The Odd Truth, April 19, 2003

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The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Brian Bernbaum. A new collection of stories is published each weekday. On weekends, you can read a week's worth of The Odd Truth.

Holy Colon!

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A 40-foot-long replica of the human colon is winding its way through Little Rock to educate people on the dangers of colon cancer.

The "Colossal Colon" is designed for children and adults to crawl through, and allows visitors to see different stages of the disease, from polyps to full-blown cancer.

Part of the National Cancer Education Tour, the exhibit was created in honor of Amanda Sherwood Roberts, who died from the disease last year.

Organizers hope that the exhibit will get people thinking about a part of the body that is usually not discussed.

"We're trying to educate as many people as we can so nobody has to go through what we had to go through," said Amanda's father, Bernie Sherwood.

Bird Survives 6 Days Trapped In Car Bumper

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A 20-inch bird that survived a six-day, 850-mile road trip in the hollow of a minivan bumper has a new name and a new home.

The odyssey of the white Florida egret began last week near Orlando, Fla., when Doug Marsico and his wife were taking their 3-year-old son to Disney World. Their minivan hit the flying egret, sucking it beneath the bumper.

"We heard a thud, then saw feathers flying," Marsico said. "I thought we killed it."

Harry Clark, Marsico's father-in-law, was the first to hear a noise under the front bumper when the family returned to their Mechanicsburg home.

When he heard the noise again Wednesday, he crawled under the minivan, where he saw feathers and a wing.

The bird eventually made enough noise that Marsico took his minivan to a body shop where employee Butch Lockey removed the hungry, irritable bird.

The egret, newly named "Butch" after his rescuer, has a 4-inch yellow beak and a buff orange crest, breast and shoulders. He suffered a broken leg during the ordeal. The bird was placed with the Dauphin County Wildlife Rescue to recuperate.

Don't Even Think About It

WHITESTOWN, N.Y. - Peeing in a coffee pot could cost millions. Eight people are suing for $600,000 apiece, in the case of a PO'd office worker who peed in the pot. Holly Jones has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of creating a criminal nuisance. State police say a hidden camera caught Jones urinating in the coffee at Robinson Aviation in upstate New York. Now, her co-workers are suing Jones and their employer. The suit charges the coffee-drinkers were made sick by the contaminated java. The court action also claims the company should have done more to protect its employees. According to police, Jones was angry about being passed over for a promotion.

Jesus Vegetarian Ad Inaccurate, Says Rabbi

PENSACOLA, Fla. - A billboard in Pensacola, Florida, that promotes vegetarianism by claiming "Jesus was the prince of peas" has drawn the ire of both Christian and Jewish clergy.

The clergy say that depiction of Jesus is both historically inaccurate and sacrilegious.

The billboard includes a picture of Jesus with an orange slice in place of a halo and was erected by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to coincide with Passover and Easter.

PETA's Bruce Friedrich says the campaign is meant to provoke the thought that if people are eating meat, they are promoting cruelty to animals.

But Rabbi David Ostrich of Temple Beth-el says historical evidence indicates that Jesus, like other Jews of the time, was a meat eater. He says a ritual part of the Passover meal was a lamb slaughtered in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Mistrial Declared After Juror Falls Asleep

CINCINNATI - A judge declared a mistrial after a juror fell asleep during the trial of a man facing cocaine charges.

"You have a right to 12 jurors who are awake," Judge Robert Ruehlman of Common Pleas Court told James Toran, 27.

At the request of the defense, Ruehlman dismissed the jurors Tuesday and scheduled a new trial for June 5. Toran could be sentenced up to 21 years in prison if convicted of all charges, including cocaine possession and trafficking.

The prosecution and defense had completed opening statements and a prosecution witness had testified before there was a break in the trial. A high school student attending the trial with his class asked the judge about the sleeping juror, who had been obscured from the judge's view by another juror in the front row.

Toran was a passenger in a car pulled over by police last year. He jumped out and began shedding clothes and bags of cocaine, authorities allege. Police found $4,900, ammunition shell casings, a scale and drugs in the car.

Seeing Is Believing

SCOTIA, N.Y. - When Benedict "Bennie" Barta told his mother that he had won $5 million in the state's instant lottery, she told him to go rake the lawn.

