail was increased to $25,000 and he was ordered to undergo a psychological examination.

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

 
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