Chuck Shepherd

Beautician Sarah Bryan, 28, of Wakefield, England, who got worldwide notoriety last year when she introduced a wearable dress made of 3,000 Skittles, returned this summer with a wearable skirt and bra made of donated human hair — a substantial amount, she said, being pubic hair. She admits having had to work in an eye mask, breathing mask and thick gloves, out of fear of donors' hygiene habits.

More conventionally, designer Van Tran of Brooklyn won the 12th annual (wearable) Toilet Paper Wedding Dress design contest in New York City in June, with a $10,000 prize from sponsors Charmin and Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Going to the dogs

Picturesque Torrelodones, Spain (pop. 22,000), has 6,000 pet dogs and apparently few conscientious dog owners, which town leaders say accounts for the nearly half-ton of "litter" that accumulates daily. The town's latest bright idea: installing a 7-foot-high, 10-by-10-foot brown, inflated plastic "swirly" in the center of town as a reminder to residents to pick up after their dogs. Spain's the Local reported in June that other towns have begun to tackle the problem as well, such as with DNA testing of dogs and street-scrubbing punishment for guilty owners.


• A bicycle thief was stopped on June 10 when the bike's owner and several other people chased him from the Wal-Mart parking lot in Eagle Point, Ore., drawing the attention of a passing rider on horseback who joined the chase and moments later, according to a report in the Portland Oregonian, lassoed the man and restrained him until police arrived.

• A kite surfer on a Sussex beach south of London got into trouble on June 26 and was unable to float back to land — until he was rescued by two good Samaritans in kayaks. The saviors happened to be dressed as Batman and Robin for participating in the Shoreham Beach Superhero Paddle.

Cure for loneliness

Client Partners is only one of several Japanese agencies that supply rental "friends" to the lonely, for hours or days of companionship tailored to the needs of the socially challenged client (with two rules, however: "no romance," "no lending money").

A writer for AFAR travel magazine interviewed several "friends" in June, one of whom explained: "Japan is all about face. We don't know how to talk from the gut. We can't ask for help." Said the female "friend" (who offered a goodbye handshake to the interviewer): "There are many people who haven't been touched for years … who start to cry when we shake hands with them."

Costly rescue

Good Samaritan Derrick Deanda is facing a $143 bill from paramedics in Elk Grove, Calif., after he, passing a car crash, pulled out a man and his three children who were trapped in the wreckage. A short time later the paramedics arrived and, noticing that Deanda had a cut on his arm from breaking the car's window to free the family, bandaged him. Elk Grove has a policy charging "all patients" at a first-responder site $143 for the "rescue," and Deanda received his bill in June.

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