Utah collector: Come see my 29 snakes
A Utah collector has won a reprieve after being ordered to remove more than two dozen snakes from his home. Cottonwood Heights police cited Thomas Cobb for failure to have an exotic pet permit and told him to get rid of all but one of his 29 boa constrictors. Officers also found 80 rats, being kept as food for the snakes. Cobb argued to the City Council that the local ordinance is confusing and took his fight to the Internet and local radio shows. "We see movies, we see Snakes on a Plane, we see Anaconda, we see these movies where snakes are portrayed as monsters and can eat school buses, and that is not the case," he told the Deseret News. He invited all the council to his house to see the snakes firsthand. As of Friday, no one had taken him up on the offer.
Captain didn't lose sense of humor
Members of Parkham Women's Institute in southwest England like to liven up their meetings with a light-hearted competition, according to the Daily Telegraph. So when the speaker was going to talk about piracy, they dressed up as Long John Silvers and Captain Hooks, complete with eye patches, plastic cutlasses and even a toy parrot. Imagine their faces when they learned Capt. Colin Darch, 75, a retired merchant seaman, was giving an account of his terrifying experiences as a hostage of Somali pirates. Darch and his five crew members were held captive for 47 days in early 2008. Their 115-foot tug was seized 70 miles off the coast of Somalia by a gang of 20 pirates firing AK-47 rifles. Fortunately, Darch saw the funny side of facing a roomful of middle-aged and elderly women in pirate hats. "They seemed to be a little embarrassed but it didn't offend me in the slightest. … In any event, the ladies didn't look the slightest bit like Somali pirates — more like the pirates of Penzance." The captain was even happy to judge the costumes before he left.
Racy street names
New Zealand sign causes snickers
Wellington city workers replaced an old street sign Friday after it had come loose and then they trucked on — we presume without a backward or upward glance. Resident Deborah Bowler soon realized the street had a new name. "At first I thought, it's only been up for a day and someone has messed with it already. But on closer inspection I realized that's the real deal." Torless Terrace had become Topless Terrace. Council spokesman Richard MacLean said the previous sign was often vandalized by people "with a ladder and a bit of white tape or paint." This time it appears to be a spell-check mistake, the Dominion Post reported Sunday. "The council's usually managed to avoid the temptation. Now we are abreast of the situation, we'll do a bit of an investigation and get things fixed to protect the honor of the good people of the lane," MacLean said. "We don't want it … to be overrun by tittering schoolboys."
Compiled from wire services and other sources.