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Tribune Staff

Just when I thought I'd seen all the addicting TV shows, I stumbled onto GEO Channel's “Taboo” on Halloween night. Just when I try to get out, they pull me back in, and this time I almost OD'd on a four-hour-marathon of episodes. I'd say pound-for-pound, “Taboo” is even better than Spike's “1,000 Ways to Die,” or ID Channel's, “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry.”

Watching such Taboo segments as “Weird Love” and “Misfits” left me feeling downright normal and functional — things I haven't felt in years. Watching these true accounts in the wee hours from my couch in my underwear with two cats purring on my lap as I devoured an entire bag of Cheetos, I said aloud, “Wow; some of these odd ducks are crazier than a pet coon!” I heard my dog Trinity whisper, “You got that right, Dude!”

An hour segment titled “Weird Love” profiled “Doll husbands” — men in serious relationships with latex dolls and mannequins. Some refer to their life-sized girlfriends as “organic partner,” but hey: a rose by any other name smells just as rubbery.

Psychologists call this so-called “abnormal” practice a form of Asperger Syndrome and “Pygmalionism.” “These kind of latex relationships are likely to stunt a man's social development,” one said. Yeah, right! I think that's quite a stretch. Label it what you will … Pygmalianism, Fignewtonism, whatever. To each his own, I say.

My friend Jen Debates affectionately calls me “Asexual Freak Show,” just because I've not dated in five years, but if my cable is ever disconnected, I'd probably get back in action. Unlike these Doll husbands though, I need at least a little live interaction in my romances. If I don't hear something like, “I said ‘stop touching me'!” it just doesn't work for me.

It does work for Howard though, a 37-year-old telemarketer who's legally married to a life-size rubber mannequin he named Shandoray. It was kind of sweet watching him dress her up and taking her out to cuddle on a park bench. Howie carries a picture of Shandoray in his wallet and says he's been with her monogamously for over six years. That's long after she lost that intoxicating “new rubber wife smell,” I'm sure.

An English chap named Everard is a little less morally traditional, as he has nine doll wives. He's seen cooing to his latest conquest, Caroline, “The others can't wait to meet you.” Everard admits he “has trouble with social interaction,” but he sure does some excellent hair and makeup work on his latex harem. When they showed all nine of them together, except for the no-moving/breathing thing, they looked truly alive. I felt guilty admitting to myself that a few of those gals actually bordered on hot!

You know what though? Jen can call me Asexual Freak Show if she wants, but all pet names aside, I'm perfectly happy for now. Sure, I could go out and find some latex tramp any night of the week; I just prefer not to. Sometimes being in an unhappy relationship with the wrong rubber woman can be far more lonely than being all alone.

The episode titled “Misfits” profiled societal rejects who scratch out humiliating, meager livings like “Rat-catchers” in India. But even rat catchers probably look down their noses at Arthur Bort, a British bloke who lives solely on a diet of roadkill. “His supermarket is the highway and his butcher is the car,” the narrator explained. Arthur isn't poor; he just “hates to see protein go to waste and is opposed to livestock grazing.”

Art proudly talks up his roadkill diet, although he does occasionally have to eat crow. But not always, as he was shown scraping up a freshly-flattened Red-Legged Partridge with tire tracks that I guessed was left by an older model Buick. Friends of Arthur's, a normal-looking married couple, were filmed at his table enjoying some of his “Badger Casserole.” Nothing goes to waste in Arthur's kitchen — not even the badger's head, of which Arthur painstakingly nibbled every scant trace of meat.

Watching that feast didn't make me hungry or anything, but let's face it: what we typically eat is just a matter of tradition and conditioning. In some cultures, they eat dog, skunk, and even cauliflower. And lest we forget, they eat horses, don't they?

Observing these Taboo fruitcakes really made me appreciate what I have. Giddy from my Cheetos and Mountain Dew high, I surveyed my two dogs and five cats and said, “I'm glad you guys are real and not made of rubber!”

A Northwest College student illustrated the poor judgment and lack of reasoning and coordination that go hand in hand with binge drinking last week when he allegedly stole a van near one of the residence halls. By the time police officers apprehended him a short time later, he had crashed into two fences, a police car and two other vehicles, court documents say. Officers reported he smelled strongly of alcohol.

Ironically, the incident occurred during Alcohol Awareness Week at the college, with members of the P.A.R.T.Y. group sponsoring activities and events during the week to get the message out about the dangers and consequences of binge drinking.

This young man has already had a lesson about the consequences of his actions, and those consequences likely will continue to pile up over coming weeks and months. All of them could have been avoided if he had made wiser choices. He's fortunate that he didn't kill himself or someone else.

But the news isn't all bad. Alcohol Awareness Week also focused on the fact that most Northwest College students don't binge drink. Statistics show 31 percent of NWC students binge drink. That's 10 percent fewer than the 41 percent average at colleges and universities nationwide, according to a report by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Binge drinking was defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days.

Still, that's far too high. That means three NWC students out of every 10 have engaged in binge drinking. That increases the likelihood they will get in trouble with the law by driving drunk or doing some other foolish thing that they never would consider if they were sober. By binge drinking, they also increase the risk that they will become the victims of crimes —or at the very least, of bad choices with lasting consequences.

