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Friday, 12 January, 2001, 16:43 GMT
Amazing tales from Planet Tabloid
Planet Tabloid logo
News that is out of this world...
Our regular trip to the outer reaches of the news agenda this week features a woman who collects celebrity look-a-like crisps and an important new use for the domestic vacuum cleaner. But first...

CONTEMPORARY OFFICE ETIQUETTE

A man sat at his desk for five days before fellow office workers noticed he was dead, the Birmingham Sunday Mercury reports.

George Turklebaum, 51, a proof-reader at a New York firm of medical publishers, was so quiet that when he suffered a fatal coronary, slumped forward and remained completely inert, none of the 23 other people in his office noticed anything out of the ordinary.

CANINE INJUSTICE
A sheepdog from rural West Lothian has been "sacked" because he is scared of sheep.

The "sacking" happened when the farmer took the timid dog to the vet to have him put down.

The vet alerted the Canine Defence League who rescued the dog.

Source: Press Association

His boss Elliot Wachiaski is reported as saying: "George was always the first guy in each morning and the last to leave at night, so no one found it unusual that he was in the same position all that time and didn't say anything. He was always absorbed in his work and kept much to himself."

HIDEOUS AND IMPROBABLE PERSONAL INJURY NEWS

A 70-year-old Japanese man almost died when he got a rice cake stuck in his throat, the Sunday Times (Singapore) reports.

Fortunately his daughter had the presence of mind to thrust a the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner into his mouth and suck the offending object out of his windpipe.

Singapore Sunday Times
Singapore's Sunday Times - first for near-death rice cake incident news.
Japanese health officials warned this is "not an accepted way to dislodge such items," before adding: "Although the man is alright you have to be careful since such actions can harm your intestines."

Every year large numbers of elderly Japanese people die after eating glutinous rice cakes.

WORLD OF SPORT

A man in Lichfield, Staffs, has developed a miniature streaker for Subbuteo flick-football fans to add to their collections.

The streaker is female. The inventor has also made a Subbuteo policeman. The idea is that fans of the game will flick the streaker across the table-top felt pitch and then flick the policeman in hot pursuit.

streaker
Streaker - fully flickable half-inch plastic version now available
"Some traditionalists say it's a bit obscene or pornographic, but it's only meant to be a bit of fun. Britain invented football and table football - this is just another home-grown addition to the game," Subbuteo man Tom Taylor, 48, told the Press Association.

He is now seeking approval for the characters from the International Table Football Sports Federation.

He also runs a toyshop and is trying to sell the figures.

DEPARTMENT OF SHAGGY DOG STORIES

A dog called Doca has been appointed to a Brazilian council's ruling body and will be paid "a cabinet member's salary" if Brazil's Globo TV News web-site is to be believed.

Doca, a German Shepherd, will work a six-hour shift assisting Rio de Janeiro's Secretary for Animal Rights.


OXFORD ROWING BLUE GOES COXLESS

Sun headline on male rowing enthusiast and schoolteacher who had sex change

A closer inspection of the story, however, indicates that the money will be paid to Doca's owner, a vet who works for the Animal Rights Department. His wage is about 470 which, coincidentally, is roughly what a Brazilian cabinet minister earns.

Readers who may have gained the impression that the Brazilian state is now being run by a dog called Doca are labouring under a misunderstanding.

PULL THE OTHER ONE

Last year three men from Taipei, Taiwan, caused a stir by pointlessly pulling a wagon loaded with 100 men for three meters by means of cord attached to their penises.

BUFF JUSTICE!

Sun headline on a court story about a nudist

Now, with the aid of 17 more penis pullers, they aim to haul a Boeing 747 along a runway using the same method. According to the Sydney Morning Herald the team hopes to break several world records by doing all this.

There is no indication, however, as to why they are doing this or, generally, what the hell they think they are playing at.

POSSIBLY TRUE, BUT PROBABLY A HOAX

A Chicago woman has devoted her life to collecting potato crisps. Her collection consists of more than 4,000 crisps.

So far, so good.

The thing is that in order to join the collection, each crisp has to resemble a celebrity.

Crisp woman Nadine Lumford claims she has crisps which look like the standard list of celebrities including the inevitable Elvis Presley crisp-a-like.
Karl Marx
There's a Karl Marx in every packet claims Nadine Lumford

But others include right-wing TV preacher Jerry Falwell, the late Princess Diana and "famous Communist Karl Marx".

Ms Lumford's most "prized possession" is her "Jesus crisp". Unfortunately her husband ate ex-President Nixon when he "ran out of snacks".

"If you pay attention you can find a celebrity lookalike crisp in just about every bag," she told the Weekly World News.

"You just have to look closely at each one."


If you see anything in the coming week which you think Planet Tabloid ought to know about, you can e-mail us at newsonline.features@bbc.co.uk

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