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 V.13 No.27 | July 1 - 7, 2004 

Odds & Ends

Dateline: England—Exotic dancer Donna Cleeve was forced to quit her $1,500-a-week job because she's allergic to, well, pole. The 20-year-old from Portsmouth, who used the stage name Honey, worked at two strip clubs in Bournemouth and Portsmouth. Unfortunately, according to The Sun, Cleeve would develop a red rash after each performance. After three months, she realized that nickel used in the poles was to blame. Cleeve knew she was allergic to the element, but was unaware that it was used in the construction of metal stripper poles. “Because I kept on dancing around the pole, it just got worse and worse. It's hard to look sexy when your legs and body are inflamed. I tried to ignore it, but in the end it wasn't worth the pain,” Cleeve told the newspaper. Since quitting, she has taken up a job in sales.

Dateline: England—The United Kingdom's first-ever fully nude shopping event was held recently in London. The Plaza shopping center in Oxford Street played host to a disappointing 15 naturists, who roamed the mall's shops and restaurants looking for bargains in the buff. Staff remained fully clothed during the event, but Nick Mayhew, co-author of the naturists' guidebook Bare Beaches, was on hand to sign copies of his book. Oona Graham-Taylor, spokeswoman for the Plaza center, blamed the poor turnout on the Euro 2004 football championships. “We were actually hoping for more, but it is the first event we have run and the football cut numbers down,” she told BBC News Online. Graham-Taylor did say that the center would “possibly” consider holding another naked event in the future.

Dateline: Spain—A group of destitute African refugees got an early taste of the European lifestyle when their boat washed up on the shore of a crowded nudist beach last Sunday. Spanish television broadcast amateur video footage of surprised bathers at the sun-drenched Canos de Meca beach. The 42 migrants—most of whom were bundled up for the chilly, wind-swept crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar—included four babies, one of which was just 11 days old. The nudists helped emergency medical crews carry some of the undocumented foreigners on stretchers to awaiting ambulances. Several of the refugees, whose country of origin was not immediately clear, were treated for dehydration, hypothermia and malnutrition.

Scott Rickson

Dateline: India—Morgue workers at a hospital have been busted for offering up their temperature-controlled workplace as a storage facility for local fish merchants. According to the Times of India, ilish or hilsa fish has been stored in the morgue at the hospital at Agartala since March of last year. The fish, a local delicacy, was then to be sold at street markets in the city, the capital of Tripura state. At least one employee has been suspended after the scam was uncovered by an investigative journalist who visited the hospital, claiming to want to store fish for an upcoming wedding. According to the investigative report, hospital employees, who earned 10 rupees (about 20 cents) per kilogram of fish stored per night, even showed him how they packed the fish for storage alongside dead bodies. “It is absolutely disgusting,” the state's Health Minister Tapan Chakrabarty said. “I just can't believe it.”

Dateline: Germany—Dr. Ziya Saylan has come up with a revolutionary procedure for creating near indestructible titanium breasts. The doctor, who runs a practice in Dusseldorf, uses a fine titanium mesh to create breast implants, which he says will defy gravity for life. “Since the material is about as thick as breast tissue, it cannot be felt. The operation is painless, but for up to three months, the sensitive breast tissue may occasionally hurt when touched or pressed,” Saylan said. According to the doctor, the operation can be done on all women up to the age of 60 regardless of breast size. The operation costs nearly $7,000.

Dateline: Norway—A fundamentalist Christian school is in trouble with the government for listing Jesus Christ as its executive manager. Norway's Labor Inspection Authority recently cracked down on the private Skjaergard's School for poor, possibly dangerous work conditions. An LIA report says the church's organization chart provided no insight into the group's management, other than deputy leader Pastor Rasmussen and executive leader Jesus Christ. The authority could not find details on any principal or teachers in the school's system and no officers in charge of health, environment or safety. Senior inspector Gunn-Elise Lyngtveit Ramlet told the VG newspaper, “We at the Labor Inspection Authority naturally cannot go to the spiritual world to contact those with chief responsibility for the health, environmental and safety work at the school.”

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

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