The Odd Truth

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The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Brian Bernbaum. A new collection of stories is published each weekday. On weekends, you can read a week's worth of The Odd Truth.

Nuts For Cocaine

MIAMI - Federal drug agents are investigating a nutty dope smuggling scheme - peanuts to be exact. Authorities say they found $20,000 worth of cocaine disguised as snack-sized bags of peanuts on an Avianca flight from Colombia to Miami. Customs agents say more than 2.5 pounds of coke were hidden in 51 peanut bags. A drug-sniffing dog alerted authorities to the presence of the drugs. Agents noticed the bags of peanuts didn't feel quite right and opened them. No arrests have been made and the investigation continues.

Vampire-Killing Kit

NEW YORK - Just in time for Halloween, a vampire-killing kit has sold at auction for $12,000. It comes complete with a wooden stake and ten silver bullets.

The kit, in a walnut box, also contains a crucifix, a pistol, a rosary and vessels for garlic powder and various serums. It was bought by an anonymous phone bidder.

The vampire-killing kit was part of Sotheby's sale of 19th century furniture and decorative works of art.

Sotheby's catalog says some experts believe that such kits were commonly available to travelers in Eastern Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Others think the kits were made in the early 20th century, possibly to cash in on interest in vampires sparked by the 1897 publication of Bram Stoker's "Dracula."

Robber Disarmed With Kindness

TAMPA, Florida - Confronted with an armed intruder in their home, two women plied him with a ham sandwich and rum until he became groggy and passed out.

Police arrived and arrested Alfred Joseph Sweet, 52, to end the five-hour episode.

Cathy Ord, 60, and Rose Bucher, 63, said they tried to befriend the man after he burst through their kitchen window with a sawed-off shotgun Tuesday night.

They made him a sandwich, gave him a bottle of rum and suggested he shower and shave so he could "sort of be disguised in his getaway," Ord said.

"We just treated him with kindness," Bucher said.

She said she had offered Sweet cash and the keys to her Cadillac, but he just sat with them, holding his gun. The intruder never said what he wanted, the women said.

The Three-Wheeler Mafia

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Greedy scooter taxi drivers in southern Sri Lanka are laying nails on roads to disrupt cheaper bus service and are charging higher fare from commuters, a news report said Friday.

Calling the scooter taxi drivers "three-wheeler mafia," the Island newspaper said that the drivers place nails on roads so that tires of buses are damaged and the vehicles remained non-operational.

"Their modus operandi had been to place nails almost daily on the road so as to damage the tires," Island said quoting a local transport official in Kalutara, about 25 miles south of Colombo.

With no buses, commuters turn to scooter taxies and the drivers charge a minimum of 100 rupees ($1) for a journey which otherwise cost 10 rupees (11 cents).

To show the plight of the commuters, Island carried a photograph showing school children taking free ride in a prison van. The area has Sri Lanka's maximum security prison.

There was no immediate comment from the government on the report.
Scooter taxi is a popular mode of transport in this tropical island of 19 million people which lacks efficient surface transport system.

Court Rules Against Ladies Night

HONOLULU - "Ladies Night" is unfair to the guys. That's the ruling of the Honolulu Liquor Commission, which has fined the Blue Tropix Restaurant and Nightclub $500. The commission determined the place was discriminating against men. On Ladies Night, the Tropix let women in for free, but the guys had to pay a cover charge. Commission investigators decided to take a look at the place, after hearing radio spots for Ladies Night. Liquor regulations bar discrimination in services based on gender.

I'll Show You Drive-Through!

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - A former employee of a McDonald's restaurant drove his car through the front of the company's training center in Amsterdam, police said Friday. No one was hurt.

The 30-year-old man, whose name was not released, has been arrested, police said.

"It's a former employee who was a little over-stressed," said police spokesman Remco Gerritsen. "Our colleagues at social services are talking to him to see if he needs any help."

A spokesman for McDonald's said the man had been hired on Oct. 23 at a restaurant near the southern city of Eindhoven and then released a week later "for not functioning in the workplace."

Dirk van den Bogaart said the company had filed charges against the man, but it was too early to say what the cost of repairs would be.

Celebrity Tombstones Revealed

PARIS - Just in time for Halloween, a macabre guide book tells readers where dead celebrities are buried in France.

