Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds and Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

APRIL 26, 1999: 

Dateline: Mexico City--Vicente Fox, the governor of Guanajuato state and one of his country's leading presidential candidates, is trying to secure the endorsement of a popular comic book hero. Fox is hoping that using images of Kaliman, a mystical Indian superhero with extraordinary psychic powers, in his campaign advertisements will give a major boost to his chances in the 2000 general election. The Kaliman character, traditionally depicted as wearing a turban and a large talisman, was featured on a popular radio show for four decades. Members of Fox's National Action Party say a deal is imminent with the widow of Kaliman's creator to utilize the cartoon character in the political arena. Kaliman is famous for catchphrases like, "Serenity and patience" and the slightly more ominous, "He who dominates the mind, dominates everything." No confirmation yet that American presidential hopeful Al Gore has engaged in closed door meetings with both Captain America and the Green Lantern.

Dateline: Brazil--A São Paulo man was shocked recently when his bank called and asked if he wanted them to cover his March telephone bill. The bill totaled just over $43 million. After several panicked phone calls, Nelson Marotti Filho's correct bill--for $31--was sent out. The multimillion dollar mistake is the latest in a long line of blunders for the São Paulo telephone company, bought out by Spain's Telefónica in a trophy privatization last year.

Dateline: Honduras--Proving that there's always a bright side to every story, last year's deadly Hurricane Mitch helped solve a 57-year-old plane crash mystery. In addition to killing 9,000 people and causing millions of dollars in damages, the rampaging storm uncovered the wreckage of a Curtis CT-32 Condor biplane that went down in 1942. The plane, along with its five-member crew, was considered lost at sea, but mudslides caused by Mitch helped unearth the long-lost wreck near the Caribbean coast, about 120 miles north of the capital Tegucigalpa. Air Force officials are now trying to recover the remains of the victims to give them proper Christian burials.

Dateline: Holland--KLM Royal Dutch Airlines reported last Tuesday that it was forced to euthanize 440 Chinese ground squirrels because the animals did not meet "European regulations." The squirrels arrived in Amsterdam from Beijing en route to Athens but lacked the proper health papers. According to the airline, the Chinese exporter refused to take the animals back. Although KLM tried to send the animals to a country outside Europe, it failed to find any nation that was in dire need of ground squirrels. The airline was forced to kill the animals, and has now banned all shipments of ground squirrels from China.

Dateline: California--The Casa Sanchez restaurant in San Francisco has proved wrong the old adage, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." Six months ago, the Mexican restaurant began offering a lifetime's worth of free lunches to anyone willing to tattoo the eatery's logo on their body. Since then, Jimmy the Corn Man, a sombrero-wearing mariachi boy riding a blazing corncob, has appeared on some 38 different body parts. A free burrito awaits anyone willing to expose their Jimmy to restaurant employees. The Sanchez family says they only give away about two free lunches a week. "They get embarrassed about not paying," says owner Marty Sanchez, "so they always leave a big tip."

Dateline: New Jersey--Last Saturday, the Princeton University Board of Trustees voted to ban their school's annual "Nude Olympics" after this year's event degenerated into a drunken brawl. The Nude Olympics is a 30-year-old student ritual in which the Ivy Leaguers gather for a nude frolic at midnight following the year's first snowfall. After this year's in-the-buff bonding ritual, several students complained of being sexually groped, while more than a dozen of the 350 participants landed in hospitals with alcohol poisoning or injuries.

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