Candy Guaranteed to Offend

A gooey candy being sold in Japan seems guaranteed to offend almost everyone.

The packaging reads "Snot From the Nose of the Great Buddha" — and the accompanying illustration shows a stylized Buddha with his finger up his nose, reports London's Daily Telegraph.

Nevertheless, tourists visiting the giant Buddha statue in the town of Nara in western Japan are gobbling it up.

Local Buddhist monks are not happy, and have prevented the name from being registered as a trademark, but can't do anything to stop sales.

The company that makes "Buddha Snot" argues that Japan's decade-long recession forces marketers to try to stand out.

Western Japanese also point out that their sense of humor, earthier than that of eastern Japan, appreciates mild vulgarities. After all, another local snack is called "Deer Droppings," says the Telegraph.

Buddhism (search), founded by an Indian prince in about 500 B.C., has about 300 million adherents worldwide, but while many Japanese observe some Buddhist rituals, few practice it strongly.

Criminals Escape From One Prison, Show Up at Another

Two English crooks broke out of jail — but only so they could escape to a tougher prison, reports the Times of London.

Small-time burglars and stick-up men Audie Carr, 29, and Benjamin Clarke, 23, had originally been kept at Gloucester Prison (search) in central England, where the harsh regime helped them kick their drug addictions.

But when they were transferred to the lower-security Leyhill Prison (search) about 20 miles away, Carr and Clarke found narcotics readily available and were soon hooked again.

At roll call at Leyhill last Sunday evening, the drug-addled duo was nowhere to be found. They turned up at Gloucester around noon.

"They wanted to escape Leyhill and asked if they could finish their sentences at Gloucester," a prosecutor told the judge at a hearing this week.

Carr and Clarke have been charged with escaping from custody.

Cell-Phone Rage Makes Man Go Ballistic

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A man who said he was fed up with his cellular phone service went to a Fargo mall and started hurling phones across a store, striking an employee and causing more than $2,000 in damage, authorities said.

Jason Perala, 22, of Fargo, told The Forum newspaper that he planned only to yell at employees at Verizon Wireless (search).

"Then I just lost it," he said. "I just started grabbing computers and phones and throwing them. I just destroyed the place. ... I kind of regret that I did it, but I hope my message got across."

Police said Perala took off his shirt and put on safety glasses before throwing around computers, phones and other items.

One employee was struck in the shoulder by a phone before he and other workers dashed into an office, locked the door and called police, Sgt. Kevin Volrath said. Other businesses in the West Acres mall lowered their steel security gates during Thursday's incident.

Perala was arrested without incident and jailed on charges of felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor simple assault.

— Thanks to Out There reader Don W.

Cell-Phone Call Makes Man Nearly Explode

NEW PALTZ, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate college student suffered minor burns when his cell phone apparently sparked a fire while he was pumping gasoline into his car.

Fire officials in New Paltz say 21-year-old Matthew Erhorn was pumping gas at a convenience store Thursday night when his cell phone rang and ignited the gas vapors coming from the car's fuel tank.

The flames that surrounded Erhorn only caused a minor burn on his arm.

The fire was immediately put out by the station's fire suppression system.

Bombs, Pot, All the Same Thing

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — Three bomb-sniffing dogs mistook a package of marijuana for explosives, prompting an evacuation of a city hall Thursday.

Poughkeepsie police said they intercepted a suspicious package sent to a city resident from another state. Police said they brought the package to their headquarters because they believed it contained marijuana.

Once the package was inside the station, bomb-sniffing dogs indicated it also contained explosives. Police evacuated City Hall at 12:30 p.m.

Bomb experts from Westchester County X-rayed the package and determined that it did not contain a bomb or other explosive device. Investigators opened the package and found marijuana. They said there was a strong odor of unknown origin, which may have caused the dogs to react.

Police said they are investigating. They would not release more details.

Poughkeepsie is about 75 miles north of New York City.

Times Square Billboard Features Bunnies Doing What They Do Best

NEW YORK (AP) — Has sex returned to Times Square? An advertising billboard seems to suggest so.

A Swatch (search) watch ad at Broadway and West 45th Street features a larger-than-life close-up of the "Bunnysutra" — two cartoon bunnies in what seem to be intimate positions.

"I think it's hilarious," said Jason Ingle of Seal Beach, Calif., in town with friends for a baseball game.

"It's disgusting," countered Kim Hornyak, visiting from Traverse City, Mich.

The ad is for a new Swatch watch with touch-crystal technology. When the watch dial is touched, the hands spin around to land on different Bunnysutra (search) positions, then return to the correct time.

"It's a playful and fun launch," said Yann Gamard, president of Swatch Group U.S. "There is no sexual connotation to it, in my opinion."

Gamard said he did not consider the ad any more suggestive than billboards around it. Another one nearby features a woman scantily clad in a miniskirt and bandeau.

Pamela Silas of Orlando, Fla., was thinking about buying the watch for her 9-year-old daughter, but reconsidered.

"If I didn't think my daughter was looking at it," she added, "I'd probably find it quite humorous."

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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