The latest "Guide to Celebrity Tombstones" spends 322 pages mapping 7,000 tombs of personalities from literature, cinema, theater, science, religion, sports, politics and military history.

"It's a little like my address book, but the addresses here are permanent," author Betrand Beyern said Thursday on France-Info radio.

"The book answers two questions: where is such and such a person buried ... and who is buried in my region, in my city or in the village where I like to spend my holidays," he said.

Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb at Les Invalides monument in Paris is one of the most visited, he said.

Others are Le Pantheon that houses Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and other luminaries, and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that honors French war dead.

Another popular site is the tomb of Jim Morrison, singer for The Doors, who died in 1971, Beyern said. Morrison is buried at the Pere Lachaise cemetery in eastern Paris.

"In Paris, we often walk all over deceased celebrities without even realizing it," the Beyern said.

The grave of French satirist Francois Rabelais, who died in 1553, is under a popular store in the capital's central Marais district.

The guide also mentions celebrity animals' tombs, with perhaps the most famous being canine movie star Rin Tin Tin, a German shepherd buried outside Paris.

Where Do They Stash Their Guns?

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Brazilian security officials have ordered 50 police officers to take off their uniforms and slip into swimwear - all in the name of fighting crime.

Faced with a spate of crime on the city's beaches, state officials said Tuesday they were deploying a special police force to mix in with the bathers in order to better protect them.

Another 1,250 officers will be deployed to provide support for the undercover officers, who will go unarmed.

The move comes after a weekend during which rampaging gangs of youths terrified bathers and there were several robberies on the city's most popular beaches.

Rio is one of the world's most violent cities, with a homicide rate of about 50 per 100,000 residents.

Robberies among tourists are also quite common, but violent crime rarely spills over on to the beaches.

Not So Good & Plenty

CLEVELAND - Baby Boomers can't seem to grow up, at least when comes to their taste in candy.

The Woodstock Candy company is doing a booming business, catering to the boomers' sweet-tooth.

"People are usually thrilled to know that a lot of candy from their childhood is still available," according to Bridget Sweeney-Bell of the Woodstock, N.Y., confections company.

What's big for Halloween for Baby Boomers? "Wax lips are very popular," says Sweeney-Bell, who also listed favorites including candy buttons on paper, Gold Mine Gum, candy cigarettes and Nik-L-Nips.

In the politically correct present, candy that looks like cigarettes often is marketed as "candy sticks," but some old-time favorites still provide a puff of sugar when you blow through a hole in the middle.

Nostalgic candy has become a niche in the $24 billion U.S. candy business, in part because the biggest candy makers have concentrated on fewer items, especially chocolate.

Outfits specializing in nostalgic candies have moved into that retail void, often via the Internet.

Tom Scheiman has 2,500 items in his Cleveland candy store, 200 of which he classifies as "nostalgic," and are hard to find or have limited regional distribution.

"We ship a lot to Florida and Atlanta," he said. "They're transplants."

His top Halloween nostalgic item: wax fangs.

"They're cool. There's nothing like them," he said.

Muslim Court Knocks Miss Afghan

KABUL, Afghanistan - The Supreme Court in Afghanistan is condemning the appearance of the first Afghan woman in an Asian beauty contest.

The 23-year-old has been living in the United States since the 1990s. She says she entered the "Miss Earth" pageant to show the world a different image of Afghan women.

She wore a red bikini during a recent public appearance with her fellow contestants in the Philippines pageant.

But the Afghan court says such a display of the female body goes against Islamic law and Afghan culture.

The woman's entry in the contest hasn't been publicized in Afghanistan, where most people don't have access to outside media.

Who You Gunna Call?

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Eric Velleca didn't even have to don his Halloween costume to garner some explosive attention.

His getup stashed in a trunk tripped an explosives detector during a baggage screening at Palm Beach International Airport.

Velleca, 28, was pulled off his United Airlines flight to Chicago and questioned by investigators on Wednesday while a bomb squad inspected the trunk carrying three costumes patterned after the outfits worn in the film "Ghostbusters."

The trunk contained PVC pipes, radios, cell phones, batteries with wires attached and car distributor caps to be used to assemble the "proton packs" for costumes he and two friends were planning to wear for a Friday party.

