Santa Monica, California, Mayor Dennis Zane kicked off a press conference for an environmental awareness campaign by noting, "We have many things to celebrate today, not the least of which is the venereal equinox." A little penicillin will clear that up.

Meanwhile, in nearby Beverly Hills, Mayor Maxwell Salter held a press conference of his own. Salter saluted Beverly Hills resident Dodie Marshall, who had set "the American record for an IQ test." Reporters were astounded when Marshall said that she had given the test to herself and had it notarized "at the Supreme Court in Santa Monica." Marshall appeared a little miffed that officials from Guiness hadn't shown up. "I would never fraudulize them," she said. When asked why Salter had honored Marshall, a spokesman replied, "I have no idea." Maybe he was fraudulized.

Across the continent in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Mayor Bob Cox outraged minorities when he told a group of fourth-graders that to be mayor a man must be "free, white, and 21." Actually, it seems that the only requirement for mayor is that a person be really, really stupid.

Stupidity doesn't stop at the mayor's office, as Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams demonstrated at a recent outdoor press conference. When a light rainfall began, Williams told reporters it was like a woman being raped, "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it." Finally, a politician concerned about the victims of crime.

Oakland, California, has offered the NFL's Raiders a $50-million "relocation fee" to move back to that city. In addition, Oakland guaranteed the team several hundred million over the next five years. If Oakland can afford to pad Al Davis's thick wallet, why is the rest of California required to pay a higher sales tax to rebuild the parts of that city damaged by last year's earthquake?

One of America's biggest growth industries is Satanism, reports the Wall Street Journal. Satan seminars, in particular, are real money-makers. "Experts" command up to $1,000 to teach social-service workers, ministers, teachers, and police officers how to spot someone who worships the Prince of Darkness. (Here's a hint: If he listens to heavy-metal music or plays Dungeons and Dragons, you have a potential mass murderer on your hands.) The problem is that the real experts say it's a bunch of garbage. Claims of human sacrifice are never verified. And the oft-repeated tale of a woman who bred three children for sacrifice to Beelzebub is also false. The woman admitted that she lied after reporters confronted her with inconsistencies in her story. Still, the gullible continue to flock to the seminars. I guess the devil makes them do it.

Police in the South Bronx discovered that the "ball" used in a soccer game by neighborhood boys was actually a human head wrapped in cloth. Further investigation found the dismembered body of a Hispanic youth in a nearby cardboard box. It could have been worse. Imagine what organs they might have used for softball.

Amtrak's practice of discharging human waste from its toilets along railroad tracks has come under fire from several state governments. Amtrak has long dumped the contents of 30-gallon sewage holding tanks from moving trains. Investigators have found that crewmen sometimes play a rather bizarre game of tag when their trains pass by fishermen or maintenance crews. Scores of individuals report being hit with waste from trains. Amtrak acknowledges the problem, but argues that the complaints are "aesthetic in nature" and the practice isn't a health hazard.