Bare-Naked Boating Stops Traffic

Boaters in the buff are literally stopping traffic near Interstate 77 in North Carolina.

Naked and bathing suit-clad boaters at Lake Norman (search) have recently been flashing drivers and causing major gaper delays — at times even bringing traffic to a standstill and causing crashes, according to The Charlotte, N.C., Observer.

The baring-it-all boaters at the causeway running between Iredell and Mecklenburg counties have brought in dozens of complaints to the Lake Norman Marine Commission, the paper reported last week.

"They get right up to that riprap, and they take their clothes off," the Observer quoted Iredell County sheriff's Deputy Phil Jones as telling the commission.

The "riprap" are the rocks where the lake and land meet at the bottom of the causeway. And on the interstate, motorists have a clear view of the water as they cross over it, according to the Observer.

Jones told the paper he's heard of at least one car crash that happened when rubbernecked drivers were busier looking at the boaters in birthday suits than they were at the highway. A smattering of complaints about the flashers has also come in, he said.

But cops have to catch flashers in the act of, well, flashing in order to arrest them. The nude boaters are often long gone by the time officers can get to the scene, Jones told the Observer.

Marine Commissioner Mark Lancaster of Iredell County saw the nudists himself, the newspaper reported.

Lancaster was near the Lake Norman/Interstate 77 causeway when he witnessed the jaw-dropping shenanigan himself. After he heard trucks honking and saw traffic stopping, he noticed three bare-naked ladies in a boat near the area in question, he told the Observer.

But marine commissioners and police said the nudity wasn't all that was bringing cars to a honking, screeching halt. Gaper delays have happened along that stretch of highway for any number of reasons.

"I've seen traffic jams looking at the sunset," the Observer quoted Marine Commission Chairman Randy Reece as saying.

Reece told the paper the rubbernecking was caused accidentally when the North Carolina Department of Transportation removed the fence along the causeway and started cutting back the bushes that used to block lake views.

"I think the lake looks a lot better without that fence," he told the Observer. "I think that is what has caused this problem with DOT."

The clusters of boats in that part of I-77 began recently, after the commission approved a new safety rule barring rafters from Cocktail Cove in Iredell County, according to the Observer. The paper reported that residents were upset about "nudity, drunkenness and obnoxious behavior."

Hairdresser Re-Enacts Crucifixion; Locals Not Amused

LEEDS, Ala. (AP) — A hairstylist who dressed as Jesus, drenched himself in fake blood and mounted a 14-foot cross in front of his salon says, "You have to do things to shock people."

He succeeded. Within 30 minutes, police in Leeds, Ala., were ordering him to come down.

Patrick Conaty mounted the cross last Tuesday in front of his Running With Scissors salon — wearing a dark wig, a crown of thorns and a stain-spattered sheet — to declare "Salvation Awareness Day."

When police told Conaty that he needed a demonstration permit, he responded that a city official had approved his Christian display — including a sign in the salon window reading: "This is what Jesus did for you. What are you doing for Jesus?"

He came down and wasn't charged. But Conaty's action left many residents and nearby store owners in shock. One called it "sacrilegious."

Another said it was "the sickest thing I've ever seen."

Goose-Scaring Coyote Disappears — and the Birds Are Mum

FAIR LAWN, N.J. (AP) — Beep! Beep! It vanished in the dead of night. In the morning, not even the boogie board on which the coyote stood was bobbing in the municipal pool.

The animal, dubbed Wiley after the inept Wile E. Coyote (search) in the Warner Bros. "Road Runner" cartoons, was Fair Lawn's answer to an overabundance of geese, which had plagued the town's parks and pools for years.

Now he's missing in action, and the geese aren't talking.

The Bergen County town this year hired National Goose Management of East Rutherford to help rid it of gaggles of unwanted visitors. The company employs a variety of techniques to harass the geese, using everything from noisemakers to lasers to create an unfriendly environment.

One of the most menacing tactics was employing a stuffed coyote -- Wiley -- to stand guard over the municipal pool during off hours.

Wiley is made from a real coyote pelt and "smells like a wet dog now," according to parks Superintendent George Frey, who said the animal was on patrol every night this summer until being snatched last week.

Every night at closing time, the coyote was placed on a float at Memorial Pool that was anchored in place with a weighted bottle on a rope.

"It worked great," says Frey, until "somebody swam into the pool, cut the rope and grabbed him." Frey suspects the theft was a prank, involving two or more people, who knew when the pool's overnight geese guards took their breaks and ate their lunch.

"We're hoping he materializes," said Frey.

The stuffed coyote was supplied by the goose management company and cost about $700.

There's no time to get a replacement, Frey said, since a new coyote would be on order for weeks, and Fair Lawn closes its pools around Labor Day.

Municipal employees scanned the shores of the nearby Passaic River looking for Wiley and have searched local parks and municipal property.

However, in a town the size of Fair Lawn, which covers about 90 square miles, finding Wiley could prove as exasperating for parks employees as trying to catch the Road Runner was for Wile E.

Bar Name Upsets Hawaiian Buddhists

HONOLULU (AP) — Buddha said, "Everything is changeable." And some Waikiki Buddhists would like to see the name of a local watering hole changed.

The famed Buddha Bar (search) in Paris has imitators all over the world, but it's one in Waikiki that's running into opposition.

Local Buddhists have launched a letter-writing campaign to city and state government agencies to protest the name of the new Buddha Bar.

"In my letter, I said a Christian would find it offensive to see a Jesus Bar," said Poranee Natadecha-Sponsel, president of the Hawaii Association of International Buddhists.

The bar opened last week in the space formerly occupied by the House of Hong, one of the city's premium Chinese restaurants for 40 years before it closed earlier this year.

Bar owners and promoters said they did not mean to offend anyone, noting that the concept of using Asian influences in a bar's interior decorations is popular all over the world. The Waikiki bar is not affiliated with other Buddha Bars.

"I'm at a loss how to handle it," said Les Hong, president of Hong's Enterprises, which owns the bar property. "It never crossed my mind that this would upset people. We are sensitive to the concerns of some people and will try to address it."

Compiled by's Catherine Donaldson-Evans.

Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail, with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things), to