The speaker of the house demands a luxury box

Jim Bainbridge

Beijing’s most popular newspaper – circulation 1.25 million – has unwittingly republished a bogus story about U.S. Congress threats to skip town for Memphis or Charlotte unless Washington builds it a new Capitol building with a retractable dome. The item was lifted pretty much word for word from the Onion humor site, which also had blueprints for a new legislative home that resembles a ballpark. “The story was written by one of our free-lance writers,” an editor at the Beijing Evening News told Reuters. “His stuff has been pretty much reliable before.”

THIS MAY BE MORE DETAIL THAN WE REALLY WANTED: The first 1,500 fans at the Charlotte Knights’ May 31 game received a Tommy John “bobble-arm” doll, where both head and left arm bobble. John, a former director of community relations and radio commentator for the Knights, pitched for 26 seasons in the major leagues and is famous for the reconstructive arm surgery that bears his name – the doll came complete with elbow scar.

HEY, FAIR’S FAIR: “If MLB bans the use of performance-enhancing drugs,” says Paul Giles of, “does that mean Rafael Palmeiro won’t be able to take Viagra anymore?”

AND NUKE LALOOSH COULD THROW OUT THE FIRST PITCH: Colorado College chemistry professor Harold Jones saw last week’s item about Albuquerque’s reluctance to name its Pacific Coast League team the Isotopes and immediately began thinking about how to reach consensus. He suggested that the City Fathers “lobby hard for ‘Albuquerque Nukes.’ It sounds just like ‘Dukes,’ is appropriate to the theme, and every scientific illiterate in the country with a microwave oven would think that they knew what it meant. If it has to be an isotope, they could go with the most appropriate one, U-235. Fans would turn out in droves thinking it was a new rock band.”

STILL, IT WAS REMINISCENT OF THOSE EARLY MARINER CLUBS: A low- flying plane attempting to spread the ashes of a longtime Mariners fan on Seattle’s Safeco Field, instead had the urn clank off the stadium roof onto the ground below. Witnesses called the police which led to the closing of nearby streets, a hazardous materials unit being deployed and an FAA investigation. “That would be my sort of luck,” Orioles manager Mike Hargrove told Baseball Weekly. “Somebody would drop my ashes and miss.”

RANDOM THOUGHTS: If Evel Knievel is really serious about one last stunt, how about thinking really big and attempting a jump over Randy Moss’ ego. … When the Houston Astros rename their stadium Minute Maid Field and immediately lose four straight it’s hard to see it as a coincidence. … With zero home runs in 271 at-bats through Monday is it safe to assume the Rockies’ Juan Pierre is on some sort of anti- steroid?

A SITDOWN STRIKE: The St. Paul Saints of the Northern League made their own wee commentary on baseball’s ongoing labor negotiations Friday night when it handed out seat cushions to the first 2,500 fans with pictures of Bud Selig on one side and union boss Donald Fehr on the other.

NO LONGER A FIGHTER BUT A PEACEMAKER: Joe Frazier’s ancient feud with Muhammad Ali is over. All it took was for Frazier to be involved in a car crash last month and Ali making a call to see how he was doing. “If Muhammad and I can hold hands,” Frazier told The New York Post. “I want to go to the Middle East and show these people how to love one another.”

AND FINALLY: Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman left behind his $1 million-a-year job to join the army. Says David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel, “Oh, for Osama bin Laden to run a crossing pattern in front of Pvt. Tillman.”

– Culled from the international news wires, cyberspace and the corner coffee shop.

Copyright 2002

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

You May Also Like

Kadets defeat Eagles in OT thriller

Kadets defeat Eagles in OT thriller JOE PAISLEY THE GAZETTE The Air Academy Kadets looked like a different hockey team when they sk…


LETTERS KEEP ‘EM RUNNING Cash prizes won’t force out local competitors Thank you, Gazette, for the excellent coverage of th…

Dollars matter too much for NFL

Dollars matter too much for NFL DAVID RAMSEY Gazette Sports columnist The NFL is looking for ways to stretch its profit, which is s…

Rooted in place

Rooted in place DAVE PHILIPPS THE GAZETTE A person could spend a lifetime exploring the secret springs, purple abysses and templesh…