Officials had discussed blowing up the trunk but decided against it, Velleca said. He said officials briefly considered pressing charges against him, but they were polite and professional throughout the ordeal.

Lauren Stover, regional spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, said officials had no choice but to treat the situation as if it were a threat.

"People need to be careful about incorporating simulated bombs into their costumes," she said.

Velleca was able to catch another flight to Chicago later Wednesday - with his costume props.

"It wasn't my idea," he said of the costumes. "I don't even really like the Ghostbusters."

Two-For-One Wedding

NEW DELHI - An Indian groom has agreed to marry his bride's handicapped elder sister in a double wedding ceremony next month, saying it is an act of humanity to ensure the older woman is taken care of, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The sisters are happy, and so is their father, the The Asian Age newspaper reported from northern Uttar Pradesh state, but the groom's family worries that he may not be able to support two wives on his 2,500 rupee ($55) per month salary as a courier.

"When my father sent a marriage proposal for Ragini, her father put forward a precondition," the paper quoted Amar Verma as saying. "He said he would agree to my marrying Ragini only if I also agreed to marry her elder sister Preeti, who happens to be physically challenged."

Verma said he had spoken to Preeti, 21, and Ragini, 18, and has "developed a liking for both."

It is legal in India for Muslim men to have more than one wife, but not for Hindus, as the Vermas are.

The newspaper quoted lawyers as saying that the Nov. 25 marriage would probably not be challenged, as there is no aggrieved party and it would be difficult to prove which was the second marriage, since both women are being married at the same time.

The groom's father, Ram Swarup Verma, said, "We viewed the situation from a humanitarian point of view. Preeti is confined to a wheelchair and it would be difficult for her to fend for herself alone." He added that Ragini also may have no adjustment problems if she gets to keep her sister with her when she moves from rural Jalaun to her in-laws' home in Lucknow, the state capital.

That's Amore! Berlusconi's Songs Of Love

ROME - Long before his days as billionaire premier, Silvio Berlusconi used to croon on a cruise ship. Now, Italy's leader is coming out with an album of love songs.

Despite governmental duties, the premier has found time to write half the tunes on the album "Better With a Song," which contains 14 ballads in the romantic Neapolitan style. A sunset graces the album cover; inside there is a picture of the Italian leader grinning.

The songs are performed by Mariano Apicella, who earned his keep singing at restaurant tables before being adopted as Berlusconi's favored musical ally. The two met at a restaurant in Naples in December 2001, and began to work together soon after.

Since their 2001 meeting, Apicella has frequently joined Berlusconi at his villa in Sardinia, where the Italian leader passes his summer holidays, entertains visiting dignitaries - and sings.

One verse penned by the premier goes: "With my heart in my mouth/Because your love is everything to me/I know you may make me suffer/But I'll never let you go/Even if I have to fight/I will love you until the end."

Berlusconi's office had no comment on the album. However, Berlusconi has often said he likes to stay up at night to compose Neapolitan love songs.

Film Producer Pleads Guilty In Frog Smuggling

PERTH, Australia - An award-winning British film producer and conservationist pleaded guilty Thursday to 33 charges of trying to smuggle 187 frogs and reptiles out of the country but said he would fight a charge of subjecting them to cruelty.

Michael Linley was arrested at Perth International Airport on Oct. 20, after customs officials found 187 frogs, lizards, snakes, 26 reptile eggs and some insects in his suitcases.

Linley, producer of the British wildlife program, "Survival," pleaded guilty to 31 state offenses for which he could be fined up to $87,000.

He also pleaded guilty to a federal charge of removing animals from Australia, but he entered an innocent plea to a second federal charge of cruelty to animals. Both charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

Prosecutors allege Linley's suitcases had held 27 different species of Western Australian wildlife, including three cockroaches. The reptiles included types of geckos, skinks and snakes. Frogs included clicking froglets, squelching froglets and desert tree frogs.

The court was told that Linley, who has worked for National Geographic and written several books on amphibians, acknowledged to customs officers he knew his actions were illegal.

