Originally created 11/26/03

Odds and Ends



ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. -- If you move to Kentucky you better be prepared to bathe - at least once a year.

A state law that mandates people bathe at least once in 12 months is just one of many unusual statutes that are or have been on the books.

Another state law, for example, stated that "No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless she be escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club."

The law was later amended with: "The provisions of this statute shall not apply to females weighing less than 90 pounds nor exceeding 200 pounds, nor shall it apply to female horses."

Other unusual laws include a year in prison for anyone who throws eggs, or tomatoes, at a public speaker. It also is unlawful to dye a baby chick, duckling or rabbit and offer it for sale unless six or more are for sale at the same time.

"Sometimes unusual laws have a little sense behind them," said D. Dee Shaw, attorney for the city. "Sometimes they don't."

* * * *

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- It would take a large tree and an even larger bank account to support a set of wind chimes now hanging in a local feed store.

Using a specially made pulley system, possibly the largest wind chimes in the state were strung up Friday from the 20-foot ceiling of the Sundance Feed and Seed barn in Grand Island.

The chimes measure 14 feet tall and weigh about 200 pounds.

Made by a company called Music of the Spheres, the larger-than-life chimes produce deep, resonant notes that sound more like a church organ than the tinny tinkling of its small, backyard cousins.

The asking price for the chimes: $2,700.

"These chimes are a lot more melodious because they were designed by musicians," said Sundance owner Tony Seitz.

Their high-quality sound comes from the metal used and the way in which the tubes are ground on the inside, he said.

* * * *

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- More than a thousand packets of instant oatmeal are on their way to an Iowa soldier's unit in Afghanistan after he wrote home saying he missed his favorite breakfast cereal.

Patrick Claus, of Cedar Rapids, is an Iowa National Guard helicopter pilot. He sent e-mails home to his wife, Carolyn, that he would like her to send him some Quaker instant oatmeal from home. She sent 18 boxes. They were gone in 10 days.

Carolyn Claus mentioned the soldiers' interest in oatmeal to Mary Smith, whose husband, Mark, works at the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids.

The next shipment, courtesy of Quaker Oats, is on its way to Afghanistan. It includes 1,200 packets of instant oatmeal, 1,200 granola bars and 40 pounds of powdered Gatorade.

Patrick Claus, a major with the Boone-based 109th Aviation Company, has been in Afghanistan since Aug. 2. He has daughters aged 4 and 13.

* * * *

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- A library patron who ripped the cover off a gay and lesbian news magazine had his privileges revoked for a month.

The patron, John Callaghan, was offended by the cover of a recent issue of The Advocate, a national gay and lesbian magazine, that pictured two bare-chested men leaning in to kiss each other.

Outraged that the library was using taxpayers' money to carry the periodical, Callaghan tore off the cover and took it home.

Callaghan, 77, could have been charged with destruction of library property, a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a $2,500 fine, 12 months in jail, or both.

The library sent Callaghan a letter Friday informing him that his privileges will be suspended from Nov. 24 to Dec. 24. Callaghan said he won't contest the decision.

"If that's what they wish to do, that's their business. It's their library," he said. "I've made a point and I'm not a rabble-rouser. I'm not trying to cause trouble. I did what I thought was right."