Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds and Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

MARCH 8, 1999: 

Dateline: France--A young Frenchman knocked off his moped by a hit-and-run motorist failed to notice that his left arm was missing until he made it back home to his village some 10 kilometers from the accident scene. Oliver Faure, a 21-year-old from Laragne, France, was hit by a car in the village of Upaix early last Sunday. After the driver fled, Faure set off toward home on foot before getting a lift from a passing motorist. It wasn't until Faure returned home and his mother removed his jacket that anyone noticed Faure's left arm had been ripped from its socket. Emergency service workers found the missing limb by the side of the road. It was packed in ice and reunited with its owner at a Marseilles hospital.

Dateline: Russia--Obviously not cut out for the field of animal husbandry, a rural farmer in the southern Siberian region of Altai set himself on fire after three piglets he had purchased fell ill and died. The unidentified 30-year-old man was apparently so distraught after the piglets' death that he drank large quantities of vodka, soaked himself in the spirit and set himself ablaze. His wife and children put out the flames and rushed him to a nearby hospital where he remains in critical condition.

Dateline: Colombia--Elders from Colombia's U'wa Indian tribe announced last Friday that a pair of U'wa twins, considered by the tribe a curse and evil omen, would not be killed in a ritual sacrifice. The infant boy and girl were born last week to their U'wa mother in a health clinic in rural Saravena, Colombia. The twins were abandoned by their mother almost immediately after birth, and several local newspapers reported that the twins had received a death sentence by U'wa tribal elders. In a later telephone interview with reporters, the U'wa elders admitted that they still view twins as a punishment from the gods and the product of "impure spirits." However, Luis Alfonso Teglia--one of the U'wa leaders--said that the tribe no longer kills twins. According to Teglia, the worst the newborns will face is "mandatory expulsion from the tribe." The U'wa tribe consists of about 5,000 people living in close-knit communities throughout four northern Colombian provinces.

Dateline: China--Ma Lianbo, a former government worker in Beijing, broke his own world record last Saturday by spinning around in a circle for more than four hours. In 1993, Ma spun himself into the Guinness Book of World Records by rotating continuously for three hours and completing 12,980 rotations. Last week, Ma easily outdistanced his old record by spinning around in a circle for four hours, 34 minutes and 20,044 rotations. A Chinese government official was on hand to record the results and submit the new record to Guinness. So far, no one has actually tried to challenge Ma's record.

Dateline: Indiana--Researchers at Indiana State University--who seem to have landed a pretty sweet living watching cable TV--have announced the results of their year-long investigation into violence and sexual innuendo in televised wrestling. The results: There is violence and sexual innuendo in televised wrestling. The couch potato researchers watched 50 "WWF Raw" episodes last year on the USA network. Amid the staggering amount of profane, violent and risqué incidents, the researchers counted 1,658 instances of characters grabbing or pointing to their crotches, 157 instances of wrestlers or audience members making obscene gestures, 128 instances of simulated sexual activity, 47 references to satanic activity and 609 occasions when a wrestler was struck by a foreign object such as a chair or garbage can. Most surprisingly, the researches discovered an average of only 36 minutes of actual wrestling in each two-hour show. The syndicated news show "Inside Edition" commissioned the study for a two-part story that aired last week.

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