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Posted on Sep 21, 01:27PM | IANS
DID YOU SEE that news story about a swarm of bees which declared war on an airport? They buzzzzzed into the cargo hold of a passenger flight in Kolkata and had to be chased out. Less than an hour later, they were back, this time nesting on a cockpit window, the Time of India reported. The pilot slammed his foot on the accelerator (or whatever the pilot equivalent is) to shake them off. I wonder what he told passengers? "This is your captain speaking: I've put the seatbelt sign on as I'm going to try something I've never done before."
The third attack was the most worrying: the bees swarmed up the steps to the front passenger entry door, presumably heading for Beesiness Class (sorry, couldn't resist). The air crew slammed it shut and asked all passengers to board speedily through the rear doors, the press reported.
It seems obvious to me that this group of bees desperately wants a long haul flight. Surely airport officials could just issue them some sort of group e-ticket and let them go?
When something similar happened in the US a few years ago, environmentalists pointed out that honeybees were protected by law. As a result, airport staff had to gently try to persuade the bees to leave the aircraft with soft brushes and soothing words. ("I'm afraid I must ask you to vacate that seat, Mr Bee, as you don't have the correct travel documents.")
A RECENT headline on the Fox News website caught my eye: "Industrial Scale Drug Lab Discovered". Look, I REALLY think we should stop discussing Lance Armstrong's breakfast choices now.
KEEP AWAY. I have a planet-sized deadly weapon with me. This is technically true. "A man who slammed another into the ground was recently found guilty of 'assault with a deadly weapon'," I heard from Selly Taw, a reader studying law. "The effect is that the ground in the US is now legally defined as a lethal weapon."
This is a bad precedent. Public security bureaus in Asia could use this to lock any of us up. "We found the accused in possession of a deadly weapon. He had secreted it under his feet."
DID YOU read about those United Arab Emirates guys arrested at the airport in Delhi with lorises (rare mammals) hidden in their underpants? I hate to think how airport officials will revise the airport security questions. a) "Can you confirm that all items of mammalian organic matter in your underpants are integral parts of your body?" b) "Could anyone have inserted mammals into your underpants without your knowledge?"
A MAN WAS arrested in Thailand the other day when the authorities discovered that he was keeping six tigers as pets. I bet that guy had ZERO disputes with his neighbours. TIGER OWNER: "Is my 200 decibel stereo too loud?" NEIGHBOR: "No, no, just fine, ha ha ha."
WHEN SCRUBBING GREASE off your kitchen walls, always take care to avoid damaging any ancient Mayan art that might be under it.
That's a top tip we learned from a recent National Geographic report about a family in Guatemala who cleaned their kitchen and found priceless Mayan frescos on the walls.
This true story was sent in by aggrieved reader Varsha Puri, who said: "My uncle spends hours with a metal detector looking for treasure, so it seems unfair that these guys find stuff right there in their kitchen."
I agree 100 percent. Life is SO unfair!
After an unpublished manuscript from author Hans Christian Anderson was found down the back of a sofa (another true story) I poked around in mine, to find nothing more than a fossilized French fry, which one of my kids tried to eat, arguing that it was "probably still good". The dog also wanted it, and I hope won the tug-of-war that followed.
The report about the rediscovered Mayan art resonated with me, because I am moving house. We formed a chain to pass cardboard boxes to the removal guys.
But after 30 boxes, I noticed that the next batch of cartons had a different removal company brand name. With horror I realized they were boxes which had remained unopened since our previous house move!
Even more eyebrow-raising was the fact that the remaining boxes bore other company names: cartons probably unopened from the move before the move before the move before the move before the move before the move before this one.
Why do we stupid modern consumers pay VAST SUMS to removal companies to lug unwanted, untouched garbage from place to place? Wouldn't it be easier to simply stay in one place and burn our life savings?
Last night I was at the bar talking about unwanted junk, when the guy next to me told me about a woman who found her ex-boyfriend in the attic.
A September 11 UPI report said a North Carolina woman found a guy she had broken up with 12 years earlier living in her attic. The report said: "She does not know how long the man had been staying there."
Okay, now that made me really nervous about cleaning out old storerooms.
PRINCE HARRY has just been sent to the war in Afghanistan for four months. When my kids misbehave I send them to their rooms for 20 minutes. I need to ratchet up my punishments. "Hit your sister again and you're on the FRONT LINES of the Syrian insurgency for A YEAR."
TALKING OF parenting, a woman was accidentally shot in the head by her 11-year-old son, it was reported earlier this month by media in the US state of Tennessee. She was then arrested for "child neglect" for letting it happen! Before I read that I thought I was having a bad day. Now everything seems just fine.
NORTH KOREAN leader Kim Jung-un recently visited a gym, the UK Daily Telegraph reported. Kim told office workers to "take exercise and receive medical treatment" so they can "devote themselves to revolutionary work in good health". Why is this sallow-faced porky kid in a baggy uniform giving out fitness tips? Who's gonna listen?
(Nury Vittachi is a frequent traveller based in Asia. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)