Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
JANUARY 25, 1999:
Dateline: Germany--A chocolate bar featuring the face of
Karl Marx has been declared "tasteless" by some German
politicians. The one-time East German town of Chemnitz, which
was known as Karl-Marx-Stadt until 1990, developed the Communist
candy to help promote tourism. Chemnitz is noted for the giant
bust of Karl Marx in the town square. Fritz Haehle, leader of
the conservative Christian Democrats in the state of Saxony, says
that those who still agree with the Communist Manifesto
author's philosophies might object to the production of a Karl
Marx candy bar. City spokesman Andreas Bochmann defended his town's
marketing campaign. "The monument is well known and great
advertising for Chemnitz," said Bochmann. "Look at Salzburg.
They've done great advertising with Mozart marzipan."
Dateline: Indonesia--Warring tribes in a remote forest
region of Indonesia's primitive Irian Jaya province have suspended
hostilities so that they can watch a road being built. Local newspapers
reported that some people had walked for four days through the
forest of the vast eastern province to witness helicopters arriving
at the construction site bringing motorcycles, trucks, construction
equipment and other modern marvels. Battles between warring tribes
in the Tinggi Nambut village were temporarily stopped so that
tribal warriors could take in the spectacle. "This is the
first time for these people to see motorcycles and other vehicles,"
a local official was quoted as saying.
Dateline: Russia--A besotted Russian priest accidentally
set off a hand grenade after a weekend christening, injuring himself
and the baptized baby's grandmother. The unnamed priest performed
the Christian ceremony in the Yaroslavl region north of Moscow
last Saturday afternoon, then joined relatives for traditional
drinks. "After the christening of her grandson, they drank
spirits and he accidentally removed the pin from the grenade,"
local police told the Itar-Tass news agency. It was not immediately
clear where the grenade came from or what it was doing at the
christening ceremony, but, police added, the priest had not been
planning to set it off.
Dateline: New York--And you thought you were a good
shoplifter? A Banana Republic employee has been charged with grand
larceny and criminal possession of property for allegedly stealing
more than $400,000 in merchandise from the clothing store. Carolyn
Peters, 47, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court last Monday
after being arrested on Sunday at the midtown Manhattan Banana
Republic branch by store detectives. It is assumed that Peters
accomplished the massive theft by falsifying records and funneling
store stock to an accomplice.
Dateline: Ohio--A penny-ante thief has admitted to stealing
some $870 from a middle school in Logan, Ohio--one cent at a time.
Stanley Nielson, 18, stole nearly 87,000 pennies from the Cedar
Ridge Middle School. The pennies were being collected as part
of a relief effort for Honduran victims of Hurricane Mitch. Students
hoped to raise 87,000 pennies, which they estimated would equal
one mile of coinage. On the plus side, donations poured in following
Nielson's weighty theft. In the end, the school was able to turn
over a check to the American Red Cross for more than $5,200.
Dateline: Ohio--Apparently, Ohioans aren't as amorous as
they thought. Organizers of a New Year's celebration at
the Ohio Statehouse had hoped to break a world's record for the
most people kissing simultaneously. The previous record was set
on Valentine's Day, 1996, when 1,420 couples locked lips. As many
as 9,500 people gathered in Columbus for the record smooch-off.
Unfortunately, when videotaped records were reviewed last Monday,
it was discovered that only 1,350 people kissed for the required
10 seconds. The other 8,000 merely stood and watched the massive
public display of affection.