Jan 2. 2001 —, 2001 -- Before the last chocolate Santa melts, The Wolf Files looks back on the year that was. Here is some of the news you may have missed if you have not been reading this column as loyally as my dad. I give you now the top 10 Wolf Files for 2000.
1. Demand for U.S. Sperm on the Rise
You might think most countries wouldn’t have to look abroad for their sperm needs. But in the age of artificial insemination, sperm is becoming a hot international commodity. America is, by far, the world leader in this growing new business. Who says we can’t build anything anymore? Why is our semen best? The Wolf Files found out.
2. For Sale: Baby NamesEven in America, that great bastion of free trade, you still can’t sell your babies. But now there’s help for parents who want to make a quick $5,000 off their child’s name. The Internet Underground Music Archive, an alternative music Web site, awarded cash prizes to the first 10 entrants who named their baby “IUMA.” Talk about selling out. Not surprisingly, new mommies and daddies stepped forward to collect the prize money.
3. Florida Sideshow Freaks Say Don’t Call This Election a Sideshow A lot of TV pundits called the election recount in Florida “a freak show.” Well, Gibsonton, Fla., happens to be the retirement home of bearded ladies, human blockheads and the once internationally renowned (now deceased) Lobster Boy. These carnies took particular offense at the election being called “a circus.” Melvin Burkhardt, a 93-year-old human blockhead who once made his living hammering six-inch spikes up his nose, said: “I wouldn’t honor those election officials by calling them blockheads. At least I made an honest living at what I did.”
4. The Man Who Wanted ‘Canine Cajones’
Jim Webb says he doesn’t care if he has become a national joke. The 42-year-old United Airlines employee from California became the toast of late night TV when he tried to get artificial dog testicle implanted in his scrotum.
Webb had his left testicle removed in 1988 after suffering a major infection. But after the public scare involving silicone breast implants, the Food and Drug Administration halted the manufacture of prosthetic testicles. “I was prepared to achieve freak-of-the-week status,” he says. “But I figured if I stepped up, other men would speak up and we would get some results.” He says doggie implants were his best option.
5. God’s Public Relations Hoax
Yes, I did have a conversation with God. Imagine how disappointed I was to find that a man with the same name as the Almighty was a 60-year-old chain-smoker from Los Angeles with bad hair and a potbelly. His claim to fame was that he changed his name to the supreme being’s in 1981. He’s even listed in the Los Angeles telephone directory, and has a Social Security card that says he’s, well, God.
As you can image, God is a man who doesn’t mind a little attention. When I caught up with him, he said he was going to sue the Los Angeles Times just to get the word out that this God is alive — even if he’s been unemployed and on disability for a few years.
6. The Pain and Privilege of Life Under the White House Microscope
Long before President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, presidents have been put under the microscope and dissected. Consider the embarrassment President Chester Arthur faced when police found his son Alan swimming nude in the South Lawn fountain with the prince of Siam in the wee hours of the morning. Why would George W. Bush want the job? Well, let’s consider the perks of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. It’s a 132-room mansion complete with two swimming pools, a movie theater, bowling alleys and a putting green.
7. Men Are From Mars, Musicals Are From Vegas
You’ve read the book, watched the video, and played the board game. America’s most popular recipe for a happy marriage has been set to music. The Las Vegas stage version of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus opened Sept. 28 at the famed Flamingo Hotel. The show quickly closed, so this might be the only place you’ll see lyrics from songs like “Dysfunctional,” and other ditties with couplets like “There’s no joie de vivre in my libido/I think my libido has gone incognito.”
8. A Topless Cow in New York
The streets of New York City must know every depravity on earth, but they won’t ever see David Lynch’s decapitated cow. The fiberglass heifer was supposed to take its place on the city streets this summer as part of the “CowParade” — a traveling event that encourages local artists to decorate model cows for public viewing. But Lynch tells The Wolf Files free expression in New York is not all that free.
9. The Man Who Stole Summer Do you need a political cause? The Wolf Files has one. Summer traditionally ends on Labor Day. That’s when kids go back to school and working folks start working harder. But consult any calendar. The summer doesn’t end until Sept. 20. The Wolf Files started a national petition to move Labor Day to make restore our weenie-roasting, fun-loving beach time.
10 Sex and Drugs, Brady Bunch-Style It’s not news: Greg from The Brady Bunch dated his on-screen mother and sister. Still, it’s a natural for a prime-time TV movie. The Wolf Files goes behind the scenes of the behind-the-scenes TV drama. And yes, Greg did smoke dope on screen. Once. The incident was cut from the TV movie, but we give you the lowdown.
Buck Wolf is a producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is a weekly feature. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.