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Posted on Nov 09, 10:15AM | IANS
A man put planet Earth up for sale on a Japanese internet auction site last week. The seller listed the Earth as "used" and warned that there was a "no-return" policy. Buy it and you're stuck with it.
On the information page, he explained that god had appeared to him in a dream and told him to sell the place. People being people, many took it seriously, reports Rocketnews24, a Japanese news website.
A questioner from Saitama asked: "I love cigars. Is it possible to sell off just Cuba as a special package item?" Answer: "Thank you for your question! After placing the winning bid, I think Havana can be moved to Saitama, Japan."
Q: "Hello. This is a really interesting item! If I buy the Earth will I become a god?" Answer: "Thank you for your question! This item can't make you a god."
One questioner, apparently from a different galaxy, asked whether the Earth could be delivered to his home planet. Q: "Is it possible to ship this via Altair? Thank you for your time." A: "Thank you for your question! Because it would take 17 light years just for the bank transaction to complete, I think you should forget shipping."
At the time of writing, the price for planet Earth has soared from 69 cents to US2,700. In real estate terms, it may sound cheap, but think of the maintenance, etc. Do you really want all that responsibility?
Love this quote from US funnyman Jimmy Kimmel last week about the cancelled New York marathon: "I don't even know why they bother running the marathon. We know what's going to happen. Why not just find a random Kenyan, put a medal around his neck, and save everyone the trouble?"
The brain is a very strange thing. A hungry reader told me he carefully separated his burger from the wrapping paper, and then threw the burger into litter bin. It was not his best day.
Another reader, Janakan Arulkumarasan, told me he was at Cambridge University when he hurried to the postbox with an important letter - which he "posted" into the litter bin next to the mailbox. "Filled with horror, I stuck my arm in the bin, covering my sleeves with abandoned spaghetti and suchlike, desperately fishing for the letter," he said. "Moral of the story: going to Cambridge doesn't make you smart."
I asked regular contributors for similar tales, and the saddest true story concerned an old man who lived in the UK. Being too old to learn how to use email, Alf Spence, 91, posted letters and parcels for two years in what he thought was a postbox. In fact, it was a receptacle for dog poop.
Alf only discovered the error when a passerby saw him putting an envelope in the dog poop collection box and stopped him.
The elderly man from North Yorkshire complained that it was the same colour as the mailbox.
He wrote to the Royal Mail to tell them that they could stop the hundreds of "missing mail" searches he had instigated over the past two years. I just hope someone else posted THAT letter for him.
A judge last week told disgraced French investment banker Jerome Kerviel that he has to pay back the USUSD 6 BILLION that he lost. Whoah, someone's going to have to cut back on the designer coffees. That could take MONTHS, seriously.
You may recall this columnist mentioning a correspondent who is keen on having more than one wife, and is thus checking out his options to settle in Asia - Malaysia being his current first choice. I was wondering how to discourage him (for his own sake) when I received just what I needed in the shape of a news report forwarded by Hong Kong reader Esther Cheong.
A man who upset his wife was remotely made impotent, a court in Zimbabwe heard last week. Tichaona Musavengana, 43, told the judge that he had done absolutely nothing to upset his wife, other than bringing home an extra wife as a general upgrade to his marital situation.
His wife, whose name was Beauty Mapfumo, pledged revenge. Shortly afterwards, her husband found he had acquired an extreme case of erectile dysfunction, which basically means he ended up with the libido (no, that's not a board game, look it up) of overcooked spaghetti.
The "cursed" man told the judge he has been to numerous doctors in Harare, both modern and traditional, but nothing has worked. "I'm now pleading with my wife to undo her 'fix'," he said, according to Bulowaya24, a news source. "I can pay her two cows."
A man aged 96 has just had a child. It's not fair: if older women have babies, people tell them off for being irresponsible, but men just get a pat on the back and a "woohoo". "I didn't take any performance enhancers," Ramajit Raghav, an ancient bag of bones, boasted to the Times of India.
The old fella says he is going to have his wife Shakuntala Devi (a mere child of 52) sterilized so that she won't get pregnant again. Wise move: otherwise they'd have three kids to put through college, and a guy's earning power drops off after his first 120 years.
Two hundred yetis live in the unexplored regions of the world, Russian professor Valentin Sapunov said last week, but are rarely seen because the lumbering, hair-covered monsters are highly unsociable. Has he got "yetis" mixed up with "teenagers", I wonder?
A live shark fell out of the sky on to a golf course in southern California on Oct 22. A fish expert said it had wounds around its fin, suggesting that it had been snatched from the sea, lifted into the sky, then accidentally dropped. Officials are looking for a very strong falcon or a disappointed-looking Chinese tycoon.
Seventy earthworms were married in an elaborate wedding in Taiwan sponsored by greenies last month. Romance among earthworms is easy, since all earthworms are both male and female, just like 1970s pop singers.
(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveler. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)