Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News

(Did you miss yesterday’s Darren Marlar Show?  Check out the podcast now at http://marlar.podomatic.com!)

So who would you rather spend Valentine’s Day with? Your partner or your pet? A joint global poll by Reuters/Ipsos reported Monday that one in five adults say they’d opt for the company of a furry friend on February 14. ***MARLAR: I don’t know if I’d go quite that far, but I do have to say that I truly do have feelings for my Sea Monkeys.

People probably can’t tip cows, but a cow tipped a person in Knoxville. Then it stepped on him. An ambulance was called to the University of Tennessee agriculture campus Friday morning. Fire Department Capt. D.J. Corcoran told The Knoxville News Sentinel first responders found a 40 to 50-year-old man who said he was working with cattle in a pen when one knocked him down and stepped on his chest. Corcoran said the man was alert and joking about being stepped on by a cow as he was put in an ambulance. ***MARLAR: Apparently he didn’t hear the cow’s horns honking for him to get out of the way.

King George County schools are a no-Valentine zone this week. After learning that school secretaries would typically deal with 100 to 200 deliveries of flowers, balloons and the like each Valentine’s Day to teachers and students, Principal Joseph Pociask banned all such deliveries for the entire week. Acting King George School Superintendent Carol Collins liked the idea, and she extended the ban to all four county schools. Joseph said he isn’t an unromantic grinch, he just wants to minimize disruptions. “People who are champions of education realize our job is to deliver education, not to deliver flowers,” he said. The ban has angered many county teachers, parents and students, as well as their loved ones. ***MARLAR: You think this is nuts, just wait until someone at the ACLU puts two and two together and discovers that Valentine’s Day is a Christian holiday!

Celebrating Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) on a dime may not be so bad after all. According to a survey by AXE, due to the poor economy, 62 percent of women are expecting their significant others to spend less than $30 on Valentine’s Day this year. ***MARLAR: It’s the first year I’ll actually meet my wife’s expectations.

Forget flowers and chocolates on this Valentine’s Day and give your sweetheart a plate of potatoes! A farmer in England is hoping his heart-shaped Valentine’s Day spuds will be a huge hit. Andy Jeffrey is selling his heart-shaped potatoes for about a dollar and thinks they could catch on during Valentine’s Day. “I think they are ideal for couples who have been saying it with flowers for years – get the food on the plate to say it for you.” ***MARLAR: Just tell your sweetheart, “This spud’s for you”.

A British supermarket chain introduced a line of Valentine cards for cheap men that cost just 14 cents each. ***MARLAR: Their slogan – “When You Care Just Enough To Send Almost Nothing At All.” (Guys, this might be the one time when it would actually be better just to pretend you forgot Valentine’s Day than to give her a card that cost 14 cents.)

Roland S. Martin despises Valentine’s Day. The Chicago radio talk show host and executive editor for the Chicago Defender newspaper says the holiday has become a contest to see who can spend the most on flowers, dinners and gifts for their loved ones. Martin says he shows his love for his wife every other day of the year so he doesn’t see why he should become “the enemy because on this one day I didn’t do it.” He calls the holiday “complete materialism” that some use to snub others who don’t get all the candy, gifts and flowers. Martin’s advice to couples for the day: “Tell one another how we actually feel about each other and what the love means to us.” ***MARLAR: Yeah, you do that Roland… let me know how it works for you. Hope your doghouse is heated.

Planning on popping the question to her on Valentine’s Day? Here’s one way NOT to do it. A California man recently had the romantic idea to propose to his girlfriend by paying to have a banner carried behind a plane popping the question at a local air show. Frank Selendar’s banner read, “Julie, I love you. Marry me – Frank”. Julie promptly said “yes” and then his other girlfriend, also named Julie, ran up to him and said yes too. Security guards had to be called in to break up the 3-way fight. ***MARLAR: Good thing it was at an air show – they could fly him directly to the emergency room.

A New York City TV station went out and bought six bags of Valentine’s Day candy and discovered that five of the six were leftovers from last year. ***MARLAR: Hey, they never presented me with a search warrant!

Chocolate is better than fluoride at keeping your teeth healthy, a study at Tulane University in New Orleans has concluded. The cocoa in chocolate hardens tooth enamel and fights cavities and should be considered as a natural alternative to fluoride, which has been shrouded in controversy for decades, the researchers say. Tulane’s Arman Sadeghpour and his colleagues are exploring ways of incorporating cocoa extract in toothpaste. ***MARLAR: From now on I’m dipping my toothbrush in hot fudge.

When Sim Jae-duck says he lives in a toilet, he’s not kidding. Sim has made his political career as South Korea’s Mr. Toilet by beautifying public restrooms. Now he’s got a home that’s only fitting to his title — a house in the shape of a toilet! No kidding. He built the two-story house, er… toilet, to commemorate the inaugural meeting later this month of the World Toilet Association. Representatives from 60 countries will gather in Seoul to spur the creation of national toilet associations of their own and spread the word about bathroom hygiene. Of course the showpiece in Sim’s new 4,520-square-foot house is a giant luxury bathroom on display through a floor-to-ceiling window made of glass that turns opaque at the touch of a button. When guests enter to do their business, a motion sensor also activates classical music. ***MARLAR: Mozart’s symphony number one… and number two.

The dust bowl was a series of dust storms that swept through the Midwest in the 1930’s that destroyed crops and killed livestock. ***MARLAR: Similar to when you clean under your bed.

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