Retailers in Los Angeles, New York and Miami say more and more young, urban, heterosexual men are choosing to dress in women's tight, low-slung jeans and to use stylish lotions, fragrances and hair-care colors and products, according to June reports in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. Some marketers call men who are eager to embrace their feminine sides "metrosexuals" and point to English soccer star David Beckham (who braids his hair and paints his fingernails) as an icon. On July 15, the Bravo cable channel will air a makeover show, "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."
Girls will be boys:
In May, battered wife Elizabeth Rudavsky stabbed to death her severely abusive husband of seven months, Angelo Heddington, in Thedford, Ontario, but to Rudavsky's shock, Heddington was soon identified as a woman (who had long ago adopted male mannerisms and dress). A former Heddington girlfriend, who had discovered the secret earlier, told a reporter, "[Heddington] had soft hands, but she spit like a guy. The whole time you were talking to her, she'd have her hands in her pockets playing with herself like she was a guy."
A man who was hit by lightning at a Cincinnati amusement park two years ago (who survived, but with brain damage) filed a lawsuit in June against the park. According to the man's lawyer, Drake Ebner, the man somehow did not already know enough about how serious lightning storms are and the park management was negligent in not warning him against heading for his car, where he was struck.
All in jest:
To publicize an April 1 town festival near Cedar City, Utah, the mayor dreamed up a fanciful narrative: that a 10th-century, Viking-discovered island had been carried ashore by a Pacific Ocean volcano, to a point near what is now Cedar City, and by a 19th-century treaty, the U.S. had swindled the Vikings out of ownership of the island's artifacts, allowing Vikings only the privilege of the April festival. Everyone took the story in good spirit until several residents of nearby St. George grimly wrote the mayor claiming to be Viking descendants and demanding "their" artifacts back. When the mayor told them it was a joke, the claimants accused the mayor of a cover-up.
Bound and delivered:
Anthony Scott Ward, 40, and Melissa Coleman, 27, were arrested in Prestonburg, Ky., following a Memorial Day incident at a playground (with kids nearby), in which Coleman was bound face down on a picnic table, being paddled by Ward with a boat oar, in what authorities described as consensual "foreplay." Police recovered a cache of bondage items from the couple, including ceremonial hoods, handcuffs, prosthetic sexual tools, ropes, chains, collars, clamps, vibrating devices, lubricants and a cattle prod.
According to a May lawsuit filed against the all-girls Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, Conn., Catholic Sister Linda Cusano repeatedly wrestled a student to the floor in a secluded office in incidents in 1991 and 1992, for sexual purposes and to impress upon the student that she needed to join the convent upon graduation and submit herself to God. Cusano was known by students as "the recruiter" because of her aggressive (but more mainstream) encouragement toward sisterhood.
Illinois became the latest state to propose a ban on having one's tongue aesthetically split, reptile-like (unless done by a doctor or dentist). But the move is unpopular among devotees. "When I first saw it, I thought tongue-splitting was the most beautiful thing I've seen in my life," said satisfied splittee James Keen, who spoke to an Associated Press reporter, who observed that Keen "now speaks with a slight lisp."
Also, in the Last Month:
A Southport, England, driver showed a judge a note from his doctor certifying that a blood clot had erased his short-term memory and thus his 30 parking tickets should be dismissed because he can never remember where he parked. The Texas Legislature passed a bill to ban doctors performing surgery while intoxicated, except in an emergency.
2003 CHUCK SHEPHERD