Chuck Shepherd


Life is good now for British men who “identify” as dogs and puppies, as evidenced by a BBC documentary titled “Secret Life of the Human Pups,” showing men in body outfits (one a Lycra-suited Dalmatian, “Spot”) exhibiting “sexual” expressions such as stomach-rubbing, ear-tickling and nuzzling their “handlers,” eating out of bowls, gnawing on chew toys, wearing collars (so as not to be a “stray”) and jumping in the air for “treats.” However, decency demands that a Pup must only feign urinating against a lamppost. Said Spot (aka Tom): “It’s about being given license to behave in a way that feels natural, even primal.”

Financial crisis

As Libya’s central bank struggles to stabilize a halting economy, it could surely use the estimated $184 million in gold and silver coins that Moammar Gadhafi minted but left buried in an underground vault in the coastal city of Beyda. However, according to a Wall Street Journal report, the treasure is inaccessible because central bank officials don’t know the lock’s combination. The latest plan is to have a locksmith squeeze through a 16-by-16-inch hole in the outer vault’s concrete wall and once inside try his hand. If unsuccessful, the government’s bureaucrats likely cannot get paid, but even if successful, various anti-government factions may go to extremes to snatch the coins.

Bright idea

Argentina’s TV channels have many of the same taboos as U.S. broadcasting, including restrictions on women’s hands-on demonstrations of how to examine themselves for breast cancer. However, as AdWeek reported in March, the agency David Buenos Aires apparently solved the problem with an explicit TV public service announcement featuring a model (facing the camera, topless) showing exactly how such an exam should go, e.g., where to press down, where to squeeze. The secret? The model was an overweight man with generous-sized “manboobs.”

Courting gone awry

Among the critters for which life is most difficult are male nursery web spiders that, according to May research in Biology Letters journal, instinctively “court” females with food wrapped in silk — offerings that increase the males’ chances of scoring and decrease, by 84 percent, their chances that the female will spontaneously eat the male. The study also found that males sometimes try to mate using nonfood items wrapped in silk — with mixed results — and also that sometimes unscrupulous females accept food gifts but nevertheless immediately devour the male.

Least competent criminals

• James Kinley III, 27, was charged in York County, S.C., in May with dealing marijuana. He apparently had the belief that York County deputies do not monitor Craigslist — because that is where Kinley advertised “I Sell Weed” in a notice with his photo, address and price ($200).

• Grady Carlson, 58, went to the Carolina Title Loans office in Spartanburg, S.C., on May 25 to apply for a high-interest “payday” loan — and nervously paced while answering questions. The Carolina employee asked if anything was wrong, and Carlson allegedly disclosed that he needed money — fast! — to purchase methamphetamine. A subsequent police search turned up a glass container and drugs.


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