Well, it's time to review the wild and the wacky of the food, fiber and animal world. Here are the nominations for this 11th annual edition of BEEF magazine's Turkey Award. The envelopes, please.
- This family should stick to beef for dinner
Jackie Shrader, 49, and his son, Harley, 24, got into an argument over the best way to prepare skinless chicken. Both apparently very defensive about their expertise with fowl, the disagreement escalated until each opened up on the other with a .22-caliber handgun. The father wasn't hit but Harley ended up with a slug that clipped his ear and lodged in the back of his head. After a little medical care, the pair was arrested and charged.
- Dog bites man is not news. Man bites dog is news
That old journalistic rule of thumb took a new turn in England recently when a dog named Monty, left alone in his owner's milk truck during a delivery, stepped on the accelerator. The truck ran down a pensioner before piling into a lamppost. The pensioner went to the hospital with an injured knee. Monty went to the vet for injuries to his paw.
- P.T. Barnum would be proud
In Switzerland, Paloma Baertshi claims Spot, her pet rabbit, taught her to communicate telepathically with animals. Now she's offering the skills to others for $600.
Here's the secret: First look at your pet, then “wait for a reply which could be anything: a feeling, a word, a picture, a color or simply emptiness,” she says.
- And they keep the weeds down, too
Besieged by townspeople complaining about encountering frisky Dutch folks engaging in open-air sex during strolls through a local nature reserve, the mayor of Spaarnwoude in the Netherlands came upon a solution. She put some heifers to work grazing the reserve, an idea borrowed from another reserve near Amsterdam where grazing cows had dramatically reduced a similar problem a short time before.
- “Well, they said they were ‘consumer’ groups.”
In a bid to advance its isolationist agenda, R-CALF hooked up in June with anti-beef groups — Public Citizen, Consumer Federation of America and the Consumers Union — for a Washington, D.C., press conference. The purpose was to denounce USDA's handling of the BSE situation.
When criticized about the wisdom of allying with outfits that have long campaigned to cut beef from the federal school lunch program and out of American diets, R-CALF condemned the industry critics for “attacking our nation's largest consumer groups.”
- “Want fries with that?”
A Morocco-born, wannabe bomber, his car loaded with four gas canisters, died waiting to be served in a McDonald's drive-through lane in north Italy last spring. Mostafa Chaouki, who had sent a note to authorities complaining about the war in Iraq, was killed when his car burst into flames a little ahead of schedule. Firefighters extinguished the blaze before the canisters exploded.
- Homer Simpson says, “Mmmm, donkey meat.”
What's the favorite dish of a short, rotund Stalinist jackass who's slowly starving his citizens to death? For North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, it's roast donkey meat, which he daintily terms “heavenly cow.”
And this year's trophy, the Golden Baster, goes to R-CALF for helping bestow on anti-beef groups a veneer of credibility among U.S. consumers.