By the Writer

The Locust Pizza: Take the Pizza From My Hand, Grasshopper

Or should that be, “Take the Grasshopper From My Pizza, Hand”?

As locusts swarm across Australia, folks are finding a way to get back at the insects that devour crops – eat ‘em!

One café in Mildura, northern Victoria state, is offering locusts as a crunchy topping for pizza, CNN affiliate ABC news reports.

And, thank goodness, there’s an honest-to-goodness photo of one of the locust-topped pizzas:

The Toilet-Shaped House

Really, do we have to say anything else?

Better known as the toilet-shaped house, this showcase of superior plumbing was built by Korean Assembly Representative Sim Jae-Duck—a.k.a. Mr. Toilet—and his World Toilet Organization. It’s intended to celebrate the cultural centrality of the toilet and raise awareness of the plight of the world’s toilet-less. “We should learn to go beyond seeing toilets as just a place for defecation,” the late Mr. Sim once said, “but also as a place of culture where people can rest, meditate and be happy.”

A World Class Show Stopper

We’re working on an article for Uncle John’s Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader (due out in November 2010) called “Show Stoppers.” It’s about concerts or theater shows or whatever that had to be stopped mid-performance for one humorous or interesting reason or another. Here’s an excerpt—and it just happens to be our favorite. (We’ll tell you why at the end of the piece in the “Special Note” section.)

A Moment of Funny

I was just doing some research for an article on—well, you’ll see in November!—when I came across a Straight Dope discussion board from February where people were talking about actors who were in the midst of making films—and died before they were finished. Brandon Lee in The Crow, Vic Morrow in The Twilight Zone, and Bela Lugosi in Plan 9 from Outer Space are mentioned. Then someone wrote this:

“Keanu Reeves died at the beginning of The Matrix, but fortunately they found a plank of wood that looked just like him.”

With all due respect to Mr. Reeves—dat funny.

Gas Pump Globes and other “Petroliana”

While performing an important search for an article one day—okay, I admit it, it was this morning, and I was bored, and I put “pergle” into Google just to see what would happen, you caught me!—I found this blast from the past: Pergl Gas Pump Globes. Remember those?

“Gas globes are spherical glass signs that sat atop gas pumps in the first half of the 20th century, advertising a specific oil company or brand of gasoline. Generally made from a ring of metal with a lens mounted on either side, they were produced in various shapes (like the Shell clamshell) and innumerable designs.

The purpose of gas pump globes was brand identification for drivers at a distance. Lighting wasn’t as good on gas stations as it is today. Sometimes all a motorist could recognize driving by was the gas pump itself lit up, and the globe glowed so they’d know what brand of gas was available. Post World War II, pumps started getting smaller, and by the 1960’s, it was unusual to have a globe.”

Pergl makes reproductions, but there are of course lots of dealers in actual antique globes, and over at, “The Gas Station & Auto Service Collectibles Web Site,” they have a huge gallery of photos of vintage globes.