Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
JULY 26, 1999:
Dateline: Bangladesh -- Lending new credence to the term "monkey on your back," police in Dhaka, Bangladesh, have captured two drug dealing simians. The two monkeys -- named Munni and Hamid -- had allegedly been trained to deliver drugs to buyers and collect money in Dhaka's Sabujbagh area. Police have not yet arrested the drug dealers behind the monkey mule scheme, but did seize a large quantity of bottled phensidyl -- a syrupy liquid containing codeine -- which is used as a cheap substitute for heroin or cocaine. The sale and use of alcohol and drugs in any form, except for medical purposes, is strictly prohibited in Muslim Bangladesh. The two pusher monkeys now face the prospect of life behind bars -- in the Dhaka zoo.
Dateline: Minnesota -- Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is giving up his public office for at least one night to step back into the squared circle. World Wrestling Federation chairman Vince McMahon has convinced the 48-year-old former wrestler to strap on the tights and the feather boa for one more battle royale. Jesse "The Body" Ventura will make his pro wrestling return in the August 22 pay-per-view extravaganza, "SummerSlam." The 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound Ventura has been battling in the political arena since his election last fall and has not grappled professionally since the mid-'80s.
Dateline: Tennessee -- In other wrestling/political news, former-wrestler-turned-commentator Jerry "The King" Lawler went to Tennessee's Election Commission offices last Wednesday to declare his intention to run for mayor of Memphis. Lawler, 49, has been a fixture in Southern wrestling for nearly three decades and currently works as a color commentator for the World Wrestling Federation. Lawler collected the 25 signatures needed to qualify for the election before even leaving the building. Eager fans waiting for jury duty assignments filled out Lawler's petition in exchange for autographs.
Dateline: California -- Barney the dinosaur has been soundly beaten by the San Diego Chicken. And, according to a federal appeals court, the purple dinosaur must continue to take his licking. Lyons Partnership LP, the owners of pre-pubescent icon Barney, attempted to sue Ted Giannoulas, who performs comedy skits at sporting events as the Famous San Diego Chicken. Lyons objected to a skit in which Giannoulas pretends to beat up a large purple dinosaur. The Barney boys claimed copyright infringement, alleging that the dinosaur costume used in the act too closely resembles the TV Barney. The lawsuit was dismissed last year when a judge ruled that the Chicken's act was clearly intended as parody. Last week, a panel of three federal judges upheld the decision, ordering Lyons to pay Giannoulas' legal fees and forcing Barney to take his lumps.
Dateline: Ohio -- Six-year-old John Carpenter has apparently been taking lessons from Steve McQueen in The Great Escape. After ditching out on the Kiddie Kampus Pre-School and Day Care Center in Fairfield, Ohio, Carpenter went on a tour of his Midwest neighborhood some 20 miles north of Cincinnati. Parked outside of a second-hand store called ReRuns for Wee Ones, Carpenter spotted a child's toy truck. The battery-powered truck's wires had been unhooked, but the freedom-loving tot popped the trunk, reattached the wires, yanked off the price tag and hopped in. An hour later, local authorities found Carpenter behind the wheel of the dark-blue truck as he headed down the local highway. A concerned motorist had spotted the junior joyrider and telephoned police. Carpenter managed to cruise about a mile down the freeway in the truck, described by police as knee high and about three feet long, before he was pulled over by authorities. Police are currently investigating how Carpenter escaped his day care center in the first place.