Businesses typically resist government regulation, but in March Florida’s interior designers begged the state House of Representatives to continue controlling them, with a theatrically ham-handed lobbying campaign challenging a deregulation bill. Designers righteously insisted that only “licensed professionals” (with a minimum six years of college and experience) could prevent the nausea Floridians would suffer from inappropriate color schemes (affecting the “autonomic nervous system” and salivary glands). Also, poorly designed prison interiors could be turned into weapons by inmates. Furthermore, deregulation would contribute to “88,000 deaths” a year from flammable materials that would suddenly inundate the market in the absence of licensing. Said one designer, addressing House committee members, “You [here in this chamber] don’t even have correct seating.” (If deregulation is successful, competition will increase, and lower fees are expected.)
EGG TO DIFFER
The longstanding springtime culinary tradition of urine-soaked eggs endures, in Dongyang, China, according to a March CNN dispatch. Prepubescent boys contribute their urine (apparently without inhibition) by filling containers at schools, and the eggs are boiled according to recipe and sold for the equivalent of about 23 cents each. Many residents consider the tradition gross, but for devotees, it represents, as one said, “the smell of spring.”
Former stripper Crystal Deans, who said she learned the trade at age 18 but later retired and turned to God for help through a rough patch of her life, now offers free pole-dancing classes in Spring, Texas, near Houston, expressly for Christian women. Her gyrations may be the same as when she was working, she said, but now everyone is clothed, and she dances only to “Christian music.”
BUTT WERE THEY THINKING?
Marie Stopes International is a prominent London charity that robustly promotes a woman’s right to choose abortion, but a whimsical public service campaign in January has created unusually savage criticism. The organization partnered with the British comedy music band The Midnight Beast to produce a video suggesting anal sex as a contraceptive of choice. Among the lyrics to one song, “One up the bum, and it’s no harm done/One up the bum, and you won’t be a mum.”