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Pretty boys



Retailers in Los Angeles, New York and Miami say more and more young, urban, heterosexual men are choosing to dress in women's tight, low-slung jeans and to use stylish lotions, fragrances and hair-care colors and products, according to June reports in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. Some marketers call men who are eager to embrace their feminine sides "Metrosexuals" and point to English soccer star David Beckham (who braids his hair and paints his fingernails) as an icon. On July 15, the Bravo cable channel will air a makeover show, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

Forked tongues

Illinois became the latest state to propose a ban on having one's tongue aesthetically split, reptile-like (unless done by a doctor or dentist). But the move is unpopular among devotees. "When I first saw it, I thought tongue-splitting was the most beautiful thing I've seen in my life," said satisfied splittee James Keen, who spoke to an Associated Press reporter, who observed that Keen "now speaks with a slight lisp." Said another splitee, who said he could now do party tricks like picking up a pencil with the two halves, "It's done to better yourself."

Playground spanking

Anthony Scott Ward, 40, and Melissa Coleman, 27, were arrested in Prestonburg, Ky., following a Memorial Day incident at a playground (with kids nearby), in which Coleman was bound face down on a picnic table, being paddled by Ward with a boat oar, in what authorities described as consensual "foreplay." Police recovered a cache of bondage items from the couple, including ceremonial hoods, handcuffs, prosthetic sexual tools, ropes, chains, collars, clamps, vibrating devices, lubricants and a cattle prod.

Murder he/she wrote

In May, battered wife Elizabeth Rudavsky stabbed to death her severely abusive husband of seven months, Angelo Heddington, in Thedford, Ont., but to Rudavsky's shock, Heddington was soon identified as a woman (who had long ago adopted male mannerisms and dress). A former Heddington girlfriend, who had discovered the secret earlier, told a reporter, "(Heddington) had soft hands, but she spit like a guy. The whole time you were talking to her, she'd have her hands in her pockets playing with herself like she was a guy."

The doctor is in(sane)

London's Daily Mirror revealed in May that "Dr. Death" Harold Shipman, serving a life sentence for killing 15 older patients (and perhaps as many as 200 more), had somehow been allowed to assist sick prisoners in the hospital wing of England's Frankland jail in Durham County. Said one prison source, "This man has spent his career secretly killing (people). Just imagine some poor guy's face when he looks up from his wheelchair and sees Dr. Death is pushing it."

Nunsensical methods

According to a May lawsuit filed against the all-girl Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, Conn., Catholic Sister Linda Cusano repeatedly wrestled a student to the floor in a secluded office in incidents in 1991 and 1992, for sexual purposes and to impress upon the student that she needed to join the convent upon graduation and submit herself to God. Cusano was known by students as "the recruiter" because of her aggressive (but more mainstream) encouragement toward sisterhood.

Criminally stupid

Police in Scotia, N.Y., arrested Malinda Kelly in March on several charges but only after they had scurried around for several hours trying to find her "stolen" car and her 3-month-old son, who was inside. The next day, Kelly's story fell apart. Actually, said police, she had forgotten where she had left the car, which was idling, with the child inside, while she ran down the street to burglarize her uncle's home. (She came away with some money, but meanwhile lost her own money when a stranger took her purse from the idling car.)


In May the U.S. Supreme Court let stand an Iowa Supreme Court order that the Interstate Power Co. should pay a family $700,000 because stray voltage had been juicing up their farm's cows. Daniel and Coleen Martins said that, because of a nearby power substation, their cows had been kicking off their milkers, swinging from side to side, and "dancing," to the detriment of their milk production.

Struck dumb

A man who was hit by lightning at a Cincinnati amusement park two years ago (who survived, but with brain damage) filed a lawsuit in June against the park. According to the man's lawyer, Drake Ebner, the man somehow did not already know enough about how serious lightning storms are and the park management was negligent in not warning him against heading for his car, where he was struck.

Bad medicine

A Southport, England, driver showed a judge a note from his doctor certifying that a blood clot had erased his short-term memory and thus that his 30 parking tickets should be dismissed because he can never remember where he parked.

Also, Texas Legislature passed a bill to ban doctors' performing surgery while intoxicated -- except in an emergency.

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