January 10, 2001

Wild Monkeys and
Pamela Anderson: Can
This Year Get Any Better?

By Roy Rivenburg

2001, An Oddity: It's the new-and-improved millennium, now with 30 percent more weirdness. Here are the latest developments:

  • In India, 10,000 wild monkeys have swarmed the nation's capital and begun rampaging through government offices, shredding important documents, pilfering food and tormenting bureaucrats, according to Reuters news service. In a related story, Democrats are considering importing the monkeys to disrupt George W. Bush's presidency.
  • La-Z-Boy has introduced the E-cliner, the world's first recliner wired for Internet access.
  • A Singapore thief who purchased two cell phones with a stolen credit card later returned to the store to complain he'd been overcharged, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • A Peruvian entrepreneur plans to market musical condoms that whistle the tune from ''The Andy Griffith Show.'' Because everyone knows what a turn-on it is to think about Goober, Barney Fife and Floyd the Barber.
  • The San Diego Chicken is the sports mascot whom most Americans would want as president, according to a survey by MSNBC. Possible changes under a poultry presidency: No more ''chicken in every pot'' campaign pledges; all state of the union addresses delivered via Jumbotron; seventh-inning stretches at Camp David peace summits; ''Hail to the Chief'' now played on baseball organ; Martin Sheen must dress as a large bird for TV's ''The West Chicken Wing.''
  • A California company has introduced PortaPam, a Tamagotchi-style virtual reality game in which players take care of ''actor'' Pamela Anderson by fending off paparazzi, juggling her appointments and making sure she eats ''the right amount of pizza and smoothies not too much or too little, or the tabloids will pick up on it.''
  • A casting call in the Hollywood Reporter seeks movie extras to portray Yanomami natives. ''Adults must be under 5 feet tall, have slender bodies with distended bellies, and no modern haircuts.'' For those of you contemplating a career change.
  • A farewell address from Socks the White House cat has been posted at the Socks the Cat Fan Club website. The lame-duck feline urges everyone, ''in the spirit of national unity, to support the new First Pets.'' Socks, who will reportedly live with President Clinton's secretary Betty Currie after leaving Washington, plans to ''work on my meowmoirs ... and break ground on my Presidential Pet Library.''
  • Musician Chubby Checker is launching his own line of beef jerky. The flavors include ''Sugar Twist Teriyaki'' and ''Invisible Strength Hickory Flavor of the Forces.''
  • Fashion designers from Detroit are making clothes out of salvaged auto parts. The car couture includes miniskirts sewn from seat fabric and purses made from headrests. The attire will be displayed in New York next month.
  • Making summer vacation plans? A Denver animal hospital has created a mini-museum of objects retrieved from pets' stomachs, everything from pantyhose to padlocks.

    Book Title of the Month: ''Surviving the Flesh-Eating Bacteria.'' Unfortunately, it's a complex read, so we'll wait for the ''Dummies'' version.

    Off-Kilter Encyclopedia: The word ''juggernaut'' was originally the name of a Hindu god whose image is carried on a large wagon in an annual ritual. According to legend, worshippers sometimes threw themselves under the wagon and were crushed.

    Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ''The Queen of England is a Blood-Guzzling Devil Worshiper!'' (Weekly World News)

    Unpaid Informants: www.bizarrenews.com, Ann Harrison, Wireless Flash News Service, PR Newswire, Lynell George, USA Today.

    Copyright © 2000 by Roy Rivenburg
    Distributed by Creators Syndicate