Alibi V.13 No.16 • April 15-21, 2004 

Odds & Ends

Scott Rickson

Dateline: England—Yana Rodionova has agreed to marry circus performer Jayde Hanson, despite the fact that Hanson has stabbed her three times—once on live television. Rodionova, 23, is the assistant to Hanson, who works as a professional knife thrower. Last year, Hanson tried to break his world record for the number of knives thrown around his assistant. Unfortunately, the stunt—which was filmed for ITV's "This Morning" show—went wrong when one of the knives struck Rodionova in the head. The bloody scene was broadcast to millions of viewers. Hanson blamed the accident on fatigue. Miss Rodionova suffered minor injuries. "It didn't hurt because of the shock of it all," Rodionova recently told the British press. "I felt more sorry for Jayde. There was blood coming out everywhere and he looked so pale." The Russian-born Rodionova admitted, "I fell out of love with him for a couple days afterwards, but I love him again now." Although the mishap was actually the third time Hanson nailed her with one of his knives, she agreed to marry him soon after. "I forgive him. It was only an accident, but I think I will have to teach him to do something else." The couple is expected to tie the knot in May.

Dateline: China—Panda populations have been on a decline in captivity, apparently because the animals are too fat to fornicate. Conservation experts, speaking at a conference in Hong Kong, say they have developed an exercise regimen to help boost the sex lives of the overweight animals. "They're fat, their limbs lack strength, and they run out of gas quickly after standing up to have sex," panda expert Tang Chunxiang said at the conference. More than 140 pandas live in captivity around the world. Chinese experts are teaching survival skills to some zoo-born pandas in the hopes that some may be released into the wild next year.

Dateline: Germany—Police were called to the scene of a domestic dispute and ended up helping a sexy 60-year-old retrieve a set of dentures from her vindictive ex-boyfriend. The incident began when the woman, from Hidelsheim, went to nearby Braunschweig to meet her former lover at his home. The two planned to spend the night together, but a fight broke out and the retired Romeo tossed the woman to the curb. He also refused to return her dentures, which she had taken out. Officers arrived and eventually managed to convince the man to cough up the false teeth.

Dateline: Slovenia—British Junior gymnast Steven Jehu, 17, is crediting his gymnastic skills with his miraculous survival following a fall from a fourth-floor hotel window in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana. The teen tumbled 33 feet after a metal bar on the window broke while he tried to open it. Performing a somersault in the air, the teen landed on his feet and walked away with only a broken ankle. According to The Sun, Jehu, the reigning British under-16 champion, was in Slovenia preparing for the European championships.

Scott Rickson

Dateline: Pennsylvania—Flushed with the spirit of Mel Gibson's The Passion, the Assembly of God Church in Glassport attempted to liven up its annual Easter show by having several actors whipping the Easter Bunny to death and breaking his eggs. Needless to say, the performance, at Glassport's memorial stadium, upset several parents and young children. People who attended last Saturday's unorthodox performance quoted performers as saying, "There is no Easter Bunny," and described the show as a demonstration of how Jesus was tortured and crucified. Melissa Salzmann, who brought her four-year-old son J.T., was among those who found the performance inappropriate for children. "He was crying and asking me why the bunny was being whipped." Salzmann said. Patty Bickerson, the youth minister at Glassport Assembly of God and the actor in the bunny rabbit suit, said the performance was not meant to be offensive. "The program was for all ages, not just the kids," she told the Associated Press. "We wanted to convey that Easter is not just about the Easter Bunny, it is about Jesus Christ." Jennifer Norelli-Burke, another parent who saw the show said performers broke eggs meant for an Easter egg hunt and also portrayed a drunken man and a self-mutilating woman. "It was very disturbing," Norelli-Burke said. "I could not believe what I saw."

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