Honolulu Lite


Friday, June 22, 2001

Sorry, mate, you've
got the wrong emu

I thought my bird was special until I came across an unusual wire story about birds in Australia that have begun mimicking the sound of mobile phones. There are so many cell phones in use in Australia, that several species of birds have incorporated the ringing sound into their mating and territorial calls. Which is not that unusual considering that's what most Aussies use the phones for, too.

Our lovebird -- the ironically named Sweetie -- talks to appliances. When the microwave beeps, she beeps back. She also talks to the dryer when it beeps that the clothes are dry. She refuses to talk toaster, for some reason.

And now to the news:

Doctors nail the problem

ETHIOPIA (Reuters) >> Doctors here removed more than 200 rusty nails swallowed by a mental patient who complained of stomach pains. They also removed keys and coins.

The 40-year-old man was thought to have been ingesting the items for the past 20 years. He is recovering from the operation.

(A spokesman said, "This is fantastic! Now we can finish that new hospital wing we've been working on.)

A pig by any other name

ROME (Reuters) >> Lina Maiale, 73, has decided to change her name to Lina Meri so people will stop laughing at her.

Maiale means Pig. In Italy, wives keep their surnames. So Lina's father was a Pig. His father was a Pig. And his father was a Pig. But after 73 years, Lina had enough.

"For so many years I carried the name Pig with dignity," she said. "Now I've decided I've got to change."

(Interestingly, in Italian, the word "Meri" means "muskrat." Nah, just kidding. It means Ring-tailed Skink.)

The long and short of it

PARIS (Reuters) >> A 22-year-old woman died and her companion was seriously injured when they crashed into the ground in a bungee jump.

The jump organizer attributed the accident to "an elastic (rope) that did not fit the weight of two people jumping together."

(In other words, the rope was TOOOOO LOOOONG. Isn't making sure the rope is the right length sort of the key to bungee jumping?)

Weird Web site: Jaklar, flaskan ar redan tom! If you know what that means, then you won't need to go to this week's weird Web site: Cursing in Swedish ( For the record, it means, "Damn it, the bottle is already empty!" Cursing in Swedish is an under-appreciated art form. But you can amaze your friends and avoid being pounded by your enemies by cursing in Swedish. But be careful or you might be forced to say: "Den fete javeln slog mig!"

Honolulu Lite on Sunday: OK, we've got a Hate Crimes Law now. Isn't it about time for a Stupid Crimes Law?

Quote me on this: "The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with." -- Marty Feldman

Alo-Ha! Friday compiles odd bits of news from Hawaii
and the world to get your weekend off to an entertaining start.
Charles Memminger also writes Honolulu Lite Mondays,
Wednesdays and Sundays. Send ideas to him at the
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-210,
Honolulu 96813, phone 235-6490 or e-mail

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