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It’s a familiar and enduring image: A sunny Saturday afternoon in suburban America. The sweet smell of a barbeque and fresh-cut grass hanging thick in the air. Bearlike, work-a-day Joes bonding over some al fresco brewskies, lending each other power tools and making manly conversation about torque, taking things apart and putting them back together again. But this past Saturday, male bonding in Anytown, U.S.A., took a more gruesome and sinister turn. Police in Oak Park, Michigan, picked up a forty-eight-year-old man suffering from a botched castration. The “victim” had briefly chatted with a wannabe surgeon online before setting a date on his kitchen table for the frightful surgery. The twenty-nine-year-old quack removed the nut’s nuts with a scalpel and then stitched the older man’s wound. The two sat around eating pie before a fit of laughter caused the victim’s stitches to break, resulting in serious hemorrhaging. Confused cops later found a pair of severed testicles in a refrigerated Tupperware container at the home of the twenty-nine-year-old suspect, a Taiwanese national. During questioning, the Taiwanese man admitted performing similar operations on fifty previous occasions (that’s around 100 plums, total) before his latest op went horribly wrong. The suspect has been released while authorities determine whether a crime has occurred.
Whether the calamitous doctor is also working for an H.M.O. is not yet clear.

Czech ‘Em Out!

In politics, desperate times call for desperate measures. In Valasske Mezirici, Czech Republic, the beleaguered Communist party decided — in a last-ditch attempt to win the hearts and minds of their countrymen — to use topless women to boost their popularity. (One can imagine the snickering at Communist Party HQ as they observed less resourceful politicos handing out free bowls of goulash and plum brandy to prospective voters.) Five women, naked from the waist up, shivered in cold, driving rain as they handed out soggy campaign literature during an election rally held in the town’s main square. However, the transparent plan backfired when, unsurprisingly, most men soon lost interest in the candidates’ speeches.

The V@#!@# Monologues

“Vagina” is a word that the editors of Alabama’s Birmingham News don’t want their readers to see. This odd policy wasn’t a problem until The Vagina Monologues, the infamous play in which a series of female celebrities expound on their most intimate part, came to town. The show’s promoters were surprised when the News refused to accept advertising or provide editorial coverage of the show, making it the only newspaper in the country to do so. The paper’s advertising director and the promoters eventually compromised: This past Sunday, the paper ran an ad that read, “To find out the title of this show, call . . . ” Surely, printing the word “vagina” would have caused less embarrassment than, say, trying to book tickets to “An Evening With Gallagher” or “Michael Flaherty’s Lord of the Dance.” Doutbless, there are plenty of folks who’d like to know why the standards used against The Vagina Monologues did not apply to the ads that ran for the Birmingham Broadway Theatre’s performance of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Travis Bickle’s Hidden Pickle

People used to believe that art lived on the walls of museums and posh people’s houses. This week, in the name of art, a bright pink cab will tour the streets of Warsaw, offering a free ride to couples who are willing to get it on in the back seat. The sex-on-wheels experience is the project of a twenty-six-year-old Swedish artist studying at the city’s Academy of Art. The back windows will be tinted black and the seats will be extra comfortable to give couples a “feeling of intimacy” while their every move is noted by the Nordic voyeur. According to a Polish radio station, the response has been overwhelming; people have been booking time in the lovemobile for weeks in advance. This Week in Sex wagers that those prospective participants have already been around the block a few times.

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