"She didn't believe me, even after I showed her the confirmation from Lottery officials," the 47-year-old man said.

Now, Barta won't have to rake another lawn, unless he wants to.

As the winner of Lottery's $10 Instant Game on Sunday, Barta will receive $165,000 a year for life, lottery officials said.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," he said on Wednesday.

Other than speaking with a lawyer and an accountant, he said his life hasn't changed too much.

He plans to pay off his bills and those of his loved ones. He'll also take care of his elderly mother, whom he visits twice a day.

Barta plans an early retirement from his job of the last 25 years as a heavy equipment operator for the town of Glenville's highway department.

Turtle Prompts Coast Guard Search

NEW YORK - The Coast Guard says it launched an air and sea search in the Atlantic — all because of a turtle.

It started when Coast Guard monitors picked up an emergency signal about 470 miles northwest of Bermuda.

The Coast Guard sent a plane from North Carolina and asked ships in the area to look out for any vessels in distress.

The plane eventually pinpointed the beacon. A nearby Norwegian tugboat was sent to investigate.

What the tug found was a turtle. The crew pulled it out of the water and found it was caught in a rope with the beacon.

No one knows how the turtle got hold of the beacon, which can be activated by a jolt or by movement in water.

The device was registered to a man who says he lost it some time ago.

Trampoline Comes In Handy

RED LION, Penn. - His house was on fire — and he was standing at a third-story window. So, that trampoline in the back yard came in handy.

Witnesses say a 17-year-old escaped a smoke-filled house this morning by jumping from the window onto the trampoline.

James Smith of Red Lion, Pennsylvania says he landed so hard, he broke some fingers.

His grandmother and his sister, meanwhile, were saved by two truck drivers who were passing by.

Firefighters contained the blaze to one room, and put the fire out in ten minutes.

Never Mind!

LONDON - It turns out a British Royal Marine hailed as the luckiest commando alive isn't lucky at all - just a little mischievous.

A photo of Eric Walderman wearing his bullet-riddled helmet is famous throughout the world, as is the story that the 28-year-old survived gunfire just inches away from his face.

The bullet holes were real, but now it's clear that the story was wrong. Walderman says he simply posed in a helmet accidentally shot up while it sat on the ground.

He said the journalists who took his picture never asked for details of how the bullet holes got there, and so he let them assume the shots came while the helmet was on his head.

The group of British Marines came clean after a newspaper tabloid, The Sun, tried to do a follow-up.

Stupid Criminal Strikes

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The suspect in a bank robbery made it easy and very convenient for the authorities to arrest him.

The man allegedly robbed a bank located in the same downtown building as the local FBI office. The bank is also across the street from the city police department.

"If you rob the bank in the same building as the FBI, it won't take long," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Green said.

Jonathan Waldon was charged in federal court with attempted bank robbery. Police said Waldon entered the American National Bank on Tuesday morning, claimed he had a bomb, and demanded $50,000. He was arrested inside the bank.

Hatfields And McCoys Still At It

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - Descendants of both the Hatfields and the McCoys are claiming victory in a sequel to their famed clash of the late 1800s.

The feuding families were at odds over access to a hillside cemetery in eastern Kentucky that holds the remains of six McCoys, including three who were tied to pawpaw trees and executed by the Hatfields in 1882.

A judge has ruled that McCoy descendants have a right to visit the cemetery, despite the objections of a Hatfield descendant who owns the land around it.

"The McCoys win," said Joseph Justice, an attorney and McCoy descendant who represented cousins Bo McCoy of Waycross, Ga., and Ron McCoy of Durham, N.C. "The McCoys have access to the cemetery now."

McCoy descendants claimed they hadn't been able to visit the cemetery in more than three years because it is on land owned by John Vance, a Hatfield heir. Vance had put up "No Trespassing" signs on the driveway leading to the graves.

Vance also claimed victory because the judge's ruling barred the cemetery from being opened to commercial exploitation. He said that means the cemetery can't be opened to tourists.

Tax-Deductible Dope?

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia- Getting to smoke pot legally isn't enough for Jane Parker. Now, she wants to take a tax deduction for her weed. The Canadian woman says she spends $12,000 to $14,000 a year to buy marijuana.

