Mary Jane's Assets Causing Stir in Spider-Man's World

Spider-Man is one lucky guy.

His girlfriend Mary Jane does his laundry, has a lot of cleavage and wears a cute little pink thong that sticks out of her jeans. At least that's the image one comic-book illustrator portrays in a new collectable statue that has the comic blogosphere up in arms.

Sideshow Collectibles' Mary Jane Comiquette is more than 14 inches of buxom Mary Jane. But the sight of Spidey's gal spilling out of her clothes over a load of super wash has some calling the $125 collectable a sexist piece of trash.

"The statue represents a big step backwards for those concerned about the state and future of comic books," said blogger Sleestak, under a May 11 posting titled "Mary Jane, the Other White Meat."

Illustrator Adam Hughes created the limited edition statue, described as "Mary Jane discover[ing] that her superhero husband has slipped some of his laundry into the mix, but she's not looking too displeased about Peter's naughty little transgression."

The blogger buzz must be good for sales. The piece has sold out, with a waiting list added on the Sideshow Collectibles Web site.

"Not to worry," wrote blogger Stephanie Quilao. "Some brilliant illustrator came up with the equal opportunity version of beefcake Spiderman in his thong doing Mary Jane's laundry. Awww! Parker's got back."

Click here to see a picture of Spidey doing the wash (scroll down after the link).

Oh Those Lil' Squirts Today

LEAVENWORTH, Kansas (AP) — Two adolescent boys are accused of wielding a concealed weapon — a squirt gun wrapped in black electrical tape — to steal cash from a discount store.

The purple plastic toy was recovered from the downtown Dollar General store by officers who caught the suspects, ages 11 and 14, within minutes of the holdup, police said Tuesday.

"It's very troubling that a kid that is 11 years old can formulate the thought in their mind to do something like this," police Maj. Pat Kitchens said.

No one was injured in the holdup Monday afternoon.

Kitchens said the boys are suspected of walking into the store and displaying the weapon while demanding cash. The clerk reported struggling with the older boy while the younger one reached into a cash register and grabbed money, Kitchens said.

The boys were being held in a juvenile detention center. Police expect they will be charged with robbery, Kitchens said.

Police said the law makes no concession for the fact the gun was designed to hold water rather than bullets.

"The crime is dictated by the behavior of the suspects in this instance," Kitchens said.

After a Hard Day of Bank Robbing, We'd Want a Cold One, Too

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A suspected bank robber was arrested after he decided to grab a beer across the street from the alleged heist, authorities said.

James Taylor, 40, was "just as cool as can be" after deputies found him Monday night, Orange County Sheriff's Cmdr. Jeff Stonebreaker said.

A customer started watching Taylor after an upset-looking Bank of America teller inside a grocery store said she'd been robbed.

The man saw the suspect take off his hat and shirt, climb into a car, drive across the street and re-emerge with different clothes and no hat.

Taylor was sitting at an outdoor table and drinking a beer by the time deputies arrived, the Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday.

India Finally Fed Up With the Monkeying Around

NEW DELHI (AP) — Several lawmakers criticized the Indian government in Parliament on Wednesday for failing to control the growing number of marauding monkeys in the country's capital, a news report said.

Battalions of simians have been damaging trees, uprooting plants, snatching food from children and terrifying passers-by, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted K. Malaisamy of the opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam as saying.

"In the name of protection of monkeys, we cannot afford to be silent spectators to this perennial problem," Malaisamy said in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, according to PTI.

As forest cover around New Delhi has declined, the city has struggled with a growing monkey population. Government buildings, temples and many residential neighborhoods are overrun by hundreds of rhesus macaques.

On Wednesday, Ramdeo Bhandary, another lawmaker, joined Malaisamy in asking the Environment and Forest Ministry to do something quickly to end the menace.

There was no immediate response from the government.

Last year, the Delhi High Court reprimanded authorities in the Indian capital for failing to stop monkeys from terrifying residents and asked them to find a permanent solution to the monkey menace.

