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“In God we trust” Page 11

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Mayor's Cash Offer to Dieters

The mayor of a picture postcard town in the Italian Alps is offering

overweight residents cash prizes to lose weight. Residents in Varallo

Sesia who lose 3kg (6.6lbs) in a month can claim 50 euros (£35),

and another 100 euros (£70) if they can keep it off for a further five

months. Men shedding 6kg in two months - 5kg for women - can

also claimE50 and then E200 after five months, reports the

Guardian."Dieting needs strong motivation, and I am trying to

muster some collective will here," said the mayor, Gianluca

Buonanno, who is trying to lose 6kg after his son called him "big

belly".Mr Buonanno, who will not claim the cash himself, said resi-

dents were queueing up at the town hall after the scheme was

announced."You will need a doctor's certificate stating you are over-

weight," he said, "since we don't want to promote anorexia."Dieters

are also required to have their starting weight measured by a town

hall-approved chemist. Once on the scheme, residents will get free

dietary advice from specialists employed by the town hall.Italy's

health minister, Livia Turco told Corriere della Sera it could be rolled

out nationwide as Italians forsake the Mediterranean diet for junk

food, pushing obesity rates to 9%.Mr Buonanno said the "stress" o

f the modern world was pushing locals to eat too much too fast.

A Week up a Tree to Dodge Crocs

An Australian man has told how he spent a week up a tree in a croc-

odile-infested swamp and lived to tell the tale.David George, a Cape

York stockman, was finally rescued by helicopter in the bush near

Coen, in the remote far north of Queensland."Every night I was

stalked by two crocs who would sit at the bottom of the tree staring

up at me," Mr George told local paper The Courier-Mail."I'd yell out

at them, 'I'm not falling out of this tree for you bastards'."Dazed and

bleeding after a tumble from his horse, Mr George found himself in

the heart of a swamp - and then fell straight into a crocodile nest."I

couldn't go back, it was too far and too dangerous, so I headed to

the nearest high ground and stayed there, hoping someone would

come and find me before the crocs did," he

said.He

tried in vain to

attract the attention of airborne search teams, including flashing

sunlight off his tobacco tin, waving his shirt on a stick and spread-

ing toilet paper in the tree branches.Three days into his ordeal and

his food supply of two meat sandwiches was gone."If I hadn't seen

the crocs circling me, and if I hadn't fallen into the croc nest, I would

have made a push for it. But I knew the safest thing was for me to

sit tight and wait." On the eighth day of his ordeal, the missing

stockman was found after a search involving the Australian Army,

police and Aboriginal trackers.

Rent-a-Duck Scheme is a Hit

Germans are lining up to rent farm animals to help with the

gardening as part of a new green scheme.Werner Kiwitt, who

runs an ecological park in Schleswig-Holstein, is offering

sheep to cut the grass and ducks to eat the

slugs.He

said:

"You get free fertiliser provided by the animals as well, so it's

not a bad deal."Mr Kewitt said he was getting orders from all

over the country after a plague of slugs nationwide following

recent heavy rains.Kiwitt, who rents the birds out for £20 a

time, said: "Some people think this is just a gag but the ducks

are really good at getting rid of the slugs. It beats using poi-

son, especially when there are children or other aninals in the

house."

NEWS around the WORLD

According to ANANOVA & OTHERS

REPLACEMENT WINDOWS

Last year I replaced all the windows in my house with that expensive

double-pane energy efficient kind, and today, I got a call from the

contractor who installed

them.He

was complaining that the work

had been completed a whole year ago and I still hadn't paid for

them. Hellloooo,...........just because I'm blonde doesn't mean that

I am automatically stupid. So, I told him just what his fast-talking

sales guy had told me last year, that in ONE YEAR these windows

would pay for themselves! Helllooooo? It's been a year, I told him!

There was only silence at the other end of the line, so I finally just

hung

up.He

never called back. I bet he felt like an idiot.

Hallelujah

A man bought a donkey from a preacher. The preacher told the man

that this donkey had been trained in a very unique way, (being the

donkey of a preacher). The only way to make the donkey go, is to

say, "Hallelujah!" And the only way to make the donkey stop, is to

say, "Amen!" The man was pleased with his purchase and imme-

diately got on the animal to try out the preacher's instructions.

"Hallelujah!" shouted the man. The donkey began to trot. "Amen!"

shouted the man. The donkey stopped immediately. "This is great!"

said the man. With a "Hallelujah", he rode off very proud of his new

purchase. The man traveled for a long time through some moun-

tains. Soon he was heading towards a cliff. He could not remember

the word to make the donkey stop. "Stop," said the man. "Halt!" he

cried.The donkey just kept going. "Oh, no... 'Bible...Church!...Please

Stop!!," shouted the man. The donkey just began to trot faster. He

was getting closer and closer to the cliff edge. Finally, in despera-

tion, the man said a prayer... "Please, dear Lord. Please make this

donkey stop before I go off the end of this mountain, In Jesus name,

AMEN." The donkey came to an abrupt stop just one step from the

edge of the cliff. "HALLELUJAH!", shouted the man.