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Weird News

The Week in Weird (Naked Pianist Edition)

Mar 19, 2011 – 7:30 AM
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Tony Deconinck

Tony Deconinck Contributor

Welcome back to a new week and a brand-new roundup of some of the strangest stories in circulation. This week's theme must be "one of these things doesn't belong" because we cover the odd world of public nudity, scratch-and-sniff latex underwear on a fetish model, and the bizarre delicacy of urine-boiled eggs.

And inexplicably, we threw a story about the Amish into the mix. We're strange like that. So enjoy the stories this week, and I'll go digging for even weirder stuff for you next week.

If you think you're on top of all the weird news out there, jump ahead and take the Fark Weird News Quiz. If not, here's a recap:

Scratch and Sniff: These are difficult times for the print industry. Newspapers are struggling financially, and they're not facing nearly the same challenges for readership that glossy magazines have. Rising to the challenge, you have to think outside the box.

This is exactly the idea that the publishers of alternative magazine Bizarre decided to run with when they were putting together the April issue. On the front is an actress dressed like a fetish model in a black latex BDSM outfit, and the publishers gave their readers a little something extra.

The cover is scratch and sniff, and it smells like the model's latex underwear.

Not sure exactly what the combination might smell like, but when Hustler created a scratch-and-sniff centerfold back in the '70s, olfactory aficionados likened the erotic scent to lilac, musk and shame.

Plenty of Horsepower, Yet Not So Swift: When most of us think of maniac drivers, we tend to think of them in low-slung European sports sedans, or growling American muscle cars, teenagers on Japanese sport bikes or the occasional menace of a massive SUV crowding into your lane like an elephant wriggling into an elevator with you.

Police Bust Amish Drag Racer
Matt Rourke, AP
A horse and buggy passes a police car near a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., in 2006.
The last thing a driver expects, though, is to get clipped by a horse-drawn buggy in a drag race.

But that's exactly what happened to a woman who happened to get in the way of a pair of Amish cousins who were drag-racing their horse-drawn buggies to church on a recent Sunday like bats out of heck, tearing up the road in something reminiscent of "The Fast and the Furious," but slower and with uncomfortable, plain clothing.

The vehicle that was clipped suffered some minor damage to the front fender, while the buggy's front wheel was smashed up pretty good.

Police have cited the driver of the offending buggy for driving left of center, and rumor is that he could lose his television, radio and video game privileges permanently.

Urine for Quite a Treat: As long as mankind has crawled around on the face of the planet, we've searched for ways to maintain or improve our health. Some of these things have been pretty strange: Roman women used a combination of crocodile dung and white lead to keep their skin looking pure. Ancient Egyptians used bat's blood as a remedy for eye infections, and in Europe, people ate spider webs compressed into tablets to treat malaria.

Still, in terms of sheer weirdness, it's hard to outpace China, where monkey blood has been used to increase stamina, people still consume rhino horns for medicinal purposes and deep-fried scorpions are a common street food.

But even that isn't as strange as what they're trying to introduce to the world now. Folks from Zhejiang province in eastern China want the world to enjoy one of their local delicacies: eggs boiled in urine.

The process by which they discovered that boys younger than 10 years old provided the best sauce for the pot (so to speak) isn't clear, but the locals stand by it, saying that the eggs help with fevers and wakefulness. They also claim that the eggs are nutritious and delicious.

While it's difficult to question their beliefs, it's pretty difficult to imagine the process of elimination that resulted in the now-common practice.

Beware of Man Playing Upright Organ: Out in the blazing desert near the California-Arizona border is a little town called Quartzsite. It's better known to gemologists, petrologists and your run-of-the-mill rockhounds for its annual gem and mineral show every January.

Naked piano player Paul Winer
Chris Epting for AOL News
Famed naked bookstore owner and boogie-woogie piano player Paul Winer gives a thumbs-up at his shop in Quartzsite, Ariz.
But there's another attraction in town that most people know about. It's a small bookstore with a proprietor named Paul Winer. Back in the 1970s he played piano on club circuits, in saloons and in underground clubs, wowing fans with his performances, but especially his presence, since most of the time he performed completely naked.

His stage name back then was "Sweet Pie -- the Naked Boogie-Woogie Piano Player." A lifelong nudist with an aversion to the tyranny of pants, he found a niche combining piano playing and nakedness that was intriguing to audiences, especially at his favorite spot: New England's Salisbury Beach.

Eventually opting for a quieter family lifestyle, Winer and his family moved to Quartzsite, opening a small bookstore, but Winer stayed naked, much to the initial consternation of locals who weren't quite sure what to make of the naked pianist.

After a recent reunion with the Salisbury Beach crowd, Winer is considering doing a bit of touring again, and he might get some publicity with an old friend from his showbiz days -- Jay Leno.

It's always great to get a little exposure.


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