Monday, October 14, 2002

SOCIETY

Man finds finger in meal, wins prize


KAOHSIUNG
Factory worker Liu Hao-chuan, 37, was declared the lucky winner of NT$50,000 yesterday after he found a human finger nestled among his french fries at a local ‘Golden Tex’ restaurant. The fries were part of a special “Gold Rush Meal” which came with a chocolate sundae, yet Liu had no idea that the meal also came not only with a human appendage, but a large amount of money as well.

“I’d like to be the first to congratulate Mr. Liu on his good fortune,” said restaurant manager Ellen Shu as she slipped the NT$50,000 prize, safely tucked into an anonymous white envelope, into Liu’s back pocket. “Not everyone is lucky enough to find fingers in their meals. Only one in several thousand people even find bones or intact fingernails, much less complete and recognizable body parts such as fingers in their meals.”

Liu is optimistic, however. “I’m going to eat every meal at Golden Tex from now on,” he told the NFRP. “One time my cousin found part of a rat in his burger and won NT$200,000. Who knows? It could happen.”


ENTERTAINMENT

"D’Argo and Greg" premieres


LOS ANGELES
TV history was made again last night as the new series “D’Argo and Greg”, made its premiere. The series came into being after the “Farscape” franchise was purchased in part by ABC after being cancelled by the Sci-fi Network. Network executives immediately began searching for a place for the show, but concluded that they could kill two birds with one stone by taking the most interesting characters from “Farscape” and placing them in other shows, especially ones lacking any entertaining elements, in place of the more irritating elements of those shows. In this case it was Dharma, the annoying semi-hippie new-age blonde woman who played opposite Greg in the previous incarnation of the show.

“We felt that the character of D’Argo would bring a bit more conflict and cultural impact to the show, “ABC Producer Rick Lestrom said. “We hope to bring in a whole new character arc and hopefully recapture some Nielson points.”

In the first episode, D’Argo, played by Australian actor Anthony Simcoe, shows up on Dharma’s doorstep after a being accidentally ‘starbursted’ into our solar system. When his female host complains about his taking up residency in her crowded New York apartment, he cuts her in half with a long knife and sucks out her eyeballs with his tongue. Then Greg comes in to borrow a cup of raisins and discovers D’Argo kneeling over the body in a scene that is at once both hilarious and touching.

Other former “Farscape” characters are scheduled to appear in other shows as well. Chiana, played by Gigi Edgley, has signed a contract for a season as the Alien friend on “Friends”, while Aeryn Sung, played by Claudia Black, will be captured after her escape pod crashes into the pacific ocean, causing several international rights violations on a very special episode of “JAG”.

TOP STORY

China declares independence


Nation openly declares intent to ‘go its own way’


BEIJING
Chinese president Jiang Zemin stunned the world on Sunday with his announcement that “China hereby declares that it is an independent, sovereign state.”

“We are our own nation,” Jiang explained at a press conference held for the statement. “We are not just the ‘manufacturing yard of Taiwan’, the ‘uncivilized hinterlands of Hong Kong’ or the ‘backyard of Tibet’. We have our own culture and our laws, and we intend to take measures to defend our right to recognition in the international community.”

Chinese President Jiang Zemin announce's Chinese formal independence at a press conference on Sunday.

The statement resulted in confusion from many countries and skepticism from the US, who sees it as a ploy to gain sympathy. “The US is, as always, committed to the One-China Policy” White House Spokesman Ari Fleisher said in a press release issued this afternoon. “We cannot recognize the independence of China and still stay true to the spirit of our prior agreements with Taipei and Hong Kong.”

Jiang went on to detail plans to make Chinese the official language of China, institute a new national anthem and create a new flag with the Chinese characters “Zhong Guo” on it. “No more of those ambiguous little stars. What is this, a nation or a kindergarten?” the Chinese president said, banging his fist on the podium.

The reaction in Taipei was mixed. Some government officials extended a cautious welcome to the initiative, while opposition parties expressed outrage that Beijing would take such a step. Hong Kong Chief Administrator Tung Chee-hwa’s office issued a staple application form letter to the press, fueling speculation that no one actually works there.

UN Secretary Kofi Annan was quoted as saying in reaction to the Chinese announcement: “I don’t know what Jiang’s been smoking, but I hope he brings some next time he’s around.”


FASHION

New, fashionable ball-busting shoes found useful


TAIPEI
When Cathy Huang bought her first pair of pointed-tip high-heeled shoes last month, she thought that they merely represented the latest fashion. But after only one week she found that they were practical as well. “I can walk through just about any crowd now, and while before I would find myself blocked in by arrogant businessmen, now I can clear the way with just a few well-aimed kicks,” she told a NFRP reporter yesterday.

Fashion experts agree. “These new shoes are not just symbols of the empowerment of females,” raved Vogue Magazine sub-editor Carolyn Lee. “They are also powerful, ball-busting tools for dramatic demonstrations of the new social order in an everyday environment.”

“More and more, men who are used to getting their way in every respect are left groaning on the sidelines as women take their rightful place at the forefront of fashion,” Lee continued.

Huang has made impressions on her co-workers since her latest footwear purchase. “She seems more assertive and sure of herself. It’s amazing what a good pair of shoes can do for a woman. I learned that from watching ‘Sex and the City’,” said co-worker Kelly Yu.

Others disagreed. “It’s very unattractive,” said Frank Meng, Huang’s and Yu’s boss. “She [Huang] used to be such a good worker, always on time, never wasted much time. But now she actually goes out of her way trying to literally walk all over the men in the office. One time I asked her to do some overtime and she actually hissed at me.”

“Bitch,” Meng continued under his breath.

Huang’s boyfriend, Shao Yong-chi, 30, being listed as in critical condition at the Taiwan Adventist Hospital, was unavailable for comment.


LOCAL POLITICS

Mayor vows to eradicate evil from city

Contributing Writer

TAIPEI
Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that he would put an end to evil in his city, setting himself a deadline of two weeks to complete the task.

“In 14 days, there will only be goodness and harmony in the city of Taipei,” Ma told reporters while he jogged through the Taipei Detention House, which he was visiting to “see the face of evil.”

The mayor said the centerpiece of the crackdown would be an advertising campaign.

“You may already have seen my face on quite a few advertisements, but you ain’t seen nothing yet,” Ma said.

“From tomorrow, you will see me running, jumping, swimming, rock climbing, bungy jumping, wrestling aligators and holding babies three times an hour on every TV station and on the side of every bus in the city. Evil won’t know what’s hit it.”

Ma said he would also organize over the coming week for helicopters to drop leaflets over the city publicizing the crackdown on evil. The leaflets will feature Ma setting fire to a car thief with the caption “Exorcized!”

The mayor will also use technology to get the message across. The Taipei City Government has reportedly bought software that can send mass e-mails, commonly known as spam.

Chien Ker-ming, head of the city’s Bureau of Communications, yesterday sent to the media an sample of the e-mail, which shows Ma flicking the switch of an electric chair to execute a female prostitute to music from the Queen song “Another one bites the dust.”

Along with the advertising campaign, the mayor is also targeting the financing of evil.

“I’ve instructed the Taipei City Police Department to triple the bribes they demand from pimps, pushers and other sources of evil,” he said. “This way we can squeeze evil out of the city financially. They will go running down south, where the bribes are far lower.”

Evil was defiant yesterday in the face of the City Government’s new initiatve.

“What’s he going to do, eh? Advertise us to death,” said Ho Lin-feng, head of a gang that operates out of Wanhua district.

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