FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES
In Chinese legend, tea leaves picked by the mouths of fairies yielded brewed tea that would bring prosperity and cure diseases. Now, the historic, picturesque Jiuhua Mountain Tea Plantation (in Gushi, Henan province) has promised to hire up to 10 female virgins to provide the equivalently pure and delicate tea leaves, picked with the teeth and dropped into small baskets worn around the women’s necks. According to an April report in London’s Daily Mail, only virgins with strong necks and lips, a bra size of C-cup or larger and no visible scars or blemishes will be considered for the equivalent-$80-a-day jobs (an almost unheard-of salary in China, especially for agricultural field work).
News of the Weird has reported several times on the confusion many art gallery visitors reveal in evaluating “abstract impressionist” pieces when they compare them to random scribblings of toddlers (and animals, such as chimpanzees and elephants). In April, academic researchers at Boston College reported that gallery patrons correctly differentiated serious works from squiggles only about 60 percent to 70 percent of the time. Commented one survey subject, apparently realizing his confusion: “The chimpanzee’s stuff is good. I like how he plays with metaphors about depth of field, but I think I like this guy [Mark] Rothko a little bit better.”
YOU MEAN WE SHOULDN’T KILL COCKROACHES WITH A BLOWTORCH?
Reports still frequently emerge of homeowners battling household pests, yet only creating an even worse problem (as if the pests ultimately outsmart them). In recent cases, for example, Robert Hughes tried to oust the squirrels from his townhome in Richton Park, Illinois, in March, but his smoke bomb badly damaged his unit and his neighbor’s. (Firefighters had to rip open the roof in the two units to battle the blaze.) Two weeks after that, in Mesa, Arizona, a man set his attic on fire trying to get rid of a beehive with brake fluid and a cigarette lighter.
TROUSER SNAKE, MEET ACTUAL SNAKE
In March, Dennis Mulholland, 67, of Paisley, Scotland, encountered a 3-foot-long California king snake hiding in the bowl of his toilet. (The creature had apparently escaped from elsewhere in the building.)
“Personal body orifices,” as storage units for contraband, seem more than ever in vogue. Recent inventories made by U.S. police of suspects’ vaginas included: LSD in aluminum foil; marijuana in two sandwich bags; a fraudulent driver’s license and credit card; and pills and a knife. Rectal safe-keeping included: a man with a baggie of marijuana; a man with a marijuana pipe; and a man with 30 items inside a condom, including a syringe, lip balm, six matches, a cigarette, 17 pills and a CVS receipt and coupon.