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On The Light Side

July 27, 1987

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (AP) _ Dick Bailey says it was rough not having his teeth for the Wood County Fair tobacco-spitting contest, and not just because he couldn’t spit as far.

The 61-year-old two-time champion of the tobacco-spitting contest could only manage 13 feet, 2 inches in Saturday’s competition - more than 7 feet shy of the 20-foot-10 shot by Bill Fore.

″One time I spit 23 feet, 4 inches - that’s when I was champion in 1984; and I spit 22 feet and 10 inches in 1975. That’s when I had my teeth and could spit,″ Bailey said. ″I have a good set of teeth, but I’ve got them in the cupboard.″

Bailey said he has been chewing tobacco since he was 16 and starts every morning even before putting on his pants. But without his teeth, Bailey says, he can’t stay in championship form.

″I can’t even whistle at the women anymore,″ he said. ″I have to holler.″

Fore took a $10 prize for winning the men’s division and Kelly Detamore won $10 in the women’s competition with a mark of 18 feet, 1 inch. Bailey received $10 for being the oldest person in the competition.


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - A man who placed a want ad last month offering $1,000 to anyone who finds him a suitable wife says he has gotten more than 150 replies, gone on 10 dates and hopes to have selected a mate by the end of the year.

″My social life is very active,″ Jim McClarin, a 41-year-old remodeling contractor from Meredith, said Sunday in a telephone interview.

McClarin had advertised for a wife before, but found his requests weren’t specific enough. So four weeks ago he placed a 219-word ad in the Boston Sunday Herald and offered the reward.

Among the qualities McClarin sought were intelligence, literacy, creativity and inquisitiveness; a desire to affect the world in some significant and creative way; concern and caring for people; and a desire to marry and have at least one child with him.

And bold, dark eyebrows.

″Even though my own eyebrows are not bold and dark, I tend to go for that in women,″ McClarin said. ″I don’t know why.″


CLUTE, Texas (AP) - Lots of towns have weekend festivals in the summer, but how many celebrate the mosquito?

The Great Texas Mosquito Festival, which drew thousands of vistors to Clute over the weekend, may be one of only two mosquito festivals, with the other in Oregon, says Sally Robinson, a representative of Johnson Wax Co., which manufacturers a bug spray. Ms. Robinson came from New York because she makes it her business to get involved in things like mosquito festivals.

″Texans fight mosquitoes all the time,″ and making fun of that brings out everyone’s sense of humor, said Ann Ruff, an author and lecturer from Bellaire who has traveled around the state to different festivals.

The city of Marshall has a fire ant festival, she said, and Ms. Robinson added she knows of a tick festival, but that’s going just a bit too far.

″You have to draw a line somewhere,″ she said.


HICKORY PLAINS, Ark. - It was udder madness: a pig nursing from a cow.

When Bill Speight first discovered one of the female pigs on his 80-acre farm nursing from a Holstein he keeps in an open-air barn, he said he didn’t know what to make of it.

″I ran her off,″ he recalled.

But he said the cow didn’t seem to be bothered by the pig, about a month old at the time, so he let the shoat have its way.

Speight said the cow is crippled in one leg. The pig is the runt of the litter and is blind, but has a strong sense of smell that apparently led him to the cow, which is nursing a five-month old calf.

Since Speight made his discovery in May, the pig has grown to about 40 pounds and occasionally spars with the calf for nursing rights.

In an effort to wean the pig, Speight has closed a barn gate to keep it from the cow. He made an exception and opened the gate when a reporter and a photographer visited recently. The pig shot straight to the mother cow and began sucking.

Speight, 71, a retired milk truck driver, has two dairy cows and 25 hogs on his family farm.

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