Binge drinking frequently leads to use of illicit drugs as well. The survey report states, “Underage persons who reported binge drinking were almost nine times more likely to have used marijuana/hashish during the past month and were more than six times more likely to have used any illicit drug other than marijuana during the past month compared with underage persons who did not binge drink.”

The P.A.R.T.Y. group continues to challenge students to evaluate their use or non-use of alcohol through an E-Checkup program. As an incentive, NWC President Paul Prestwich has said he will dye his hair red if 600 students complete the E-Checkup online by Nov. 18.

The group is to be commended for its efforts to curb drinking, particularly binge drinking, by NWC students. Those students would be wise to listen, and to act accordingly, to avoid learning hard lessons of their own.

Louella Stevens died Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, at Eagle Cliff Manor in Billings. She was 78.

(Nov. 12, 1919 - Nov. 2, 2010)

Anne Dorman died Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, surrounded by family and friends at the Powell Hospital following a fall and hip surgery. She was 90.


This grizzly bear was photographed near Cub Creek in Yellowstone National Park Oct. 19. There are a record number of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and some are getting into trouble, possibly because the bears are exceeding their carrying capacity in grizzly habitat. Courtesy photo/Neale Blank

A deer hunter in the South Fork area killed a grizzly bear sow Oct. 27 when the bear attacked him.

The lone hunter was in the Aldrich Creek drainage in the upper South Fork of the Shoshone River when he encountered a 10 to 12-year-old sow, a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said.

The sow had two yearling cubs in tow and thought her offspring were threatened, said Mark Bruscino, Game and Fish bear management program supervisor in Cody.


Up to 3,000 cows may be tested this week

Teams of veterinarians are testing up to 3,000 cows for brucellosis in the Meeteetse area after preliminary tests showed three cows from a herd in that area may be infected with the bacterial disease.

Dr. Jim Logan, the Wyoming state veterinarian, said Monday that teams of vets would test cattle every day this week. He estimated up to 3,000 cows would be tested, including the herd the three cows came from and cattle in up to nine other herds that mingled with this one on summer grazing allotments.

The general election race for Park County Clerk has drawn far more money than any other local race, say campaign finance reports filed last week.

The pre-general election finance reports for incumbent clerk, Kelly Jensen, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Jerri Torczon show Torczon with a significant monetary edge.


Senior Olivia Rogers goes for a kill in the first set of the Powell Lady Panthers' opening round match with Rawlins in the state tournament. Powell won the first two sets but Rawlins came back to take the match 3-2 and send the Lady Panthers into the consolation rounds. Tribune photo by Don Amend

In a disappointing end to the volleyball season, the Powell Lady Panthers suffered two losses and were eliminated early from the Wyoming State 3A tournament.

The Powell girls started out strong, taking the first two sets from Rawlins in the opening round, 25-20, 25-23, but the Lady Outlaws came back to take the next two 25-18, 25-20. In the final set, the team traded points early, but midway through the match, Rawlins put together a run on their way to a 15-9 win.

Panthers' season ends with 10-7 loss to Wolverines

A stellar defensive effort by the Powell Panthers was spoiled by a late short-field touchdown drive on Friday night as the fourth-ranked Riverton Wolverines bounced fifth-ranked Powell from the 3A football playoffs with a 10-7 quarterfinal victory.

The loss ends Powell's season at 5-4 overall.

The Powell Lady Panthers ended their swim season last week with a 10th place finish at the Wyoming State Swim Finals.

With only seven swimmers qualified and facing a loaded field of top swimmers, the Lady Panthers were unable to place anyone in the individual championship heats. Seniors Maddy Jones and Monique Zorgati both qualified for the consolation finals in two events, the 100 and 200-yard freestyle events, and all three relay teams swam in the consolation finals to account for all of Powell's team scoring.

Zorgati recorded the top finish for the Lady Panthers with a seventh place in the 20. Zorgati was in 11th place in the event following the preliminaries, but cut more than three seconds on Saturday to move up to seventh. In the 100, she finished 11th.

Jones broke one minute in her preliminary swim in the 100, her best time ever and a time that would have put her in the championship finals last year, but this year left her in the consolation finals and she finished ninth. In the 200, she stood in seventh place after the preliminaries, but was unable to match that time on Saturday and finished 10th.

The two freestyle relay teams both cut time on Saturday. Jones and Zorgati joined Anya Tracy and Belen Quillen to cut more than 2.5 seconds from their preliminary time in the 200 relay, an effort that moved them from 12th place to 10th. In the 400, Quillen, Zorgati, Jones and Jessica Wurzel combined to cut nearly four seconds and finish eighth. Tracy, Wurzel, Brittany Christensen and Alyssa Smith finished 11th in the medley relay.

Coach Luke Robertson said that, despite the low finish, his girls did well.

“They swam as fast as they could,” Robertson. “It's tough when you look at the final score, but they gave it everything they had. They left it all in the pool.”

Jones cut time in both of her events, Robertson said, and Zorgati's time in the 200 was her best of the season.

Quillen also swam her best time of the season in the 500 and just missed the consolation finals.

Robertson acknowledged that the girls were disappointed at the end, but said they “had trained as hard as any group I've ever had,” and the meet was “a good way to end the season.”

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