Congregational minister Glover Wagner of Bozeman, Mont., recently reported on his drive home from Madison, Wis.:
"I walked into an interstate cafe somewhere
in North Dakota," he wrote in the pamphlet he regularly distributes
to his congregation. "Next to me on the stool sat a toothless man
banging on the counter. I couldn't tell what he was angry about,
but he was doing his morning ritual to a silent local. "If you have
two fish in the stream, I think I should get one." Was he talking
about taxes or health costs or gas prices? Who knows? I descended
into my eggs, while behind me sat a farmer screaming about some
needless cat scan for his wife ..."
Reverend Wagner looped south, he could have enjoyed different, but
no less eccentric, listening fare. KSLT, a Rapid City, S.D., radio
station that recently came into Christian ownership, has not simply
limited its offerings to songs with a religious theme. It has
limited itself to a single song - Amazing Grace, which General
Manager Don Lambert considers the most popular Christian song of
all time. "How sweet the sound," he told the Rapid City Journal.
"We were blind to have missed the potential before, but now we see
the Dakotas can't lay sole claim to interesting summer activity.
For example, if Wagner had overshot Montana, he could have visited
Utah State University, where researchers have discovered why some
sheep express the "beautiful buttocks' gene and others don't. This
is not merely of aesthetic importance: Sheep with the gene produce
lambs with less fat and up to 30 percent more meat in their
buttocks. Utah State researchers have discovered the callipyge gene
(the word is Greek for beautiful buttocks, but researchers
pronounce it the French way, calleh-peej) is inherited only from
the father, reports the Salt Lake
Bozeman, Mont., the American Fisheries Society met to solve its
problem: The general public doesn't particularly like fish.
"Look at Barney (a dinosaur with its own TV show
for kids)," symposium organizer Robert Wiltshire told the Idaho
Falls Post-Register. "We don't have a Barney the fish." The
assembled scientists wanted to figure out how to popularize fish,
and, in turn, make people more excited about conserving fish
habitat. So they brought in Ray Troll of Ketchikan, Alaska, the
crooner of such fish-focused rap songs as "There's no nookie like
chinookie', mastermind of the "Spawn Til You Die" and "Fish Worship
... Is It Wrong?" T-shirts, and co-author of the
man-evolved-from-fish book Planet Ocean, which hammers home the
point that our species' evolutionary roots are deep in the water,
not in the air, like those of the over-celebrated dinosaur.
Ariz., isn't only unfathomably hot: people there arguably drive
more erratically than they do even on the Montanabahn. Municipal
Judge David Phares shared with the Arizona Republic some of the
best excuses for speeding he's heard so far: A pilot just back from
a long trip smashed into another car on the freeway there, but he
did try to avoid the collision. "He said, "I pulled back on the
wheel and expected fully to go right over him."
But Phares' favorite involved a woman who was
in a rear-end crash. Asked whether she'd taken defensive driving,
she answered she had. In fact, she was driving home from the class
when she plowed into the car ahead of her.
Duchesne, Idaho, ranchers Terry and Gwen Sherman swear their
property is being frequented by UFOs. The Shermans and their
children report seeing three kinds of craft in the last 15 months -
a small, boxlike object about 8 feet long, a 40-foot-long variety
and a ship the size of several football fields. Terry said he once
heard male voices speaking an unfamiliar language. The voices
seemed to be about 25 feet above him, but he couldn't see a thing.
Local UFO expert Joseph "Junior" Hicks told the Idaho Falls
Post-Register, "I think primarily it's research and exploration."
Heard around the West
invites readers to get involved in the column. Send any tidbits
that merit sharing - small-town newspaper clips, personal
anecdotes, relevant bumpersticker slogans. The definition remains
loose. Heard, HCN, Box 1090, Paonia, CO 81428 or