Vol. 22, No. 5,514 - The American Reporter - September 7, 2016

by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
Syracuse, Indiana
January 11, 2001

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SYRACUSE, Ind. -- Since the real new millennium started, I haven't even hear an excited whisper heard from any of the marketing geniuses who celebrated it a year too early.

So I've had plenty of time to catch up on what's happening around the world. Here's the first "News of the World and Everyplace Else" column of the millennium.

  • File this one under "News of the Icky": You've all heard the joke about "man bites dog." And a few months ago, in California, this even happened. But a few days ago, a man in Johannesburg, South Africa managed to top that when he bit a python. 57 year old Lucas Sibanda says he was walking on a remote path, just minding his own business, when suddenly a python leapt out from behind the bushes, and scared the bejeezus out of Sibanda.

"I couldn't believe my eyes. I froze for almost 10 seconds, enough to let the snake tangle itself around me."

You have to wonder what kind of weenie Sibanda was in the first place to "freeze for almost 10 seconds" when faced with a whacking huge python. However, you have to admire Sibanda for his courage with what happened afterward. He told a local newspaper that the only way he could save himself was to "bite (this monster) just below the head," so he did just that, and kicked and punched until the snake released its grip.

But the whole nasty situation could have been avoided, if Sibanda had followed Erik's Rule for Dealing With Snakes: "When confronted with a snake of any size, do not freeze for 10 seconds. Instead, scream like a girl and run away."

  • Hospital emergency rooms see the most, and weirdest, action during full moons. But that nothing compared to what happened during the lunar eclipse this past Tuesday, visible in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

In Turkey, police arrested eight people for shooting at the moon during the eclipse, as has been their tradition for as long as anyone can remember. The Hurriyet newspaper said that police in the town of Kahramanmaras had detained the would-be lunar assassins and confiscated their rifles. A local religious official said that shooting at the moon was a non-religious custom, and urged people to only pray to God during lunar eclipses.

But this is much better than what happened in Nigeria at the same time.

In the Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a mob of Muslim youth burned down nearly 40 hotels and bars, blaming the eclipse on sinners.

"The immoral acts committed in these places are responsible for this eclipse," a youth leader told local police. Police and the youth clashed for hours on Tuesday before five people were arrested with more to follow. Later, the ghost of astronomer Carl Sagan was channeled to police headquarters to explain the concept of planetary orbits and gravitational pull to the youth.

Now let me see if I get this straight: it's a sin to drink alcohol, but it's not a sin to burn down someone else's property. I guess that works in much the same way that it's a sin for college athletes to receive small cash gifts from an agent, but it's not a sin for Notre Dame to get $13 million for appearing in, and eventually losing, the Fiesta Bowl.

  • Speaking of News of the Icky, Lorena Bobbitt set a dangerous precedent of man-mangling when she got mad at her husband, and ... umm ... took matters into her own hands. But as times change, so do methods.

In Hong Kong, a woman who was upset by her husband's alleged extramarital affair, cut off his right testicle. Fortunately or unfortunately, there were no other details. The 57-year-old husband also received a head injury, and is listed in stable condition in the hospital. Predictably, the wife is in police custody.

There seems to be a growing global pattern of testicle removal. Halfway around the world, in Merrye Olde Englande, a British woman was sentenced to jail after biting off the testicle of her best friend's husband in a drunken fight.

In an incident that sounds more like a Jerry Springer episode than a real-life story, the woman, identified only as Carr, was at the wedding celebration of Neil and Shelley Hutchinson, when Neil Hutchinson attacked his new wife. Carr came to Shelley's defense and Neil pinned her to the floor. This prompted Carr to bite through Neil's jeans and testicle. She told the court she was only acting in self-defense, and did not actually know which part of Hutchinson's body she was biting.

I would have thought the shrieks of agony should have tipped her off, but apparently they didn't. Police said they later found the testicle under a picture frame on the living room floor. The testicle could not be reattached, which I'm sure brought the whole honeymoon to a screeeching halt. Not that it hadn't already.

  • Speaking of England, guess who the world's third-most-hated man is? No, it's not Prince Charles, Prime Minister Tony Blair (he was fifth), or Washington Redskins quarterback Jeff George. It's Liam Gallagher, lead singer for Oasis.

The popularity poll, published by Madame Tussaud's wax museums, said that Gallagher finished a strong third behind Adolf Hitler and Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader responsible for the Kosovo conflict. Surprisingly, Iraqi maniac Saddam Hussein dropped from first place last year to fourth behind Gallagher.

Imagine how Liam Gallagher must feel: "Wow, people hate me than they hate mass-murderer Saddam Hussein. That hurts my feelings." Gallagher's artistic temperament has led him to quit the band on a number of occasions, caused fistfights between him and bandmate/brother Noel Gallagher, and resulted in countless shouting matches with flight attendants, other pop musicians, the media, and fans, also known as "the people who buy your CDs and keep you in business, you jerk."

Fellow pop star Robbie Williams, who has been exchanging snotty remarks with Gallagher in the media, actually won the hottest superstar, favorite entertainer, and favorite artist categories. He recently challenged Gallagher to a televised boxing match, and promised the proceeds to go to charity.

Normally, I wouldn't care about anything like this, but if they were to throw in Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, and N'Sync and make it a Steel Cage Death Match, I'd be willing to shell out $29.95 to see it on pay-per-view. Wouldn't you?

Copyright 2016 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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