Parker has a permit from health authorities to legally possess the weed. She says she uses it to control symptoms of multiple schlerosis. But she may not get far with her claim of a pot tax deduction. Canadian tax officials note that non-prescription drugs -- such as aspirin or marijuana -- can't be written off as a medical expense.

No Coffee Breaks In Land Of Goshen

GOSHEN, N.Y. - County employees in one upstate New York community will have to drink coffee on their own time. Orange County Executive Edward Diana is canceling coffee breaks for public workers.

Diana says eliminating those breaks will squeeze hundreds of extra work hours from the county staff. He notes there's nothing in union contracts that guarantees a coffee break. But workers will still get their cigarette breaks - and a chance to go to the bathroom on county time.

Holy Lawsuit!

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida woman who says her former boss fired her because it was "God's will" is suing him for religious harassment.

In her suit, Michelle Subwick claims Mark Kielar blamed her bipolar disorder on "unconfessed sins," and told her that Satan had infiltrated her life. The suit says Kielar advised her to pray daily with him, and that she was fired when she stopped the sessions.

Subwick is asking for back pay and other damages. Kielar heads a TV production company in Boca Raton that produces secular programs for cable television. It's the second religious harassment lawsuit filed against him this year.

He was sued in January by a former producer. She alleges she was fired because she complained about the company's practice of including scriptures inside employees' paycheck envelopes and promoting Bible study sessions in the office.

Snow Job

BOSTON - A question on a test has caused a blizzard of controversy in Massachusetts. Fourth-graders taking an exam last week were asked to write an essay about what they did on a day when school was canceled because of snow.

One problem: In some school districts, there haven't been any snow days this year -- or for that matter, in the last three years. While there was a lot of snow this winter, most of it fell on weekends or holidays.

Parents and teachers complained that the question was unfair because the youngsters had no recent memory of what a snow day is like.

The state Department of Education agreed. They're offering school districts an opportunity to give their fourth-graders a re-test with a different essay question.

That's CAREY, Thank You

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Politicians usually love to hear from the people, but state Sen. John Carey isn't pleased to get messages intended for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry.

Carey has been getting mail intended for the senator from Massachusetts since April 2, when Kerry said the United States, like Iraq, needed a regime change.

At least 28 e-mail messages for Kerry reached Carey's Senate office. One said, "Look at the polls, understand that we get it, you do not and you are committing political suicide with your remarks."

A handful of the messages supported Kerry, and a few correspondents sent Carey a second e-mail to apologize when they found they had the wrong senator.

Carey said Wednesday that it was not the first time he's been mistaken for the Massachusetts Democrat. During a trip to Washington a few years ago, "I got a lot more attention than I thought I deserved," he said with a laugh.

Free Cameras

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - An insurance company wants its customers to start carrying cameras in their cars - so they can take pictures of the damage if they get into an accident.

State Farm is giving its customers on New York's Long Island disposable cameras in hopes of cutting down on fraud. Some 77,000 cameras will be mailed out.

After taking the pictures, customers bring the cameras to their agents for developing.

The insurer hopes the pictures will prevent the other driver from making claims later on that are based on damage that wasn't caused by the accident. If successful, the program could expand across the country.

A State Farm spokeswoman says fraud in New York state is a billion-dollar business. She says the costs of the cameras -- at about $100,000 - is a small investment compared to the losses from fraudulent claims.

He's No Goldilocks

LONDON - A man who'd had too much to drink on a night out stumbled home and fell asleep — in a house where he had last lived seven years ago, police said Wednesday.

Police were called when teenager Giles Mottram came home early Sunday morning to find Mark Norley asleep in his bed in Axbridge, southwest England.

Norley, a 34-year-old research scientist, was taken by police to his mother's home nearby "to sleep it off," a spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said.

He wasn't charged.

"The police said they had simply never heard of anything even remotely similar," said homeowner Harry Mottram.

"It was like a kind of latter-day Goldilocks and The Three Bears, except the sleeping drunk had dark hair and we are not a family of woodland bears."

Grin And Bear It

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Miss Nude World pageant, planned at a strip club north of the city in October, isn't the kind of event city convention officials say they generally would endorse.

But organizers say the contest, featuring up to 75 exotic dancers from around the world, could draw up to 10,000 spectators to the area.

