Belly Up to the Sink

It's Homer Simpson's dream come true.

The phrase "beer on tap" took on a literal meaning for a Norwegian woman who turned on her kitchen faucet this weekend to find the alcoholic drink pouring out instead of plain old H2O.

"We had settled down for a cozy Saturday evening, had a nice dinner, and I was just going to clean up a little," Haldis Gundersen, 50, told The Associated Press by telephone Monday. "I turned on the kitchen faucet and beer came out."

Meanwhile, patrons and employees at the Big Tower Bar in Kristiandsund in western Norway were having their own mix-up two floors down, with water gushing out of the beer taps.

All had a botched plumbing job to thank for the miracle.

You see, someone at the bar accidentally connected the beer hoses to the water pipes for Gundersen's apartment.

Unfortunately, according to Gundersen, the beer was flat and not in the least bit tasty or tempting — even in a country where half-liter (pint)-sized brewskies can cost about 25 kroner ($3.75) in grocery stores.

Per Egil Myrvang, of the local beer distributor, said he helped bartenders reconnect the pipes by telephone.

"The water and beer pipes do touch each other, but you have to be really creative to connect them together," he told local newspapers.

Gundersen joked about having the pub send up free beer for her next party.

"But maybe it would be easier if they just invited me down for a beer," she said.

Thanks to Out There readers John C., Jackie M., Kris P., Maureen A. and Mike A.

Pregnancy for Sale on (Where Else?) eBay

ST. LOUIS (AP) — If the human body is the last frontier for advertising space, then St. Louis resident Asia Francis is helping chart new territory: the big, pregnant belly.

Francis, 21, auctioned off the advertising rights to her pregnancy on eBay. The winning bid of $1,000 went to a California Internet company, giving it exclusive rights to temporarily tattoo its brand name on Francis's belly and broadcast the birth of her daughter live on the Internet. The baby is due any day.

The concept of a human billboard is hardly new.

Twenty-one year old Andrew Fischer of Omaha, Neb., earned more than $37,000 last year by bearing a corporate logo on his forehead for a month. Michele Hutchison of Langhorne, Pa., auctioned ad rights for her baby's clothing on eBay last year, seeking $1,000 for a month's lease.

For big companies, the idea is simple. Do something outrageous or strange, grab some media attention and cut through the clutter of advertising messages that bombards consumers.

"It's a well-held theory in the advertising industry that the average person on the street receives up to 3,000 branded messages a day," said Floyd Hayes, whose New York advertising firm, Cunning Communications, specializes in media stunts.

The pregnant belly is prime real estate for auction because it's likely to get people talking, Hayes said.

"If they were to buy the free coverage they will receive for this, it would cost them many times more the fee they paid the person," he said.

Cuddling While Driving Isn't Illegal After All

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Here's a tip for couples on a romantic drive to Oregon's Coastal Mountain range: Feel free to cuddle up close in the car.

And for that privilege, thank newlywed Faith Miller, who likes to snuggle up next to her husband when the two head out for a drive.

The couple owns a spacious 1988 Chrysler Fifth Avenue, which means that if Miller wants to snuggle up, she has to slide into the middle of the car's front seat, wearing a lap belt instead of a shoulder harness.

That position drew a warning last summer from Sheriff's Deputy Darren Broome, who pulled over the couple last summer and gave them a warning: Safety before snuggling.

Miller admitted that she disregarded the warning.

"I just went back to sitting next to my husband," she told The McMinnville News-Register. "I have always sat next to him since we were married."

Then, just two days before Valentine's Day, the Millers crossed paths with Broome once again.
Spotting Miller in her accustomed position next to her husband, he lit up his overheads and pulled the couple over.

This time, she got a citation, for $97, the first ticket Miller said she had ever gotten in her whole life.

And she felt chastened enough to move back over to the passenger side.

"Now I'm stuck way over by the window, and can barely even reach my husband," she said.

Then she began looking through Oregon's seat belt laws.

Miller found a provision requiring shoulder harnesses for children, whenever one is available, but no comparable provision for adults. As far as she could tell, harnesses were recommended, but not required.

