School Principal Eats Fried Worms

Some educators will go to great lengths for their students.

We've already discussed the case of Julie Ellison of New Mexico, who kissed two frogs after her students had met their reading goal. But she's got nothing on Ryan Lindquist of Murray, Neb., who ate fried worms.

Lindquist, principal of Conestoga Elementary School (search), ate the night crawlers last Wednesday after his 294 students read 100 million words this academic year.

The squirmy snack was an homage to Thomas Rockwell's 1973 gross-out classic, "How to Eat Fried Worms."

Second-grade teacher Sharon Heneger and fifth-grader Jared Leifeld joined Lindquist in ingesting the invertebrates, which were fried up in a pan by a chuckling Gov. Dave Heineman (search) and State Sen. Roger Wehrbein, the latter of whom sported an apron reading "Got Worms?"

Conestoga Superintendent Mark Sievering, in black tie and tails, doled out five fried worms to each participant.

"Pardon me, sir," Lindquist asked Sievering before tucking in, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. "Do you have any Grey Poupon?"

"Eat the worms! Eat the worms!" chanted the students, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

"Just don't breathe," Heneger told Jared and Lindquist.

Jared, 11, found that drowning the worms in ketchup helped them go down. Lindquist power-gulped several glasses of water.

After it was all over, and a dessert of gummy worms had been enjoyed, someone asked Lindquist if real worms taste like chicken.

"No," he replied, according to the Journal Star. "I can't really describe what they taste like."

— Thanks to Out There reader Quintin K.

Drug Dogs Trained to Sniff Out Baby Powder

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Fair warning for all those planning to sneak talcum powder into Australia: The cops will be waiting.

Seven police sniffer dogs have failed to ferret out cocaine for the simple reason that the sample used to train them over the past three months was talcum powder, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans said Friday.

"I'm sure our dogs have got very soft, nice-smelling noses at the moment, but they are in fact trained in detecting talcum powder so that means that they will have to be retrained in detecting cocaine," he told reporters.

Evans said police did not believe cocaine had been stolen and blamed an administrative error for the mix-up. Internal investigations have been launched both within Victoria police and the Australian Federal Police (search).

"If there are any missing kids out there, we'd find them fairly quickly, I should think," Evans quipped.

DNA Doo-Doo

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — A local Vienna politician wants to use DNA technology to chase down owners of dogs that leave their droppings on streets and sidewalks.

Manfred Juraczka, a councilor in a Vienna district, said Monday he wants the city to register all dogs' DNA so that droppings left where people walk can be tested and the owner of the guilty dog punished.

"This method offers a multitude of unbeatable advantages," Juraczka said in a statement, adding that all who fail to pick up after their dogs "must count on being caught."

Vienna's sidewalks are littered by dog droppings, and campaigns trying to persuade owners to pick up after their pets have made little difference. The city is home to almost 50,000 registered dogs, but the true number is believed to be much higher as many owners ignore the registration requirement.

Dog owners already can be fined if their dogs soil sidewalks or other pedestrian areas, but tickets are rarely issued because the pet has to be caught in the act.

Under Juraczka's program, owners of dogs found to have left droppings in the wrong places would have to pay for the costs of the DNA analysis in addition to fines of up to $284.

Dog owners in Vienna must pay dog taxes amounting to 15 cents a day. But removing just a single dog heap costs the city between $4 and $6, Juraczka said, adding that that amounted to an "intolerable situation."

Boy Washed Out With Soap

LITTLE FERRY, N.J. (AP) — A 7-year-old boy stuck in a construction pipe made a clean getaway after rescuers covered him with soap to help pull him free.

The boy, whose name was not released, was playing in his back yard at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when he became stuck in a pipe used as a form for wet concrete.

Police Chief Ralph Verdi said police officers covered the boy with liquid soap provided by his mother, and firefighters did the pulling.

"It worked out well," he said. "He was more scared than anything."

The boy did not require medical attention, and was nice and clean when he emerged from the pipe, Verdi said.

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