Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds and Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

MARCH 13, 2000: 

Dateline: Austria -- Hoards of naked Austrians stormed the doors of a Vienna department store looking for some free clothes. The stark naked stunt was organized by the Kleider Bauer clothing chain, which told customers that it would reward the first five strippers at each of its 40 stores with a shopping spree so long as they streaked from the street to the checkout counter. Dozens of streaking shoppers showed up at the stores and, when the doors were opened, raced against each other to be one of the first five at the checkout counter. The five most flee-footed flashers were rewarded with a $385 shopping spree. Those who got naked but failed to make it to the checkout counter first received a consolation prize of $35 and a towel to cover up with.

Dateline: England -- A British woman has become the first person in the world to attempt to patent herself. The national patent office has confirmed that they received an application with the title "myself" from Donna Rawlingson MacLean of Bristol, England. According to Britain's Guardian newspaper, MacLean, a poet and waitress, was angered at the recent patenting of gene sequences by businesses. "It has taken 30 years of hard labor for me to discover and invent myself, and now I wish to protect my invention from unauthorized exploitation, genetic or otherwise," MacLean told the newspaper. Full details of MacLean's patent application will be published in 18 months.

Dateline: England -- A British man who was run over by a bus received a second shock on Wednesday after he was sent a repair bill for the damaged vehicle. Norman Green of Leicester was walking through the city center of the central English town when he was struck by a bus. The 51-year-old pub landlord suffered four broken ribs and was unable to work for 14 weeks. Green wrote to the bus company, First Leicester, outlining his claim for damages, but got back a $845 bill for a broken headlight and cracked windshield. First Leicester said it was suspending the action until Green's finances picked up.

Dateline: Kenya -- Driven to desperation by drought conditions, a group of thirst-crazed monkeys stoned a herdsman to death in Northern Kenya as he tried to water his livestock at a watering hole. "In a clear sign of worsening drought, a herdsman was killed after riotous monkeys stoned pastoralists at a watering point in Wajir district," the East African Standard reported. A nurse in the district said the man died of severe head injuries.

Dateline: New Jersey -- Thanks to a state appeals court, a 42-year-old woman who confessed to killing her mother nearly 30 years ago will be prosecuted as a juvenile. Susan Marie Watson, a secretary from Schenectady, N.Y., was arrested last October after tearfully confessing to police in Newark, N.J., that when she was 14 years old, she murdered her mother in their Newark home. Watson admitted to police that on Oct. 3, 1971, she fatally shot her mother, Maylon Johnson, after she refused to listen to the teenager's claims that she had been sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend. At the time, Watson tried to blame the boyfriend, who was never charged with the crime. The crime remained unsolved for 27 years, until Watson's brothers contacted police and asked that the case be reopened. Watson confessed shortly thereafter. Last year, a lower court dismissed murder and juvenile delinquency charges against Watson. The newest decision by the Appellate Division of the state's Superior Court states, however, that juvenile statutes do apply to Watson's case regardless of the passage of time.

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