Missouri may decriminalize margarine

An 1895 law restricts the “sale, possession or shipment of imitation butter and bans yellow-tinted varieties. Those dealing contraband dairy products can be fined up to $100 and jailed for up to a month.

And if you’re caught selling with 100 feet of a school? Death penalty.

Could not come up with a “When things are outlawed” headline for this. “When margarine is decriminalized, only criminals will have margarine”? Too slippery

Aussies cancel Czech’s bananas

A 56-year-old Czech woman was detained by authorities at the Sydney airport when they found she “was concealing three live banana plants in her underwear.” Like a lot of places, the Aussies have an agricultural quarantine to protect the local flora. I want to know what she said to customs officers? “Oh, so that’s where I left them!”

Headline possibilities abound:

  • Always Czech for bananas
  • Czech-ed for bananas
  • Czech slips on bananas
  • Czech bounced over banana
  • Yes, we allow no bananas
  • Smuggler busted with bananas under where?
  • When putting bananas in your underwear is outlawed, only outlaws will put bananas in their underwear (and we’ll know they’re not just glad to see us)

When barbecueing on school grounds is outlawed, only outlaws will barbecue (at school)

Some 28 students at Middleton, CT, high school were suspended after they attempted a pre-school birthday celebration for Mike Aronne, one of the teens involved.

“We didn’t have beer, we didn’t have weed, we had bacon,” said Eddie Mangini, who along with the others did not anticipate the two-day suspension.

No beer or pot? What were they going to use to flavor the omlettes?

Germany protects children from chocolate egg threat

Despite being a massive hit with children and adults alike, German lawmakers want to ban Kinder surprise eggs on safety grounds. … Millions of the chocolate eggs with a toy inside are sold every year in Europe’s biggest economy, but according to a parliamentary health commission it is dangerous to combine food and toys in one product.

The toys aren’t edible? Man, that explains more about my digestive system than you really wanted to know.

Massachusetts safe from the threat of pet rental

The  Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed a bill that would protect all of us voters from a looming danger — PET RENTAL!

The bill, filed by Representative Paul K. Frost, Republican of Auburn, outlaws pet-rental companies because of what he called “public health, public safety, consumer concerns, and ethical issues.”

“I’m very pleased we were able to get it passed today and engrossed in the House,” Frost said. “It’s a kind of business model that fosters disposable pets.”

Earlier this month, Boston city councilors voted to ban the Flex Petz pet-rental company from opening a Boston branch because of similar concerns, said Frost.

Flex Petz, founded by Marlena Cervantes in 2007, currently operates in New York, Los Angeles, and London. It has been recently criticized by many animal activist organizations.

This is probably the greatest piece of legislation since it tried to ban Marshmallow Fluff two years ago. I know I feel better knowing that this important issue has been dealt with. I can only hope that the Senate and the governor understand the urgency of the threat poised by a company THAT DOESN’T EVEN OPERATE IN THE STATE. I hope the US government and the UN will also act as this is a international issue. Two months ago
we reported on the disturbing trend of Dog rental companies taking off in Tokyo! (Please ignore any comments I made about wanting to start a franchise here as a way to get more dogs in to my life. I misspoke or quoted myself out of context or something.)

I turned to an expert source for more informed opinion on this issue, my Office Manager (right). She said, and this is a verbatim quote, “Snort snuffle snort snort snuffle.”

Remember: When renting pets is outlawed only outlaws will rent pets!

When helium balloons are outlawed, only outlaws will have helium balloons

California state Sen. Jack Scott doesn’t want your kids to have fun at their birthday parties! OK, so that’s not really the point of his bill to ban foil helium balloons but that sure is a better lead than he wants to prevent power outages caused when the damn things fly into power lines. There were 800 of those last year in the Golden State.

However — and I’m stealing the pun from the WSJournal here — he didn’t expect the issue to blow up in his face.

Last month, at a pro-balloon rally in a Pasadena park, protesters cheered as a group of children pounced on an effigy of Mr. Scott — made entirely of balloons. … Wedding planners, party organizers and balloon artists all rallied to the cause. The industry body, the Balloon Council, set up a Web site — www.savetheballoons.com — that urges people to contact their state representatives. Members began a grass-roots campaign to garner support.

There’s an industry group for this, who knew? What’s their magazine called, The Gas Bag?

You really should read the whole story. It’s filled (and not in a puff piece sort of way — ouch) with gems like this:

Others complained that balloon-sellers were an easy mark for legislators. “To them, we’re just the balloon people. We’ve got the big noses and the floppy shoes,” said Treb Heining, a balloon artist who began his career at 15 selling balloons at Disneyland and has since created installations for the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. “We’re the Rodney Dangerfield of the professional-events services.”

Bravo to writer Amy Kaufman and the WSJ for this. Not only does the WSJ consistently produce some of the best serious journalism there is, they also produce some of the best intentionally funny journalism.

When assaulting people with M&Ms is outlawed, only outlaws will have to worry about their weapons melting in their mouth not their hand

Apparently things are so dull in Iowa that throwing candy can get you busted.

A Drake University security guard was questioning Sean McGuire’s friend regarding a hit-and-run when the guard “noticed the colored candies falling on the ground around the officer. When the officer turned around, an M&M hit his shoulder, according to a police report.” McGuire said he was launching the chocolatey treats as a way of standing up for his friend. McGuire was released on a $1000 bond. And he was lucky. Had he been arrested for assaulting an officer with a peanut M&M there would have been no end to the puns.