. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Et Cetera

Pop Goes the King


As the song says, Billie Jean is not his lover, but the question of just who has been canoodling with the self-proclaimed "King of Pop" is throwing a monkey wrench in Michael Jackson's world tour.


A coaliton of some 50 Christian, consumer and business groups in South Korea have banded together to try to halt the chalky chartbuster's planned Oct. 11 and 13 concerts there. Citing concerns over Jackson's out-of-court settlement of child sexual abuse charges in 1993 -- he paid a reported $20 million to the family of a 13-year-old boy who claimed he had been Jackson's bedtime diversion -- the coalition has pressured the tour's local sponsor, corporate giant Hyundai, to drop its financial support. The country's top ticket outlets have also refused to sell tickets to the concerts.


The Korean promoter says Jackson, who was once the most famous black man on the planet and is now its most technologically-altered white person (outside of Cher, andmaybe the aging Burt Reynolds), would still make mega-bucks from the concerts, even without corporate shilling. But now the government, which refused to let Jackson play in 1994 but granted permission this time around, says it may have to cancel the shows anyway because of security concerns. No local security company has agreed to provide the mountains of muscle -- 3,500 guards -- the government has required to guard the wan moonwalker from his fans.





Love: It Bites


The manly drunkards of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, are on the lookout for a mysterious character who has been covering them with "love bites" when they are passed out on the street.


According to Managua's El Nuevo Diaro, the leech-lipped "chupabolos" -- "drunksucker" -- has been preying on men plopped in drunken stupors near a local market, creeping up and leaving big hickeys on various parts of their bodies.


The men -- the few habitually drunken men, that is -- of Matagalpa, famed for its nostril-flaring, chest-baring, you-want-some-of-this machismo, have organized searches for the emasculating dermis-nibbler, but with no success so far. The total number of victims is unknown, because it's not, after all, the kind of thing you generally like to bring up in public: "Hey, got my belly sucked while I was lying in my own vomit at the market last night!" Reports that movie rights to the story had been sold to Jim Carrey could not be verified.





Love: It Really Bites


n "Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful." -- Shakespeare, "Measure for Measure."





A 17-year-old Egyptian boy, who, in the manner of hyper-hormonal youth had been impugning the honor of a local woman, got a stern lesson in gentlemanly behavior this week when the object of his attention took him in hand -- and bit off his tongue.


Police said that Bothaina Ahmed, 39, tired of the salaciously censorious barbs aimed at her by young Alaa Hassan, persuaded the teenager to accompany her into the field near their village in the central Nile delta. She began kissing him, but when she had at last, as it were, drawn him out, she bit off his ungovernable wagger.


Police charged Ahmed with assault. Reports that Jim Carrey was dueling Demi Moore to secure movie rights to the story could not be confirmed.





In Vino Rabbitas


This just in: Red wine is good for you.


This shocking news -- virtually unknown except by those people who have lived on the planet Earth since the days of Dionysius -- has now been (you guessed it) scientifically proved by researchers who plied a bunch of big bunny rabbits with red wine, then killed them to study their guts.


Brazilian scientists announced this week that they had discovered evidence that red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing fats in the blood from clogging up the old pipes. Researchers at Sao Paulo's Instituto de Coracao do Hospital das Clincicas da FMUSP took a group of rabbits, stuffed them with a high-fat diet, gave some of them red wine with their meals while leaving others high and dry.


The result? The non-wined rabbits found their arteries clogged nearly to closure with globules of fat and atherosclerotic plaques, while the happier hoppers felt their blood flow freely. At the end of 12 weeks, however, all the little gourmands -- boozers and teetotalers alike -- were killed and cut open so their innards could be explored.


Reports that the cafeteria at the Instituto de Coracao do Hospital das Clinicas da FMUSP had seen a sudden jump in lunchtime business this week could not be confirmed.





Mummy Come Home


Respect for culture and love of history is a beautiful thing. And a passion for the preservation of antiquities has obviously been the force guiding antiques dealer Terry Lewis in his relentless quest to safeguard humanity's irreplaceable cultural heritage.


And that's why the Maine native is not about to let the Egyptian government take his mummy away. Not without wads of wampum, anyway.


Abdeleem El-Abyad, spokesman for the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, says his government is investigating whether Lewis' mummy -- which he bought at auction from a New Hampshire museum in 1992 -- was purchased in Egypt or stolen from a tomb before it first appeared in America 50 years ago. If it was stolen, Egypt wants it back.


No way, says Lewis. "If the Egyptian government tries to take it back without adequate compensation, I'm going to take the mummy to the Bath bridge at noon, hire a helicopter, light some flares and over she goes," the plucky preservationist told the Portland Press Herald.


Reports that Jim Carrey -- oh, never mind.


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