Foreign Aid Threatened Over Unpaid Parking Tickets

WASHINGTON - Parking tickets are about to become an international incident. But these scofflaws aren't your ordinary deadbeats, they're foreign diplomats. Some in the diplomatic corps owe the city of Washington thousands of dollars in unpaid parking fines. Now, the Senate is applying pressure for them to pay-up. The Senate has passed legislation that would withhold some foreign aid from countries whose diplomats ignore the citations under their windshield wipers. The unpaid fines in D.C. aren't exactly small change. The embassies of Cameroon and Saudi Arabia owe more than $11,000 each. Other countries have racked up bills of a $1,000 or more, too.

Punkin Chunkin Champ

HOWELL, Mich. - Most people prefer them baked in pies or decoratively carved.

But for Bruce Bradford, the preferred method of serving up pumpkin is to have it shot out of an air cannon. After all, that's how he became the world champion of Punkin Chunkin - a sport where winning is a matter of distance, not taste.

This Halloween, Bradford will defend his title at the Punkin Chunkin World Championship in Delaware's Sussex County. His team triumphed in the air cannon division last year after the pumpkin they shot out of their cannon sailed 4,594 feet - nearly nine-tenths of a mile.

The sport began in the late 1990s in Delaware. The objective is to see who can shoot, propel or fling a pumpkin weighing between seven to 10 pounds the farthest.

Bradford, who is president of S&G Erectors in Howell, became interested in Punkin Chunkin in 1998 after reading a magazine article about the sport. That year, he and a few friends went to watch the competition in Sussex County.

They came back the following year, armed with the aptly named Second Amendment - an 18,000 pound compressed air cannon which Bradford built. It sports a 100-foot long barrel.

Their first year in the competition, the group took fifth. In 2000 and 2001, they finished third. The big win came in the 2002 championship, which was televised as part of a Discovery Channel documentary.

Pizza Sting, Extra Cheese

SAN ANTONIO - It's not the kind of delivery a pizza customer had in mind.

The delivery man who showed up at a San Antonio home was actually a police officer - who wound up delivering the customer to jail.

Police say the man called a Little Caesars Pizza outlet and ordered three large pies.

Little Caesars employees were preparing the order when another call came in - from the owner of a stolen credit card. He said he had called his credit card company to report the theft - and was told the card had just been used at the pizza place.

Police were called, and Little Caesars provided a company uniform for an officer to use, along with a delivery bag and empty pizza boxes.

The disguised officer delivered the pizza and arrested the customer as soon as he signed the receipt.

Police say he'd stolen the card from a neighbor's car.

Japan Dems' Guide To Wooing Women Voters

TOKYO - Japan's main opposition party, trailing in the opinion polls ahead of elections next month, is telling its candidates to court female voters.

Their advice: look nice, and don't lie - women can tell.

The Democratic Party has distributed 20,000 copies of a specially commissioned guide on how to appeal to women. The party is hoping its 277 candidates running for Parliament in the Nov. 9 elections - and their aides - will read it and take heed.

Kenichi Suzuki, a Democrat spokesman, said the 21-page pamphlet is based on recent survey results about women's attitudes toward politics and leaders.

"Some of the opinions were quite severe," Suzuki said. For instance, women said they lost interest in what politicians say if their hands or nails are dirty.

The guide has some basic tips: bad breath and dandruff are turnoffs. Shirts must be buttoned at the top and ties kept straight. Sweating is unattractive, but it's OK to get wet in the rain or perspire if you're clearly working hard.

Look people in the eye when shaking their hands. And don't even try to deceive.

"Don't lie under any circumstances," the guide says. "Perceptive women can intuitively detect the essence of a candidate simply from their words."

The Democrats' advice is not just for men.

The party has some 29 female candidates running for lower house seats. The guide warns them to make sure they don't have any runs in their stockings and that their nail polish is an appropriate color.

When Charter Bus Drivers Attack!

GROVE CITY, Pennsylvania - Police have charged a charter bus driver who allegedly stopped on a Chicago-to-New York trip and demanded money from each of his passengers to continue the journey.

Police say 44-year-old Kai Chen of Brooklyn, New York, was driving 25 people, including several small children, to New York for a company called New Oriental Tours Incorporated, also out of Brooklyn.

The passengers told police that Chen pulled into a Venango County rest stop along Interstate 80 late Sunday night, cursed at them and demanded money to continue the trip.