"I guess anything that has a potential to bring outside visitors to town is somewhat positive," said Greg Edwards, president of the Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The contest, which in recent years has been held in Atlanta and Miami, will be held Oct. 20-25 at the Lumber Yard strip club. The winner gets $10,000.

"In our industry, this is the biggest event in the world," said Mike Kent, the Lumber Yard's manager.

Unemployed Man Files For $1.5 M Refund

NEW YORK - A man masquerading as a millionaire filed an income tax return claiming he was owed a refund of more than $1.5 million, authorities said.

Turns out he almost got it, they said.

Benjamin Harris, 47, of Brooklyn, was arrested and arraigned on charges of filing a false claim last year with the Internal Revenue Service.

Prosecutors allege a 2001 return filed by Harris included a doctored W-2 form showing he made nearly $9 million that year as an attorney for an employment agency, Temporary Time Capitol Corp. He claimed he paid $3,196,431 in taxes and was owed $1,580,065, court papers said.

Defense attorney Heidi Cesare told a judge her client had made a career out of working temporary jobs, had no criminal record and had volunteered to meet with IRS investigators on tax deadline day. He soon found himself in handcuffs.

"Ironically, they scheduled (the meeting) for today, of all days," she said Tuesday.

The IRS denied the timing was calculated.

Easter Bunny Punched In The Face

WAUSAU, Wisconsin - Fans in Philadelphia once booed Santa Claus — and now somebody in Wisconsin has attacked the Easter Bunny.

A man dressed as the bunny told police a man assaulted him Saturday at a mall in Wausau.

Travis Peterson says he was sitting in a chair and waving to kids when the man jumped in his lap, got him in a headlock, punched him three times in the mouth and then ran away.

Peterson tells the Wausau Daily Herald he thought the man was trying to show off for his friends.

Police say the bunny suit probably kept Peterson from being hurt. They've arrested a 21-year-old man on disorderly conduct charges.

Naked Mass Descends On Parliament

LONDON - London sightseers got an eyeful last evening. Scores of volunteers dropped their drawers and posed nude near Parliament and the River Thames. American photographer Spencer Tunick has made a career of his mass nude shots. Yesterday at dusk, he posed 160 naked people for several photos. Tourists ended up getting more in their snapshots of Big Ben than they planned. The London nude shoot coincides with the opening of a Tunick photo exhibit at a local gallery.

Umpire Attacked By Angry Fan

CHICAGO - Another on-field incident has occurred during a Kansas City Royals game at Chicago's Comiskey Park.

A fan came out of the stands after the eighth inning of last night's game, attacking first base umpire Laz Diaz. Security and players came to Diaz's aid before the fan was quickly taken away.

The fan ran on the field and tried to tackle Diaz, wrapping his arms around the ump's legs. The game was delayed three times earlier when fans ran onto the field before being tackled by security guards.

The Royals were playing in Chicago for the first time since coach Tom Gomboa was pummeled by a father and son who came out of the stands last September.

Bagdad Cafe No More

BAGDAD, New York - Would you want to own a tavern named the Bagdad Cafe? Neither does Mick Labrioli. So, he's changing the name of his western New York bar to Liquid Therapy. Labrioli and his wife Patti bought the Bagdad Cafe in December after moving from Florida to Bagdad, New York. He says he was never crazy about the name, but there was no rush to change it until the war with Iraq began. They're now refurbishing the place and will reopen with a new look and a new name.

Town Legalizes Adultery

ROLLING HILLS ESTATES, Calif. - Adultery will soon be legal in this small community southwest of Los Angeles.

On Monday, the City Council voted to repeal a 46-year-old ordinance that prohibited immoral conduct, which included extramarital sex. The archaic law, which could result in a $250 fine or three months in jail, was passed after the city was incorporated in 1957.

Council members weren't endorsing adultery but they took some pleasure in commenting about the ordinance. "So this is a pro-adultery thing?" Councilman James Black joked before the meeting. "Good for us!"

City officials heard about the ordinance after a resident scouring the municipal code mentioned it at a recent forum for City Council candidates. They were unsure if anyone had been cited for breaking the law and couldn't figure out why it was put there in the first place.

