Sunday, May 22, 2011


The world didn't end as predicted yesterday. The Rapture (depicted above) did not happen. I was reminded of one of my favorite episodes of "Six Feet Under." A woman sees people floating into the air and thinks the moment has come, so she jumps out of the car she is driving - and is promptly struck and killed. As it turns out, the rising bodies are helium-filled blow-up dolls that have escaped from the bed of a pick-up truck. The plot is based on an urban legend that has circulated since 2001, in which a man dressed as Jesus was bringing the dolls to a costume party.

Among the uses of blow-up dolls - other than for party props or, er, personal pleasure - is as additional passengers to entitle drivers willing to risk being ticketed to travel in the carpool lane on the highway, or to allow women to feel safer driving at night. But my favorite story from the weird news is about the 2 teenagers who swam down the swollen Yarra River in Australia earlier this year. They were buoyed by inflatable dolls, but required rescue. The first responders were not pleased, pointing out that the dolls were "not a recognised flotation device" (click link for delightful photo)!

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