When Miller told Lt. Paul May at the sheriff's office about her findings, he did some research of his own and verified her findings, voiding the ticket.

"I can't find a statute that supports that violation," May told the News-Register. "It certainly does for children, but not for adults. "There's a recommendation that if a shoulder belt is available, to use it. But it's not in the statute. It's a traffic recommendation."

That means Miller won't have to appear in Willamina Municipal Court the week of March 21. She said she sees a special bit of silver lining in that, as she'll be celebrating her second wedding anniversary that week.

Where Is Crocodile Dundee When You Need Him?

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — A woman found a small crocodile in her backyard swimming pool in Sydney, a zoo spokeswoman said Monday, just weeks after another crocodile was found in a nearby pond.

The latest uninvited croc to turn up in northern Sydney was a 21-inch freshwater crocodile, a different species to the two-foot saltwater croc found on Feb. 23, said Australian Reptile Park spokeswoman Mary Rayner.

"A woman called saying she had a freshwater crocodile in her backyard swimming pool," Rayner said. "She actually caught it. It was extremely angry and she bound the snout."

It was not clear how the freshwater crocodile got into the swimming pool — the species, which can grow up to 10 feet in length, is not found in the wild anywhere near Sydney.

The crocodile was taken to the reptile park, which is also home to the saltwater crocodile discovered last month.

"I think we are [going to be] running out of displays if this keeps on happening," Rayner said.

This Moose Is a Real Swinger

MILAN, N.H. (AP) — It was a tempting green hedgerow for the hungry young moose. Somehow, a child's swing set got in the way.

The moose, who was trying to snack on a backyard hedge Thursday, got tangled in the swing set's chains. The homeowner called police for help.

Lt. Jean LeBlanc decided he needed backup, so he called Don Valliere, maintenance man for the Berlin Police, and asked him to bring a pair of bolt cutters.

It was up to Valliere, 54, to free the moose. Photos snapped by LeBlanc show Valliere balanced on a beam of the swing set, snipping the chains — just a couple of feet from the 400-pound adolescent moose.

"It didn't like the idea too much that I stayed close to it, but it stayed calm," Valliere said Friday. "The only thing I was nervous about was getting bit."

The rescue went smoothly and the moose was freed. It left without looking back.

"It just real slow, just walked away," Valliere said.

Round Up Them Rattlesnakes

SWEETWATER, Texas (AP) — James Wells and his 1,200 pounds of rattlesnakes were first in line for the annual Rattlesnake Roundup in this small West Texas town.

Wells, from nearby Roscoe, has been collecting Western Diamondback rattlesnakes for 25 of the roundup's 48 years and was waiting before 7 a.m. Friday to garner premium prices — $5 per pound — for the first 2,000 pounds of rattlers turned in.

"It gets in your blood," said Wells, 73. "If you're doing it for the money, you're going to go into the hole. We do it more for the sport."

The event, officially known as the World's Largest Rattlesnake Roundup, started as a way to control the poisonous reptiles in the area but has grown into a four-day attraction that brings about 30,000 visitors and an economic impact of more than $5 million.

Besides the roundup, there's a parade, a snake charmer pageant, a snake-meat-eating contest and snake-handling demonstrations, which are aimed at educating adults and children about the ways of rattlers. There's also a demo on how to skin a rattler in preparation for cooking or to use the skins.

People come from across the nation and from other counties to take in the event. Hotel rooms are booked about a year ahead of the roundup, which is always the second weekend in March.

"It's what we're known for," said Lynn Adams, executive director of the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce. "Nobody bad-mouths the roundup."

The roundup is organized by the Sweetwater Jaycees, and the money funds events the group sponsors throughout the year.

Since 1958, those who've rounded up the snakes have brought in more than 132 tons of the reptiles. The record came in 1982 when 17,986 pounds were tallied.

Texas A&M University researchers have said the roundup pulls about 1 percent of the state's Western Diamondback population.

Compiled by's Catherine Donaldson-Evans.

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