Brickbats

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? In Oslo, Norway, Kristi Larsen had a dream that she should name her son Gesher. But the name isn't on the government's official list of acceptable names. So she's been fined and ordered to give him an acceptable name. Some names that have government approval are: Odd, Bent, Roar, Dits, and Anon.

? No clothes? No legs? No problem. To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Dade County, Florida, has spent $18,500 to install a ramp to provide wheelchair access to the county's only nude beach. The county will also have to spend another $30,000 to provide special parking for handicapped nudists.

? The mayor of Izmir, Turkey, has banned the sale of Dole bananas in that town. Seems many Turks blame Sen. Robert Dole (R- Kan.) for an effort to deny aid to Turkey for refusing to allow relief supplies for Armenian refugees to pass through their country. The mayor is convinced that the senator owns the fruit company and banned the fruit in retaliation.

? When Elbert Lewis got a notice to register for the draft, he was a bit confused. Lewis had already been drafted and served aboard a Navy anti-aircraft cruiser—in World War II. Lewis is, in fact, 80 years old, not 18 as the Selective Service insists.

? Harvard, Illinois, population 6,000, doesn't have much of a gang problem. And local officials are determined to keep it that way. They passed an ordinance banning the wearing of gang symbols, and last year arrested 14 juveniles for violating that law, including one young man caught wearing a Star of David necklace. Police also say that the color combination of black and gold is a gang symbol, which must present some problems for teens who want to show their school spirit. Harvard High School's colors are black and gold.

? Thomas D. Wallace has filed a $40 million suit against Compton's NewMedia, its parent Tribune Co., and Best Buy. The Omaha man claims he suffered emotional distress when he discovered that the Compton's NewMedia's CD-ROM encyclopedia, which he bought at Best Buy, contains the word nigger. The word appears in such contexts as the Joseph Conrad novel The Nigger of the Narcissus and historic articles about slurs aimed at Martin Luther King Jr.

? A woman has filed suit against a Milwaukee-area Catholic church. She claims a display board fell on her during a church bingo game. Since then, claims the suit, the woman has experienced spontaneous multiple orgasms several times each day and developed an irresistible sexual attraction to other women.

? The men of Great Britain's Green Party are apparently a touchy-feely group of guys. You probably figured as much. The party's female members aren't. You probably guessed that too. The women didn't like being touched by the men when congratulatory or supportive hugs were offered, but worried that the men would feel "lonely, confused, and rejected" if they turned them down. So the party has started workshops teaching the three politically correct forms of hugging. They are: the side by side (hand on shoulder is the only body contact allowed), the frontal (hands on shoulders and an object must separate the bodies), and from behind (the huggee must be specifically asked, "Do you want a hug?" and the only body contact allowed is, well, hands on shoulders).

? The Passaic County, New Jersey, chapter of the National Organization for Women is asking parents of young children not to hold same-sex birthday parties. Such festivities teach that sex discrimination is right, say the NOWsters. No word yet if children attending mixed-sex birthday parties must first go through workshops on how to hug each other.

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