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The Odd Truth, Aug. 26, 2002

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.

Another Reason To Learn CPR

FLORENCE, Alabama - When Melanie Nelson took CPR it was with the feeling that someday she might use it to save a person's life.

But the first life she saved was that of her Yorkshire terrier named Bow.

The dog collapsed while romping outside her Florence, Alabama home.

Nelson's medical training served her well she performed successful mouth-to-snout resuscitation on the three-pound Yorkie.

"He was limp like a dish rag," said Nelson, "but slowly, he came around."

Happy Birthday From Enron!

HOUSTON - A company has created a birthday card inspired by Enron Corp. and its accounting scandals.

The card by Tomato Cards, a line put out by Chicago-based Recycled Paper Greetings, features a smirking accountant sitting over an adding machine.

"For your birthday, we hired Enron's accountants to figure out just how old you are," the card reads.

"It's very unusual to find a business being made fun of on a card," said Marianne McDermott, executive vice president of the Greeting Card Association, a Washington, D.C.-based organization representing greeting card manufacturers.

"One thing definitely true is that greeting cards, more than any other consumer product, have to react almost immediately to anything going on affecting people, and their feelings about each other. People love to see this because it's news," she said. (AP)

They're Yellin' 'Stella!' In Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo's Studio Arena Theatre was a noisy place Sunday afternoon as 25 throaty hopefuls competed in a "Stella Yellin' Contest."

Marlon Brando made the "Stella!" cry famous in the 1951 film version of the Tennessee Williams play "A Streetcar Named Desire." Brando, as the loutish Stanley Kowalski, delivered an anguished shout to Stella which became one of the most-imitated performances in the history of movies.

Contestants included an 11 year old who admitted never seeing "Streetcar" but delivered a high-pitched "Stella" and then did a dance. There was a "rock-star screech" from a fellow with a large beaded necklace, sunglasses, baggy shorts and an orange back-pack.

The winner did his yell while holding a bottle of Jack Daniels concealed in a brown paper bag. It's not known how much of the bottle he'd consumed. (AP)

Blimpie, Viagra To Keep Streets Safe?

SPRINGFIELD, Fla. - This Florida Panhandle town is getting new police cars for only $1 each, but there's a catch. The cars will be festooned with corporate sponsorship logos similar to those on race cars.

City commissioners voted 4-0 to accept the deal with Charlotte, N.C.-based Government Acquisitions. The company hopes to provide a new squad car for each of Springfield's 15 officers within the next three years.

Government Acquisitions partner Ken Allison said advertising on cruisers destined for the Panama City suburb would be toned down.

Police Chief Sam Slay said the city could save about $500,000 over the three-year span.

"You are talking about $500,000 that can be spent other places in the city, and that's what this program is for," said Mayor Robert Walker. (AP)

Mugger's Best Friend

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Police are looking for a man-and-dog crime team.

Jeremy Taylor, 30, of Charleston told police he was driving home from work about 4:30 a.m. Thursday and was accosted when he stopped at an intersection. He said the passenger door of his car opened and a pit bull jumped in and bit him on the arm.

A man — whom police believe was the dog's owner — then punched Taylor and demanded cash. Taylor gave the man money and he and the dog fled.

Mayor Jay Goldman said the incident shows that pit bulls should be muzzled or banned.

"The argument is that the dogs may be OK but owners make them this way," Goldman said. "People fight them to make them meaner." (AP)

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