Frustrated Landlord Offers Free Vacation For Rent

GARDNER, Mass. - A landlord, tired of chasing down tenants who do not pay their rent on time, is giving them a little extra incentive to pony up — the chance to win a free vacation.

Douglas Rau, who has more than 100 tenants across central Massachusetts, held a drawing Friday for all tenants who have paid their rent in full. Resident Pablo Gallero won a four-day, three-night stay for two at a resort in the Bahamas along with $250 in spending money.

"It's pretty bad that you've got to do this to get people to do what they're already supposed to do on their own accord," Rau said. "But it seems like everybody thinks somebody owes them something."

The vacation package cost Rau about $1,000, but that pales in comparison to the approximately $5,000 it can cost to take a tenant to court to get them evicted and to fix the damage a disgruntled tenant can do to an apartment.

Rau said he will hold similar drawings every month, although the prize may not always be as generous.

The gesture already appears to be working. Although some of Rau's tenants were skeptical of the giveaway and called his office to ask what the catch was, four chronically late tenants quickly paid their rent in full after the drawing was announced in March, he said.

Deer Strikes Twice

LINCOLN, Neb. - It wasn't lightning that struck twice in the same place; it was a deer.

Workers and patrons at the Curves for Women fitness center saw the deer looking scared and disoriented early Monday.

The animal came running up and went through one window, then exited the same way, manager Tonia O'Hare said. The animal then came back and crashed through a second window, she said.

The deer died after the second crash.

No one in the fitness center was hurt.

Helicopter Jail Break In France

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France - It's the stuff of action movies — but bold jail breaks have become a major problem in France.

Assailants seized control of a helicopter yesterday and used it to break three inmates out of a prison in southern France.

The hijacked helicopter swooped low over the prison yard while someone aboard lowered a rope ladder.

The aircraft landed shortly afterward in a nearby sports stadium. The prisoners fled by car.

The escape is the latest in a string of high-profile jail breaks in recent months. Some were carried out with explosives and assault weapons.

It's the second escape by helicopter in 18 months.

Coca-Cola Vies For Control Of Swedish Family's Name

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - The cola wars have entered a new dimension in Sweden.

This time, the Coca-Cola Company isn't battling Pepsi-Cola International, but a family with the surname Urge. That's also the name of a citrus drink bottled by Coke that's available only in Norway.

Coke registered the name as a trademark in Sweden, but has not launched it there. In the United States, the caffeine-loaded drink is called Surge.

Members of the Urge family tried to repeal the trademark, concerned that their name would become associated with a soft drink.

Swedish law prohibits registration of trademarks that use someone else's family name. But the Court of Patent Appeals ruled in favor of Coca-Cola last month, saying the English word "urge" was more commonly known than the family name, which is pronounced "OOR-geh."

Lizard Boy Laid To Rest

BANGKOK, Thailand - A woman in central Thailand held a funeral for a monitor lizard believed to have been the reincarnation of her 12-year-old son, who died in a road accident nearly two years ago, a report said Monday.

Jamlong Taengnian, 53, and her relatives gathered at the family's house on the outskirts of Bangkok for the ceremony following the death of the reptile Saturday afternoon, The Nation newspaper reported.

A photo of Jamlong's deceased son, Charoen, was placed beside the reptile's lifeless body. "I am so sad. I feel as if I have lost my son a second time," Jamlong was quoted as saying.

Hundreds of people had visited the house in Nonthaburi, about 6 miles north of Bangkok in recent years to see the lizard allegedly possessed by the dead boy's spirit and thought to bring good luck.

The lizard was first found lying under a photograph of Charoen during his funeral in June 2001 and reportedly followed the boy's parents to their home.

Jamlong named the lizard Yui, her son's nickname, and allowed it to sleep in her bed and gave the lizard milk and yoghurt, her son's favorite foods, reports said.

Monitor lizards, which have gray skin marked by yellowish scales, live near water and are good swimmers and tree climbers. They are not aggressive.

Utah High Court Approves Atheist Prayer

SALT LAKE CITY - An atheist who sought to pray in City Council meetings for deliverance "from weak and stupid politicians" got the blessing of the Utah Supreme Court on Friday.

The court ruled that if officials in Murray, Utah, want to pray during government-sponsored events, the opportunity to pray must be equally accessible to all who ask.

