File this one under "Only in South Carolina."
It seems that one James Wood, a citizen of The Palmetto State, lost his leg in a 2004 plane crash in which his father was killed. Because he wanted to have it buried with him after he died, Wood kept the leg in a freezer for a while, then dried it in his front yard, and finally put it inside a barbecue smoker for safekeeping.
This is where the story starts to get weird. Wood fell behind on his rental payments to the storage facility where he was keeping the smoker, so the landlord auctioned off the contents.
When Shannon Whisnant, the purchaser of the smoker, got it home and opened the cover, he was somewhat startled by what he discovered. Thinking the leg "might have been part of a missing person or somebody's ex-wife," he called police, who took the limb to a local funeral home, where it now reposes.
Wood wants his leg back, but Whisnant isn't giving in. He claims that when he bought the smoker he also bought what was inside it. According to the news agency Agence France Presse, Whisnant is charging people money - $3 for adults, $1 for kids - to peek inside the smoker, even though the leg is no longer in it.
Meanwhile Whisnant has offered to share custody of the leg with Wood, but Wood wants no part of that deal. "He's making a freak show out of it," Wood said.
They don't care how big tom hanks is. Vatican to Hanks: Get Lost
The Vatican has told Tom Hanks it doesn't want him in church. It's not his religion they have a problem with - it's the movie he's making.
The producers of Hanks' new movie, Angels and Demons, had asked permission to shoot inside two of Rome's historic churches, Santa Maria del Popolo and Santa Maria della Vittoria. Fuhgeddaboudit, said the diocese of Rome.
Angels and Demons is a prequel to the 2006 movie The Da Vinci Code, based on the blockbuster novel of the same name by Dan Brown, which espoused the controversial (at least to orthodox Christians) theory that Jesus had married Mary Magdalene and had children.
Monsignor Marco Fibbi, a diocesan spokesman, told Reuters that the diocese had denied the filmmakers access to the churches because of the movie's subject matter. "It's a film that treats religious issues in a way that contrasts with common religious sentiment," Fibbi said. "Normally we read the script but this time it was not necessary. The name Dan Brown was enough."
Bo knows guitarsKeeping the Beat Going
BOMP-a-bomp-bomp ... bomp-BOMP. If you've ever heard rock-n-roll - whether it was Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, U2 or anybody in between - you've heard that beat. It was the creation of Elias Otha Bates, better known to the world as Bo Diddley.
Born in Mississippi and raised in Chicago, he reportedly was inspired to start playing guitar by hearing the great bluesman John Lee Hooker and began his career as a street musician. After several years of doing nightclub gigs he released his first record, "Bo Diddley," in 1955, and it rose to the top spot on the R&B charts.
That song introduced the "Bo Diddley beat," described by Wikipedia as "a rumba-like beat similar to 'hambone,' a style used by street performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks while chanting rhymes." The music scholars say Bo Diddley didn't really invent the beat - that it goes back to West Africa. But what the hell do they know.
Text Me a Dime Bag
Back in the dark days before Blackberry's and smart phones, college kids had to score their illicit drugs the old fashioned way - with Ma Bell and the doorbell. Not anymore, at least at San Diego State University where authorities recently arrested 75 students in a massive drug dealing investigation. According to the Associated Press, one of the suspects had recently sent out a mass text message to his "faithful customers" informing them that he and his friends would be unable to provide cocaine over the weekend while they were in Las Vegas. The message also advertised an ongoing "sale" and listed the reduced prices for some drugs.
In all, authorities nabbed two kilos of cocaine, 350 Ecstasy pills, as well as marijuana, hash, mushrooms and methamphetamine. Among the places raided was the Theta Chi fraternity house where authorities said fraternity members were openly dealing drugs.
Which got Upfront to thinking that there are a lot of frat traditions that probably should be abandoned: binge drinking, hazing, racial discrimination etc. But maybe that whole trafficking in barrels of Bush Lite wasn't such a bad business model after all, at least when you look at the alternative.