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The Odd Truth, May 18, 2005

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by CBSNews.com's Joey Arak.

Governor Needs No Viagra

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Gov. Rod Blagojevich is defending his use of the phrase "testicular virility" to describe his ability to make tough decisions.

The remark prompted both laughter and complaints that it was sexist and an undignified thing for a governor to say.

But Blagojevich called such objections "complete baloney."

"I think the people understand that means: Do you have the fortitude — if you're a man or a woman in leadership — to put the people first?" he said Wednesday. "It's all about having the fortitude to fight for the people."

Blagojevich made the remark Monday in explaining his decision to temporarily close a landfill run by a distant relative of his wife.

"This is the kind of thing that I think frankly separates the men from the boys in leadership. Do you have the testicular virility to make a decision like that, knowing what's coming you're way?" Blagojevich said then. "I say I do."

Picky Rules Drive Residents Crazy

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. - Some residents of this upscale Memphis suburb say ordinances have gone to far. The final straw may have been rules proposed about when garage doors can be opened.

Among other directives, the city codes would tell homeowners to open their garage doors only when entering or exiting or for "short periods of time" for cleaning and maintenance.

Because of such criticism, officials in this town known for a sharp eye for community decorum have agreed to give the proposals another look before a final vote.

Jean Wallace said she fears town regulators could come down on her because the street address on her house is spelled out in words. The rules would call for numbers only, from 4 to 6 inches tall.

Fired Beer Man Wants Job Back

DENVER - A Colorado man fired from his job with a Budweiser distributor for drinking a Coors is suing to get his job back.

Ross Hopkins is suing American Eagle Distributing, saying the company wrongly fired him for drinking Coors in a bar two years ago.

Hopkins says he was not wearing a uniform or representing American Eagle when he was at the bar with some co-workers. He said he had ordered a Budweiser but a waitress brought Coors. He decided to drink it because he didn't want to wait.

But the son-in-law of the distributor's majority shareholder also was at the bar and twice offered to buy him a Budweiser, but Hopkins turned it down both times.

He was fired the following Monday.

Perp's Pick-Up Lines

WOODVILLE, Maine - Maine state trooper Jennifer Fiske can't believe a suspect tried to hit on her. She busted Peter Murray for drunk driving early the other morning. She says he told her she had beautiful green eyes. Fiske says when she started to cuff Murray, he tried to put one of the handcuffs on the trooper's wrist, saying he wanted them to be together. Trooper Fiske says she put a quick stop to the suspect-on-the-make by giving the cuffs a twist and rapping on him on the thigh with her police baton. He now faces a number of charges, including drunk driving and assault on an officer.

College Offers Class On Porn

DES MOINES, Iowa - Some University of Iowa students may be able to get an "A" in X-rated. The school will be offering a class on porn in the fall semester. All 20 student slots have been filled and there's a waiting list. Grad student Jay Clarkson is teaching the course. But he cautions that students looking for a cheap thrill will be disappointed. He says no films or other explicit material will be shown in class. Clarkson says the class will examine the impact of porno on mainstream culture. But Iowa House Speaker Chris Rants doesn't like the idea a bit. The lawmaker says the pornography class isn't something that should be taught with taxpayer's money.

Parents Go Back To School

MANASSAS, Va. - It's driver's ed -- for parents. Officials in Prince William County, Virginia, are requiring parents to take a class before their teens can get a learner's permit. The folks will have to attend a 90-minute course on what it's like to be a teen driver. Otherwise their kids won't be eligible to apply for a learner's permit. School officials tell The Washington Post they're the second district in Virginia to require driver training for parents. In recent months the area has been rocked by teen driving deaths.

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