The Supreme Court's 4-1 ruling reversed the dismissal of a lawsuit that Tom Snyder, 71, filed in state court in 1999.

"Thanks to the Supreme Court for reaffirming that constitutional protection," Snyder said. "There should be no government preference for one religion over another or a preference for religion over non-religion."

He and his lawyer have been pursuing the lawsuit since 1994, when Snyder filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Salt Lake City suburb for allowing other pre-meeting prayers but refusing to let him offer a prayer addressed to "Our Mother, who art in heaven."

Among other things, the prayer asked for deliverance "from the evil of forced religious worship now sought to be imposed upon the people ... by the actions of misguided, weak and stupid politicians, who abuse power in their own self-righteousness."

Friday's ruling was based on a 1993 decision that upheld Salt Lake City's right to hear prayers during official events as long as the opportunity to deliver the prayer was nondiscriminatory.

Salt Lake City chose to end public prayer rather than deal with the inevitable problems.

Farmers Chip Chickens

VALLEY CENTER, Calif. - The owners of ranches where employees tossed live chickens into wood chippers won't be prosecuted on animal cruelty charges.

The District Attorney's Office announced Thursday that Arie and Bill Wilgenburg, brothers and owners of Escondido-based Ward Poultry Farm, didn't commit a crime because a veterinarian from the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave them permission to use wood chippers to destroy the birds.

"Once they asked and were given permission, there was no criminal intent," said Gayle Stewart, a district attorney's spokeswoman. "It's an industry standard to get rid of hens like this."

Bill Wilgenburg said he was doing what experts told him to do with the old, unproductive hens.

"As a farmer, we did what we thought we had to do to the best of our ability based on what industry experts told us," Wilgenburg said.

He said he thought he was doing the right thing, until county Animal Services investigators arrived at his ranches.

Those investigators were called in February to a Ward ranch in Valley Center by a neighbor who said workers were dumping loads of live chickens into a wood chipper. Investigators also learned another Ward ranch in Potrero was destroying hens in a chipper.

The two ranches used chippers to destroy at least 30,000 hens at each of the two ranches, authorities said.

Pet Owners, Parents Warned Of Hungry Escaped Owl

LONDON - London police on Monday warned owners of small pets to be on the alert for a large, hungry bird of prey that escaped from its owners while being exercised in a park.

Jazz, a European eagle owl, has not been seen since Saturday, when he broke free from his leash in east London. He "flew away in a distressed state after some crows went for him," the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Police appealed to residents to report sightings of Jazz, described as dark brown and 20 inches tall, with a 6-foot wingspan. The European eagle owl is the world's largest species of owl, and has been known to hunt foxes and small deer.

Police said hunger might drive Jazz to hunt rabbits, cats "or even small dogs."

"It is unlikely that he would attempt to catch small children as he lives with children at home," police said. "However we advise people, particularly children not to approach him as he could be dangerous if felt threatened."

The bird's owner, Mark Triphook, said Jazz "can normally go without food for a little while before he gets desperately hungry.

"He's very good natured which means he's not frightened of people which is the downside when he's hungry because he won't be scared off," Triphook said.

A Slot In The Face

TULALIP, Wash. - Debra Hughes' euphoria didn't last long. She thought she had won $12,000 at a slot machine in a Tulalip, Washington, casino. But resort officials told her the jackpot was mistake, because the machine was in the demo mode. That's a way technicians test machines that have been serviced. The demo mode is supposed to be switched off before customers start feeding coins into the slot machines. While the casino is refusing to pay, the slot machine maker Multimedia Games is promising to make good on the jackpot. Company CEO Clifton Lind says they'll give Hughes the $12,000. But Hughes says this time she won't start celebrating until she gets the check.

Somebody's Got To Do It

PROSSER, Wash. - Think you've got a dirty job? Be glad you're not Ernie Munck, who spends much of his day "arming cows." He's a large-animal veterinarian in Washington state. A big part of his practice is taking care of cows that have an intestinal blockage. Short of surgery, Munck says the best way to treat the malady is to stick his arm way up the business end of Bessie and remove whatever is getting in the way. While it may seem like a pretty disgusting way of making a living, Munck says arming cows isn't so bad. He notes on a cold day at least one hand will be warm.