Where every bride has a gun

GUYS: ARE YOU looking for an Asian wife with something extra? Brides in an Indian town come with a free gift: a gun. A tradition in the town of Dholpur, Rajasthan, requires families to give away their daughters with armaments. “Do you take this woman and this Beretta PX4 Storm to be your lawfully wedding wife and firearm?” Not sure which is more dangerous. Probably the woman. Definitely the woman.

Anyway, I heard about this from a reader named Irfan, who was worried that “parts of Asia are becoming like America.” No way, Irfan. Parts of Asia have been like America for years. Not long ago, top Philippines politician Miriam Defensor-Santiago admitted that the romantic Christmas present her husband gave her was a Heckler & Koch semi-automatic handgun. Odd gift for a lady? No. She told a radio interviewer it was an upgrade from her “usual” one.

Irfan said officials had stopped issuing gun licenses in Dholpur, to try to break the tradition. In response, fathers have postponed their daughters’ marriages. You let men run society and this is what happens.

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I used to think Japan was the wackiest part of the world, but this year India is the capital of craziness. Did you read about the air-travelers from that country who were asked to cough up US$30,000 to pay for refuelling their aircraft? European airline Comtel was on route from India to the UK when it stopped in Vienna, in need of aviation fuel. Passengers paid up.

I like this idea. You start an airline. Once everyone’s on board, you say: “Welcome to Jam Airlines. Your pilot is Captain Grandpa Fardel. Would someone from first class please pay US$100 million to finance the purchase of this Airbus 380, please? Meanwhile, business class passengers can start making sandwiches for the lunch service, and those in economy can clean the toilets.”

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THE US government last week introduced a bill to classify pizza as a vegetable in schools. Women, nutritionists and doctors weep. Men and children rejoice.

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READER PETE Spurrier was on the road in Hong Kong last week when he noticed that his taxi driver was barely turning the steering wheel. “I used to be a train driver,” the man explained. Pete said later: “Luckily the route I asked him to take was more or less straight.” A driver who can’t turn corners? On an island? I give the guy a week.

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THE SPRING and summer collections from top fashion designer Marc Jacobs were stolen on the way to a show in Paris last week. Police are looking for a thief wearing a giant rainbow hoop dress with a peacock on his head.

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US PRESIDENT-wannabe Mitt Romney last week told an interviewer: “I tasted a beer and a cigarette once as a wayward teenager and never did it again.” I wonder what his biography is going to be called? “The Wild One”? It strikes me that being this goody-goody cannot be a positive thing.

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SEEN ON A street in Kyushi, Japan: “Stop. Drive sideways.”

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