The passengers had already paid $2,800 for the trip and refused to pay more, so police say Chen took his keys and got off the bus. A backup driver who was also on the bus took over for Chen and continued the trip after Chen was arrested.

Chen was charged with disorderly conduct, harassment and not properly filling out his log book.

Errant Emu Gang-Tackled

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A 6-foot-tall emu led a half-dozen pest control workers on a 90-minute chase through woods and brush land before the flightless bird was snared and then gang-tackled.

Gene Ham has caught raccoons, opossums, coyotes, deer, squirrels, foxes and other critters in his job with Jones/Hill Pest Control, but Tuesday's chase was his first encounter with an emu, an ostrich-like bird native to Australia.

"That was by far the toughest thing we've ever caught," Ham said. "It was quick, and it put up a tough fight once we caught it."

The emu, wrapped in a blanket and with shredded duct tape clinging to its clawed feet, was taken to The Zoo near suburban Gulf Breeze after being caught west of Pensacola near Perdido Bay.

The bird will be quarantined for at least 30 days and get veterinary care before joining other emus at The Zoo, said zoo president Pat Quinn.

It may have escaped from an emu ranch or deliberately released, Quinn said. Emus are raised mainly for their lean but beef-like meat. Oil made from the birds' fat can be used to treat joint swelling and stiffness and as a skin thickener to reduce the appearance of aging, according to the American Emu Association.

"Some people mortgaged their farm to start emu ranches and paid too much for them - up to $4,000 a bird," Quinn said. "When the market for them failed, they were stuck. A lot of them just let the birds loose."

Emus feed on grasses, insects and sometimes small reptiles in the wild. They can run up to 40 mph and deliver lethal blows with their feet.

Shotgun Wedding, Sort Of

LEBANON, Ohio - Prosecutors say an Ohio man forced his girlfriend to marry him because he believed it would keep her from testifying against him in a criminal case.

A provision of Ohio law does prevent a court from compelling a person to testify against a spouse.

According to prosecutors, 41-year-old Gregory Hogg dragged his girlfriend, 43-year-old Cheryl Skaggs, from her apartment. He allegedly beat her, threatened to kill her and then made her marry him earlier this month.

But prosecutors say Hogg's plan may not work because, while his wife can't be compelled to testify against her husband, she still can testify against him if she wants to.

The original charges against Hogg involve alleged threats he'd made against four bar employees when he was ejected for disorderly behavior.

The Naked City

NEW YORK - Once again, New York has become the naked city for artist Spencer Tunick.

Some 450 women bared all inside Grand Central Terminal early yesterday in Tunick's latest human art installation. After stripping off their clothes, they composed their bodies into sculptural shapes and formations meant to imitate streets, buildings and cityscapes. And they tried to keep warm.

Tunick took photographs from a stairway while shouting instructions through a megaphone.

He has staged these massive nude photo shoots at cities around the world and has also been arrested several times in New York for previous projects.

For this one, he says he first sought permission to pose his models in the buff inside the New York Public Library and the Museum of Natural History - but was rebuffed by both.

Swimming Pool Sabotage

GRAZ, Austria - A vandal apparently bent on revenge used Superglue to seal shut the doors of a public sauna and then fouled the facility's swimming pool with a large amount of motor oil, police said Monday.

The attack happened over the weekend at the sauna in the southern Austrian city of Graz, and investigators said revenge was the probable motive. It was unclear what prompted the act, officials told the
Austria Press Agency.

The sauna's owner had to chisel the glued locks off the door and replace them as well as completely drain the pool to clean up the oil, which caused an estimated $2,350 in damage, police said.

Russian Jailbirds Sing To Freedom

MOSCOW - This was truly music that freed the body. Six prisoners competing in a national song contest for convicts pleased the judges enough to win pardons, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.

The six were among 23 finalists chosen from more than 800 prisoners who submitted tapes of self-composed songs for the contest, which was held at a Moscow theater.

The report did not give the names of the six winners, the terms they were serving or what crimes they were convicted of, but said two of the six were women. Officials at the Justice Ministry, which controls the prison system, could not be reached for comment.

Interfax said the pardons must be approved by courts in the regions where the convicts were incarcerated and it was not clear when the winners would their chance to walk away with songs in their hearts.

Pit Bulls Attacked With Samurai Sword

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A 70-year-old man attacked his son's two pit bulls with a samurai sword because one of the dogs made a mess in the house, police said.

