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Original Issue


The new Mrs. George Wallace drove the pace car at the Winston 500 a while back, and it seems the governor's mother, Mozelle, decided that she could at least kick off a rocking chair marathon. And she did, in Alexander City, Ala. Didn't actually do any rocking herself, mind you, because that is best left to the younger girls—like the winner and new champion, Mrs. Dale Denny. Mrs. Denny won by rocking for the nonrecord time of 79 hours, which did not even beat her runner-up time of 82 hours set a few years ago. Well, as Mrs. D. explained, "I was tired and had to rest up for a softball game."

French Canadian folk singer Tex Lecor paid $750 for a Doberman pinscher to guard his $450 guitar. And for all Tex knows, the dog really was guarding the guitar when it was stolen from Lecor's car in Montreal. The thief also stole the Doberman.

And in Burlington, Iowa we have this arthritic cocker spaniel named Tippy. Tippy has been a beer drinker since he was a pup and he's 12 now. He is a one-can-a-week dog, according to owner Mrs. Joan Littrell, who adds that "the only time Tippy has any pleasure in life is when he has some beer." Fine, except that after a friend, Ross Miller, poured Tippy his saucerful of suds a while ago, Tippy passed out—to the considerable indignation of some neighbors. They called the police, who hauled Miller into court on charges of cruelty to an animal. The judge dismissed the charges against Miller, observing that although he himself could not condone giving a dog beer, he didn't figure that Miller's doing so constituted cruel treatment.

As for Tippy, the word is that he was drinking on an empty stomach on a hot day, and though what then happened shouldn't have happened to a dog, it did.

The gentleman bounding heavily over that bar is Josef Ertl, West Germany's Minister of Agriculture, who is, as you can see, a big butter and egg man. The little cartoon figure above him is Trimmy, the mascot and symbol of a new $2.8 million campaign to slim down the whole country. Trimmy shows up all over the place, on TV, billboards—even on beer mats—urging Germans to "trim yourself through sport." The West German Sports Association has scheduled 4,000 trimming festivals, and Health Minister Kaete Strobel is distributing a booklet listing "100 tips for having fun outdoors and everywhere," which presumably means indoors, too. Best game in the booklet is called "Red Indians," which involves crawling stealthily for about 20 yards to the blindfolded "guard of the fortress" and removing objects without being heard.

Furthermore...wait! Isn't that a hippopotamus crawling toward us through the grass over there? Uh, no. It's just Hans, slimming down. Or maybe Minister Ertl.

Touching Inscription of the Week is the one a Birmingham engraver carefully cut into a presentation tankard—it certainly touched Mrs. Yvonne Day. Mrs. Day lives in Balsall Common, England, and husband Fred is assistant manager of the Balsall Hornets, an under-15 soccer team. When the kids raised $12 to buy a pewter tankard for the man who organized an Irish tour for them, Mrs. D. took it to be inscribed, handing it over with a slip of paper. The engraver copied her message to the letter, which is why the tankard reads, "To Michael Cosgrave, in recognition for the tour of Ireland, Whitsuntide, 1971, Balsall Hornets. One bottle of white shoe cleaner, one pair of white laces for training shoes."

Next time Mrs. D. takes something to be inscribed, she plans to write her shopping list on a different piece of paper.

Police raiders moved in on the headquarters of a street gang in Buffalo some time ago and picked up a collection of fearsome weapons plus, of all things, six basketballs. But the lawmen are still not positive that they've got everything. And that's why Lieut. Alfred F. McDonald of the Tactical Patrol Unit made this week's Sporting Proposition: "I'll personally give a basketball to each youth who hands over a sawed-off shotgun."

The sharpest sport of them all is Irishman Jim Fitzmaurice. Jim has just set the alltime world record in the Lying-on-a-Bed-of-Nails-Outside-an-English-Pub division, a very tough game. Fitzmaurice, who also is an Irish wrestling champion, lay on that bed of nails outside the Wellington Hotel (we are not to be misled, our correspondent says, the Wellington Hotel is a pub) for six hours and 15 minutes. This record almost doubles the previous one held by Bernard McCabe, who lay in there, or on there, for three hours and 30 minutes outside the Admiral Nelson in 1967. In both cases, contestants in what our previously mentioned correspondent refers to as "this lunatic pastime," raised money for charity. That's why this story was pretty easy to pin down.