The Case of the Satanic Sandals. Moslems in Dhaka, Bangladesh, went on a rampage, ransacking shoe stores. It turns out they mistook the Thom McAn logo on some sandals for the Arabic characters for "Allah" and thought the Western company was denigrating their religion. Police were called in to quell the noting. At least one person was killed, and 50 were wounded.
They do things a little differently in South Carolina, where the Beaufort County School Board recently adopted a new text for its sex-education courses. The book, Sex Respect, contains no information on sexual reproduction, on how to deal with sexual abuse, or on how to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Instead, it has students make bumper stickers that read, "Control your urgin', be a virgin" and "Don't be a louse, wait for your spouse."
Rep. Bill Schuette (R–Mich.) recently advised constituents not to expect all their problems to be solved by the federal government. He warned voters, "Congress is not the sole suppository of wisdom."
Students at Connecticut's Ridgefield High School are demanding that a mural of Jimi Hendrix be painted over. They claim that the guitarist is an offensive symbol of drug abuse. Golly, this youthful rebellion stuff is really getting out of hand.
An update on the European economic unification slated for 1992. The European Commission has proposed making all plastic food illegal to prevent accidental consumption. In addition to realistic table decorations, the six-foot-long bananas and fish popular with soccer fans would be outlawed. In lands where tripe and escargot are considered delicacies, it seems people will eat just about anything.
Police officers in Hawthorne, California, can take advantage of the department's new holistic fitness program. The program includes regular aerobics classes, training in visualization techniques to relieve stress, and diet seminars. The doughnuts and coffee that were stationhouse staples have been replaced with whole-grain muffins and herbal tea. Cops who don't eat doughnuts, that's unheard of! What's next? Wyndham Hill records on the office inter-com? Channeling seminars with Shirley MacLaine? No more, "Stop, in the name of the law!" Instead, they'll warn fleeing suspects, "Hey, slow down, dude."
Tired of tasteless commercials? You know, those, ads for feminine hygiene products, hemorrhoid treatments, and adult diapers that always seem to come on just as you sit down for dinner. Well, you might want to check out Saudi Arabian television. Playboy reports some of the restrictions placed on a filmmaker doing a soft drink commercial for Saudi TV. Among the requirements: Two people may not drink from the same glass. No comparative advertising. No kissing. No hairy men. No burping. Right. I'd just like to see them make a cola commercial without any burping.
The hottest Christmas gift in South Korea this year is Spam. The Wall Street Journal reports Koreans are crazy about the stuff. Koreans can buy special gift sets of nine cans of Spam to present to loved ones and business associates. And we complain about getting fruitcake for Christmas.
Once again cranberry fans in Wisconsin are trying to make the cranberry muffin the official state muffin. Two years ago a similar measure was defeated. Wisconsin legislators already have named Antigo Silt Loam the state soil, the trilobite the state fossil, and the American water spaniel the state dog. All this from a state that some of us can't locate on an unlabeled map.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Brickbats".