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Heat-Sneaking Pet Comes Clean, Avoids Static Cling

November 23, 1986|ANN HEROLD

--When Nancy Zorn reached into her washing machine and pulled out a snake, she knew she was not the victim of someone's lowdown sense of humor. The now-squeaky-clean reptile is her daughter Kym's pet, a boa constrictor named Grendel that had been on the missing-creatures list for four weeks. Although Grendel easily survived the hot water, the detergent and the hypnotic spin, he did not literally save his skin. It was left in a ball in the bottom of the washer. "I guess it was the agitator cycle that did that," Kym said. The Louisville, Ky., 15-year-old was unconcerned when Grendel sneaked out. She knew that the cold-blooded animal would high-tail it to a warm spot when the weather turned cool. That warm place turned out to be a pile of laundry. "I guess I just threw Grendel in with all the white things," Nancy Zorn said.

--Douglas, Wyo. residents apparently have a sense of humor about the gallows on their main street. They have voted to hold onto this stark reminder of pioneer days justice. In a non-binding, informal referendum using ballots published in the local newspaper and placed in banks, the townspeople voted, 491 to 138, in favor of a reprieve for the gallows. Town officials say they do not believe they can afford to keep it hanging around, however. Mayor Dick George said the vote is "becoming academic" because the structure poses a liability risk for the town and is on land that belongs to the state Highway Department, which he suspects will order the gallows removed.

--Explaining that people who can't read can relate to the characters he portrays, the director of a campaign to promote literacy said she has accepted actor Sylvester Stallone's offer to serve as a spokesman. Bette Fenton, national head of the Give the Gift of Literacy foundation and campaign, said Stallone's roles as a writer, producer and director and the wide recognition of his name should help put some muscle behind the drive. Stallone has completed public service announcements that will be sent to independent television stations, cable system operators and the major networks.

--Iowa officials figure the moose that showed up in their usually moose-less state must have made a wrong turn somewhere, but they are not holding his lack of direction against him. They have turned down a sportsmen's group's offer to return the bull to a more suitable habitat--say, Minnesota. "He has moved through two-thirds of the state and crossed three interstates," said Al Farris of the Iowa Natural Resources Department. "I think he's doing pretty well on his own." The Huntsmasters Club offered to pay for transportation, veterinary care and any cost associated with returning the beast.

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