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A bad idea bulletin board

If you had no sense of right or wrong and you weren't very smart, would there still be some way from preventing yourself from doing something stupid or illegal? Fortunately, yes.

There is a bad idea bulletin board and it's available every day. It's your daily paper. Read it and make a note not to do some of the dumb things that are reported. Every week you will read at least a half dozen.

Let me give you a few examples that should be easy to remember.

The very easiest could be this one. The headline read "Man Dies After Winning Roach-Eating Contest in Florida." The story is that this 32-year-old guy who loved to be known as the "life of the party" entered a cockroach eating contest to see who could eat the most cockroaches in four minutes.

The grand prize was a python. He had entered a superworm-eating contest earlier in the evening. Shortly after he won the roach contest, he collapsed and died.

The article said an autopsy would determine the cause of death. Probably "pest infestation." The python now belongs to his estate.

You should remember this one too. The University of Tennessee suspended a fraternity for allegedly (they deny it) giving a 20-year-old student an "alcohol enema" that sent him to the hospital with a blood alcohol level of .448 percent - more than five times the legal limit.

This was done by inserting a rubber tube into his rectum to bypass the liver and speed the effects of the alcohol.

Fraternity members testified that the intoxication happened in a much smarter way -- furnishing boxes of wine to see who could chug an entire box first without vomiting.

Police photos of the party showed wine, trash and blood. There was no evidence of brains.

You've also read of a traditional 21st birthday celebration - your "friends" encourage and assist you to have 21 drinks at your birthday party. The result is often death or permanent brain damage.

How about the bank robber who handed a demand note to the teller - he wore a mask to avoid detection, but wrote the note on the back of his own deposit slip. Dah.

Or you can read about "tattoo regret" - the painful and expensive process of having tattoos removed. One woman had a tattoo on her buttock that read "Property of (her ex-lover's name)." When he became her ex-lover, she had to go under the laser to clean the slate (so to speak).

Another young woman, Jamie, got a Playgirl bunny tattoo on a whim (that's "a whim," not "her whim") when she was 17. By the time she was 24, the whim had faded but the tattoo had not, so she had Playgirl regret and the stain was removed. "It's expensive, but it's totally worth it," she said.

Sometimes a removal can be accomplished in three or four laser sessions and sometimes, when the ink is really dark or the colors are vivid, many more are required. One technician said the sessions had gone on 16 to 20 hours but there were still more to go. The biggest complaint of patients is the pain. Read all about it.

This column does not advocate boredom or dullness, and we are not against tattoos, but we worry about the hazards of illegal behavior and stupidity.

We believe that one glass of wine, taken from the top and down will give much greater pleasure and health benefits than a half gallon of wine taken from the bottom and up.

Further, trying too hard to be life of the party often leads to disaster or embarrassment. As for tattoos, the best one I've ever seen had a pink ribbon and the words "cancer survivor."

Any others depend on what they depict, how big they are and where they're located.

If you need attention, there are safer paths to take. Consider this: Ron Wallace of Green, Rhode Island, is in the Guinness Book of World Records for raising a 2,009 pound pumpkin. He got $5,500 first prize money at the Topsfield (Massachusetts) Fair and another $10,000 bonus for breaking the one-ton mark.

Just so he doesn't spend his prize money on a huge pumpkin tattoo.

Read your daily paper for a regret update on the bad idea bulletin board.