Part of the problem is that devout Hindus believe monkeys are manifestations of the monkey god Hanuman and feed them with bananas and peanuts, which encourages them to frequent public places.

Over the years, city authorities have used monkey catchers who use langurs — a larger and fiercer kind of monkey — to scare or catch the macaques, but the problem persists.

The Supreme Court has ordered wildlife authorities to transport some 300 macaques from New Delhi to the dense jungles of Madhya Pradesh state.

One Good Turn Doesn't Deserve This

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Police in Macomb County were searching for a homeless man who fatally stabbed a Clinton Township man's pet lizard.

Alan Goulette had invited the suspect to stay at his apartment after he was released from jail last week. The suspect had just spent 45 days in jail over parking tickets.

"To show his gratitude to the good Samaritan who let him stay in his apartment, this guy takes a knife and stabs the lizard several times," Detective Capt. Richard Maierle told The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens for a story Wednesday. "I don't have any idea what type of man would take a helpless animal and stab it with vengeance."

Goulette, 54, said he brought the suspect into his house after seeing him waiting for a bus at the Macomb Mall. Goulette said he told him he could get out of the weather and have a sandwich.

While police said they know the identity of the suspect, they would not release his name until a warrant was signed by a district judge.

Goulette called an animal control officer, who took "Swamp Billy" away. He said police have the hunting knife used to kill the reptile.

Hip Shakers Flock to Honolulu

HONOLULU (AP) — Organizers of the first international hula conference want to use the dance to get more people familiar with Hawaiian language, culture and traditions.

The hula, which uses the slow swaying of the hips and a wavy movement of the arms to represent plants, animals or even war, has continued to gain interest throughout the world despite limited opportunities to learn from Native Hawaiians.

The conference is capped at 1,000 participants who will learn from dozens of Hawaii's best-known hula teachers. Instructors will teach dance, costume, lei-making, language, history, songs and music at the three-day event, Nov. 15-17 at the Hawaii Convention Center.

"Hula has traveled and has found its way into the hearts of people all over the world," said Marnie Weeks, producer of the conference and the nightly hula shows at Kuhio Beach. "Hula is something that once it gets under your skin and into your heart, it just stays with you."

Organizers opened registration Tuesday for the conference.

The gathering is expected to attract dancers and would-be dancers from all over the world. Many visitors will likely come from Japan, where there is a large demand to learn the dance but few practitioners to teach it, said Rick Egged, executive director of the Waikiki Improvement Association, which will host the conference.

The participants can learn different styles and philosophies of hula and will then perform dances in locations around Waikiki.

Organizers said they hope the hula convention can spread the Hawaiian culture in the tourist district and attract residents from around Oahu to the vacation hotspot often avoided by locals.

Peter Apo, the event's cultural adviser, said there was a period of time in the 1950s and 1960s when the people developing Waikiki seemed to ignore Hawaiian culture.

"We made a lot of mistakes, but the good news is that we are beginning to deal with the reality of the mistakes we made and we need to come to grips with the fact we did lose our way," Apo said. "So the difficulty is how do you restore Hawaiianness to a place where most of the evidence of the history that occurred here has disappeared."

For the past few decades, a large effort as been aimed at "trying to recapture the Hawaiian sense of place," said Apo of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association.

Now, the nightly hula dancing at Kuhio Beach entertains hundreds, people pose in front of statues of surfing legend Duke Kahanamoku and hotels feature the Hawaiian culture throughout their establishments.

But more Native Hawaiians still need to return to the area, Apo said.

Organizers said the conference is meant to introduce participants to hula but won't provide instant expertise.

The cost for three days of workshops is $250 for visitors and $200 for Hawaii residents and for members of groups of 10 or more.

Apo said participants will leave Hawaii with a sense of authentic hula.

"This is very different from going to a commercial luau and seeing a Broadway-style stage group in action," Apo said. "The intimacy and the depth and level of performance is a whole different experience."

Compiled by's Sara Bonisteel.

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