Darren’s Daily Dose of Weird News: February 14, 2011

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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.

Single this Valentine’s Day? Well, so is Lynnette Granger. But she’s not letting couples have all the fun. She says Valentine’s Day is a day to pamper and spoil someone special — yourself. The Montgomery, Alabama, woman says on previous Valentine’s Days she’s made it a point to spend time with her family, then go out with her friends at night.  Single guys can be a little self-indulgent, too. Jason Scoffield says he would rather buy a new video game for himself than waste the money on a Valentine’s Day date.  ***MARLAR: Which explains why he’s still single.

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.)

The Japanese company Takko Shoji has a new product for Valentine’s day: “Black Garlic Chocolates.” They think people should eat more garlic for health reasons, so they developed a candy made of black garlic, which has a prune-like sweet-and-sour taste, coated with chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder. Outside Japan, they’re only available over the Internet. A spokesman said to those who worry garlic breath will kill the romance, “If both people eat them, there’ll be no problem.”  ***MARLAR: It’s the perfect gift for people afraid of Count Chocula.

Forget the candy or the roses. In China, the hot Valentine’s Day gift is matching nose jobs. The official newspaper China Daily reports couples are going under the knife together to get their noses and even their eyes done.  One young woman said her boyfriend loved the idea of matching noses and readily paid the 12-hundred dollars for the surgery.  Business at Shanghai’s plastic surgery clinics is up about 30 percent since the beginning of the month. ***MARLAR: Nothing says, “I love you” like a double dose of rhinoplasty.

So who would you rather spend Valentine’s Day with? Your partner or your pet?  A joint global poll by Reuters/Ipsos reported 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.

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!

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”.

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.

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!

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