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On the Lighter Side

He’s Venez-wailin’ again

The man best known for calling President Bush “the devil” is now going after certain truck drivers in his native land.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he’s fed up with seeing beer truck drivers stop in the slums and start selling cold ones right on the street.

In a televised speech, Chavez said the practice represents “the degeneration of society” and ordered the Venezuelan National Guard to commandeer any beer trucks that make sidewalk sales.


Everybody loves a parade

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past six months, you’ve probably noticed that the debate about security along the United States’ southern border has turned into a three-ring circus.

Apparently, a Pennsylvania congressional candidate decided to take that concept one step further.

In an attempt to demonstrate just how insecure the U.S./Mexico border really is, Raj Peter Bhakta – a Republican political hopeful also known for a brief stint on the NBC reality show “The Apprentice” – marched three elephants and a six-piece mariachi band across the international border at a remote section of the Rio Grande River in southern Texas. And, like any good grab for attention, he filmed the entire thing.

“The elephants went into the water and (the) band played and we made as much of a racket and scene that I could have imagined,” Bhakta told The Associated Press. “Nobody showed up.”

Border authorities were quick to try to squash the rather embarrassing publicity attempt, saying Bhakta had cleared the elephants for passage beforehand. They also said the crew never actually made it across the border, a claim that Bhakta disputes.

We know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry – no mariachi singers were harmed in the making of this stunt. By the way, Bhakta lost the election.


Zero to 60 at two tanks a day

If you’re ever feeling bad about the ho-hum fuel mileage your truck gets, look on the bright side – at least Lamborghini doesn’t make commercial vehicles.

In October, the Environmental Protection Agency released its report on which 2007 four-wheelers get the best and worst miles per gallon.

Not surprisingly, the Toyota Prius came in at No. 1, getting a jaw-dropping 51 mpg on the highway and 60 mpg in the city. That’s not a typo, by the way – the fuel-conserving technology used in the hybrid car actually works less efficiently at highway speeds.

But at the opposite end of the spectrum was the Lamborghini, which ranks at a measly 14 mpg highway and 9 mpg in town.

Still, with a price tag of about $320,000, we’re pretty sure all those Lambo owners out there aren’t shedding a tear over their shoddy fuel economy – especially since their car can go from 0 to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds.


You can’t always park where you want

If you’ve ever had kids in college, you know that a stiff breeze is usually a good enough reason for some of them to stay home from class. That’s why it seems odd that students at a university in Kansas would work so hard to concoct a far-fetched excuse for skipping school.

According to local media reports, students at Wichita State University started cutting class in droves in late September, just weeks before The Rolling Stones were scheduled to play there.

As it turns out, the hubbub of prepping for the show – which included bringing more than 70 trucks on campus to haul supplies for a six-story stage being constructed in the middle of the school’s football field – took up hundreds of the campus’s already-limited parking spaces.

The stress must’ve been just too much for our future generation of leaders.
Instead of using a technology known as walking, a number of students decided it would be safer just to take a few days off.

“On The Lighter Side” is written by Aaron Ladage, staff editor.
He may be reached at