Bare Breasts Fail to Impress

What if a woman went topless in public, and nobody noticed?

That's what happened recently in the center of Berlin, reports

The Innova home-appliance store on Alexanderplatz (search) held an "end-of-summer strip-off prices to the buff sale," and hired a model to disrobe accordingly.

Newspaper photographers and TV camera crews, tipped off by the store, gathered to record customers' reactions to a young woman naked from the waist up.

But from the moment she took her position at the store's front doors to pass out leaflets, customers made sure not to be titillated.

"I'm going on 60, so it's nothing I haven't seen before," said one man, who did nearly trip on the escalator.

Other patrons closely examined DVD players, barbecue grills, patio furniture and waffle irons, but few even glanced at the all-natural objects on display.

"We thought this was going to create an uproar," one store executive lamented to the Berliner Zeitung newspaper. "We thought there would be crowds clamoring ... or that women's rights protesters would turn out to demonstrate and give us even more publicity. And now it has turned out to be a fizzle."

Some women were a little worried the model might catch a cold, given the nippy September breeze blowing in through the doors. Others were supportive.

"More power to her, I say," said one customer, who said that as a waitress, she was used to having men look at her cleavage.

"But I'd never go so far as to go topless at work," she said. "Well, maybe if somebody paid me a lot of money, but it would have to be a whole lot."

Many speculated that nudity could no longer shock Germans long accustomed to naked sunbathers, R-rated television and topless tabloid photos.

"People are used to seeing outrageously enlarged breasts and pierced penises on TV," observed the Berliner Zeitung. "A wholesome-looking but topless young woman at an appliance mart just cannot compete with the shocking fare people see in their own living rooms."

As for the well-intentioned, well-proportioned and ill-noticed model, she was more philosophical.

"It's a change from the usual modeling jobs," the 22-year-old aspiring schoolteacher said, "and the pay is certainly better."

Blind Couple Have Trouble Scooping Guide-Dog Poop

INDIO, Calif. (AP) — A blind couple is headed to court to resolve a dispute with their homeowners' association about droppings left in the street by their guide dogs.

Dennis and Shirley Bartlett are aware of the pooper-scooper rules for their Desert Grove (search) homeowner association, but said they sometimes miss droppings left by their dogs.

"You can't get everything all the time," Dennis Bartlett said.

The Bartletts filed a small claims suit against former association president Delmar Pierce, alleging harassment and prohibiting their guide dogs from doing what they were trained to do — defecate in the street. The case is scheduled to be heard Sept. 22.

Pierce didn't want to discuss the case, noting he's only had one conversation with Bartlett.

"During that private conversation all I said was, 'We need to talk about your dogs and relieving themselves in the streets,'" he said, adding that Bartlett doesn't want to abide by the rules of the gated community.

Association attorney Margaret Wangler said the association never told the couple not to use the streets.

"The association's concern and the reason for getting in touch with the Bartletts was that they don't clean it up all the way and that's a health and safety concern to the board."

Suspicious Bookmark Gets Teacher Arrested

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A weight may soon be lifted off a Maryland woman charged with carrying a concealed weapon in an airport.

It wasn't a gun or a knife. It was a weighted bookmark.

Kathryn Harrington was flying home from vacation last month when screeners at the Tampa, Fla., airport found her bookmark. It's an eight-and-a-half-inch leather strip with small lead weights at each end.

Airport police said it resembled a weighted weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious. So the 52-year-old special education teacher was handcuffed, put into a police car, and charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

She faced a possible criminal trial and a $10,000 fine. But the state declined to prosecute, and the Transportation Security Administration says it probably won't impose a fine.

Alligator Found Lounging in Hot Tub

ROYALTON, Ill. (AP) — A worried neighbor's call to Animal Control led to a bizarre scene at a southern Illinois home: Four officers wrestling an alligator out of a hot tub, a house filled with animal cages and the arrest of a man wanted by the military for desertion.

Inside an enclosure attached to a garage was a hot tub sunk into the ground and filled with 4 feet of stagnant water, and in the water, littered with broken turtle shells, was the 5-foot-long, 80-pound alligator.

To get the alligator, Scott Ballard of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (search) pulled on chest waders, stepped into the tub and grabbed the animal.

Franklin County Animal Control Supervisor Jarrett Broy and two others then dragged Ballard and the alligator out to the ground and struggled to tape the alligator's jaws shut.

"You can't imagine that thing's tail," Broy said. "He was wanting me to turn him loose, so he'd pop me in the back — just laying it on me. Wham, wham, wham. My back is so sore."

Meanwhile, police ran background checks on all the people inside the house. One 18-year-old man came up listed as wanted by the military for desertion, and was sent to the Franklin County Jail to be held on a military pickup order.

The officers also found cages for large snakes, a room full of rats and mice, and several squirrels inside the house.

The owner of the home could be charged with possession of a threatened species for having the alligator in captivity, officials said. To keep the alligator, he would have needed a permit, which he did not have.

The alligator will be held at an IDNR holding facility until the case is resolved and eventually will go to a zoo or alligator farm, Broy said.

Judge Rules Yelling 'Fore!' Not Required

CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — A golfer plunked in the face by an errant ball was unable to convince a jury that the man who hit him was negligent for failing to yell "Fore!"

James A. Tomkins claimed fellow golfer George Long didn't yell the standard warning when he hit a wayward shot on the Cumberland Golf Course (search) in 1999.

The ball hit Tomkins in the right eye, knocking him out of his golf cart.

Jurors deliberated two hours Tuesday before deciding that Long was not negligent.

Long, who claimed he did yell a warning, said golfers in Pennsylvania would be happy with the verdict.

"When you play golf, you take a risk," he said.

Potential jurors were asked if they were golfers, and about half of those picked to hear the case said they were either casual or serious about the game.

Elephants Attack Tourists

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — Three people driving through a Thai national park got too close for comfort to a herd of wild elephants who kicked and damaged their vehicles, authorities said Thursday.

The two men and one woman, driving in two pickup trucks through the Khao Yai National Park (search) Wednesday evening, encountered a herd of more than 10 wild elephants, looking for food on the side of the road, said a national park official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The drivers stopped and waited for the herd to pass, but the agitated elephants surrounded them and used their legs to attack the vehicles, the official said.

He said the elephant damaged the hood and door of one truck and smashed the window and dented the back of the other truck. No one was injured.

The drivers called park authorities on their cellular phone, but by the time they arrived the elephants were retreating, he said.

He said there are about 250 elephants in Khao Yai National Park, which is located about 75 miles north of Bangkok.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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