Vernon Garner chased the 3-year-old dog and her puppy into his son's bedroom on Wednesday. When the dogs hid under the bed, Garner grabbed the sword and jabbed it under the bed, cutting both dogs, Detective Carlos Negron said.

"Apparently the suspect got very upset because the puppy went to the bathroom in the house," Negron said.

The dogs lay bleeding in the room until his 21-year-old son, Michael Garner, got home several hours later, police said.

The younger Garner rushed both dogs to an animal hospital. They were expected to survive, but detectives still charged Vernon Garner with two felony counts of animal cruelty.

"He said that the female, the mother, tried to bite him and bite his pants," Negron said, "but there was nothing on the pants."

Garner was released Friday on $5,000 bond, jail officials said Saturday.

A woman who answered the phone at the Garner house Friday evening declined comment. The dogs were turned over to the city's animal control division, which was trying to locate a new home for the dogs.

The Man With 440 Left Shoes

TOKYO - Police in southern Japan arrested a man for stealing shoes at a local hospital, then later stumbled upon a collection in his home of 440 women's shoes - all for the left foot, an official said Sunday.

The private hospital in Usu city began receiving complaints two years ago from patients and employees that shoes removed at the entrance hall were going missing. In Japan, it is customary to take off one's shoes before entering homes and some public facilities.

The missing footwear was always women's shoes and for the left foot, a local police spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

Police arrested Ichiro Irie, 45, Saturday on suspicion of stealing two shoes at the hospital.

In a subsequent search of his home, police found a box overflowing with the left side to 440 pairs of women's shoes, including high heels, patent leather pumps, sandals and nurses' shoes.

When questioned, Irie told police he had "a penchant for women's feet," the major daily Yomiuri newspaper said. It wasn't clear why he seemed to prefer the left foot.

Irie was charged with theft. It wasn't immediately clear what punishment he faces.

Given the number of shoes he allegedly swiped, police are investigating whether Irie may have been stealing from other locations. Usu lies about 500 miles south of Tokyo.

Papa Strube's Booze

BALTIMORE - After 60 years, the maestro's secret has been uncovered.

Workers remodeling a 19th-century rehearsal hall at the Peabody Institute have found 10 dusty jugs of moonshine in an unlocked closet. Faded labels on the bottles suggest the liquor was brewed by Gustav Strube, the first conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Strube, who came to Baltimore in 1913 and lived here until his death 40 years later at age 85, was a composer, conductor and music professor known as "Papa Strube" to his students at the conservatory.

He also was renowned for his home-brewed beer, wine and liquor - "a fearsome brewmeister," Peabody archivist Elizabeth Schaaf told The Baltimore Sun. She says she recognized Strube's handwriting on several labeled vintages, such as "Wild Cherry 1934" and "Big Blue Grape 1946."

Home-brewed whiskey and beer were commonplace in Germany's Harz Mountains, where Strube was born in 1867, said Wolfgang Justen, dean of the Peabody Conservatory.

Workers found about 8 1/2 gallons of colorless liquid sealed in eight one-gallon glass jugs and a pair of quart bottles inside a paneled closet.

The bottles haven't been opened. But Peabody Institute spokeswoman Anne Garside said she hopes there will be a tasting. "We must find out if the stuff is drinkable," Garside said.

Strube was a friend of H.L. Mencken, editor, writer, classical music fan and amateur pianist. Mencken was a founder of the Saturday Night Club, whose members met once a week for nearly 50 years to play music and drink beer. Mencken, Strube and others brewed beer for those get-togethers, according to club members.

Some of the cache will be stored in the archives, Schaaf said. "After all, this gives us a deeper understanding of all of Maestro Strube's works," she said.

Pint Of Blood For A Pint Of Beer

DURANGO, Colo. - Sounds like a fair trade - blood for beer. United Blood Services of Durango, Colorado, held an unusual blood drive this weekend. Donors got a free pint of beer for a pint of blood. Four area breweries took part in the promotion. People from the blood bank got into the spirit of the season, by dressing in Halloween costumes including vampires. There was a little more at stake for the brewers than just civic pride. The owner of the brewery that collected the least amount of blood will get a makeover today - hair dyed blood red.