Hep A at the Odyssey

All is not smooth sailing at the Rep's performance of the Odyssey, according to In Arts News' secret source. Apparently, one fleet-footed member of the cast was discovered to have a case of Hepatitis A. Hep A is rarely dangerous, but immunoprophylaxis is recommended. Which means that all 21 members of the cast, plus those behind the scenes, were required to get painful shots in their rosy-fingered butts. TRACI VOGEL

Insidiousness at 33 Cents

In Arts News was recently shocked to discover that the U.S. Postal Service has actually

become one more flaccid tentacle of RUPERT MURDOCH'S NEWS CORPORATION!!! Mail received recently in our corporate headquarters was observed to bear a small, seemingly innocuous inked imprint over the 33¢ stamp. On closer inspection, however, the imprint was recognized as the main promotional icon for the new Jim Carrey film, The Grinch, depicting the Grinch's hand holding a small Christmas bauble. In conversations with more than 12 crabby, bitter, postal-service bureaucrats, In Arts News was able to uncover precisely nothing in the way of details--in fact, no one from the postal service could tell us anything about how or why a government agency was involved in advertising for one of the largest private corporations in the world. What's next--Sylvester Stallone's face on our tax-returns? Yasmine Bleeth on our Social Security cards? Which way is Canada? JAMIE HOOK

Damn the Vermin!

The California Court of Appeals has upheld the criminal conviction of Gary L. Thomason, whose notorious Crush-Freak video features the erotic destruction of rats and mice by a provocatively dressed woman. The conviction underscores the strangely escalating popularity of "Crush" videos, the most mundane of which depict worms and bugs being stepped on ["Crush Freaks," C. Everett Treacle, June 29, 2000], the worst of which are rumored to depict the erotic destruction of animals as large as sheep. Crush practitioners defend their actions by the claim that crushing small animals for erotic thrills is morally no more suspect than killing animals as nuisances. To which In Arts News can only answer, Jesus, this country is so fucked up. Which way is Canada? JAMIE HOOK

Floating Poetry

Seattle's Floating Bridge Press announces its 2001 poetry chapbook manuscript contest, open to Washington state residents. For guidelines, send an SASE to Floating Bridge Press, P.O. Box 18814, Seattle, WA 98118. The deadline is February 15, 2001. TRACI VOGEL

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