Bizarre News-Parents for Sale

MADISON, Conn. (AP) - For sale: One set of perfectly good parents. Michael Amatrudo put his folks up for sale on Craigslist. His Craigslist posting says he'll take $155, or trade for a younger set of parents, an Erector set or a "hot blonde." It's a joke, of course. But the 51-year-old Connecticut insurance executive says he's gotten plenty of response from across the country. He tells a local TV station some touching e-mail comes from people who say they could use good parents.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Big Apple's pay toilets are going as slow as crosstown traffic. Nineteen months after Fun City unveiled the high-tech public potties, only two are in operation. Last summer, the city promised four more by the end of 2008. The eventual goal is 20. Users pay 25 cents. After each use, the toilets clean and disinfect themselves. Officials with the company installing the toilets tell The New York Times that delays have been caused by everything from plumbing complications to property disputes.

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) - You know all about Happy Hour -- but what about Yappy Hour? A restaurant in Midland, Texas, is encouraging dog-lovers to bring along their furry buddies for Yappy Hour on Monday afternoons. The customers, both human and canine, sit outdoors on the patio at the Sedona Mexican Grill and Cantina. Owner Julian Rubio says he's donating 10 percent of the Yappy Hour proceeds to the city's animal shelter, which is battling budget cuts.

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) - There's finger-painting and then there's flipper-painting. Marine mammalogist Jen DeGroot has taught Lea, a 20-year-old sea lion, how to paint. DeGroot says at first she just wanted to keep Lea from getting bored at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. That was two years ago. Now, DeGroot tells The Oregonian newspaper that Lea's flipper paintings are so popular, she's taught a second sea lion to paint. Their flipper art is sold in the aquarium's gift shop.

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - These chimps aren't in cages at the Chattanooga Zoo. But they're not going anywhere, either. Visitors to the Tennessee zoo will soon be greeted by a half-dozen bronze chimps. The metal monkeys are the creation of sculptor Bart Walter. They'll be placed around boulders to reflect a natural habitat. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports the art project is financed by a $1.8 million foundation grant. The bronze chimps will be set loose Sept. 25.

ALEXANDRIA, Ky. (AP) - It's the cardboard coyotes versus the very real geese. And it looks like the coyotes are winning. School officials in Alexandria, Ky., have tried a host of methods to keep geese from making a mess of their athletic fields. Rubber snakes didn't do the trick. Neither did sprays. But the geese keep away from the life-size coyote cutouts. Officials note the cutouts are especially welcome at one Campbell County elementary school, where the mascot happened to be a coyote.

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