Iowa Cyclists Give a Poop About Education

Bike riders are taking a game popular with seniors out of the Y and into the fast lane.

What's all the pooh-pooh about? Chicken-poop bingo, of course.

Just ask Vickie Smith, who lost after choosing unlucky 33 and 04 on the sidelines of an annual race in Anthon, Iowa, on Sunday.

“I do like chickens, though,” said 57-year-old Smith of Ann Arbor, Mich.

The game was part of activities surrounding The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, a seven-day ride across the state, The Des Moines Register reports.

RAGBRAI riders paid $1 to bet on a square, with proceeds benefiting the Anthon-Oto Parent-Teacher Organization, of which father Scott Kirchgatter, an area teacher and football coach, is a member.

“We give a c--- about education in our town,” he said.

Daughter Alli Kirchgatter, 15, the designated chicken-handler, explained: “It’s cow-pie bingo, but we couldn’t do that in town, so we made it miniature and with chickens instead.”

The Kirchgatters put eight chickens into a cage lined with numbered squares. Participants watched as the birds walked, pecked and pooped.

“You win if they poop on your square,” Kirchgatter said. “The chickens are pooping a lot, but people aren’t picking the right numbers.”

By 11 a.m., four people had their squares soiled. Each received half of the total amount of money that was bid by other riders after the last win.

Many riders bet just to get a picture with a chicken, a complimentary bonus for playing the game.

That’s true of first-time RAGBRAI rider Smith.

“Did I look as nervous as I was?” she asked of her fellow riders. “I just had my picture taken with a turkey on a [bike] ride in Michigan. This could be a trend.”

Alli Kirchgatter cautioned that despite the light-hearted nature of the game, it’s a tough job working the bingo stand all day.

“Stuck is exactly the word,” she said. “I already had to chase after a chicken that got loose and ran down the road in the middle of all the riders.”

Click here to watch video of chicken-poop bingo.

Night Owls Doll Up Their Ride

Female night drivers seeking security on dark roads are turning to Buddy on Demand, a blow-up companion that fits in the glove compartment and inflates at the flick of a switch.

When a woman is finished using him, she can just pull the plug and he'll deflate, Reuters reports.

Buddy on Demand was created to ease fears about driving alone at night. Research found that 82 percent of women feel safer with someone else in the car.

"We're not saying an inflatable man is the only answer, but we hope it will give women extra confidence," said a spokeswoman for Buddy's creator, U.K. insurer Sheilas' Wheels.

Lawyer Connects With Feminine Side

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A bald, mustachioed lawyer turned up at court wearing a skirt and blouse and toting a purse to protest a lack of care and sensitivity among New Zealand's male-dominated judiciary, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Rob Moodie, 67, arrived at Wellington's High Court on Monday in a navy blue woman's suit complete with diamond brooch and lace-topped stockings over his hairy legs, The Dominion Post reported.

"I will now, as a lawyer, be wearing women's clothing," Moodie said.

He said he wants the court to address him as "Ms. Alice" — and that his wife and three children support his protest.

His attire, he insisted, is to highlight the insensitive "old boys' network" of New Zealand's judiciary. "My confidence in the male ethos is zilch. It's a culture of intimidation, authority, power and control," the high-profile lawyer said.

Moodie said that although he is heterosexual he was born with an innate understanding of the female gender.

Calls to Moodie's family home went unanswered Tuesday. The protest was prompted by frustration over a long-running case involving a farming couple held responsible for a bridge built by the army on their land that collapsed, killing a beekeeper.

He told The Dominion Post that the "last straw" was last month's Court of Appeal ruling that ordered the couple — who have already sold their farm to fund their legal efforts — to pay the army $6,200 in costs.

Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.

Homeless Man Reaps Benefits of Honesty

DETROIT (AP) — A homeless man who returned $21,000 worth of saving bonds he found in a trash bin is finding out how much honesty can pay off.

Charles Moore, 59, had been searching for returnable bottles last week when he came across the 31 U.S. savings bonds. He turned them in to a homeless shelter, where a staff member tracked down the family of the man who had owned them.

For his good deed, the bond owner's son gave Moore $100, but residents around Michigan and in other states decided his action merited a more generous reward.

So far, Moore has received more than $4,000. One man sent him eight trash bags full of returnable bottles and a bowl of coins. Three others gave a combined $2,500, and two businessmen from Troy donated $1,200, a shopping spree and a lead on a job.

"I was thankful for it," said Moore, who had lost his roofing job in Ohio and moved back to Michigan but couldn't find work.

Moore said he plans to use the money to find an apartment.

David C. Smith, of Albuquerque, N.M., gave Moore $1,000. Smith said he and his fiancee wouldn't have thought twice about what to do if the bonds had belonged to them.

"We would have given him the whole amount, period," Smith said. "No questions asked."

Compiled by's Heather Scroope.

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