COLORFUL COFFINS LIGHTEN MOOD AT NEW ZEALAND FUNERALS
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - At one recent funeral in New Zealand, there were gasps before a wave of laughter rippled through the hundreds of mourners. The pallbearers brought a coffin shaped like a giant cream donut. It’s the latest creation by the deceased’s cousin, Ross Hall, who runs a business that custom builds colorful coffins called Dying Art. Other creations by Hall include a sailboat, a firetruck, a chocolate bar and Lego blocks. There have been glittering coffins covered in fake jewels, a casket inspired by the movie “The Matrix,” and plenty of coffins depicting people’s favorite beaches and holiday spots. Hall says the tone of funerals has changed markedly over recent years, and people now think it’s a celebration of life rather than a mourning of death.
SYDNEY MAN FINDS SNAKE IN LETTUCE BOUGHT AT SUPERMARKET
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Alex White says he thought he was watching a huge worm writhing in plastic-wrapped lettuce he’d just brought home from a Sydney supermarket — until a snake tongue flicked. It was a venomous pale-headed snake that authorities say made a 540-mile journey to Sydney from a packing plant in the Australian city of Toowoomba wrapped in plastic with two heads of cos lettuce. White bought the lettuce at an inner-city supermarket Monday evening and rode his bicycle home with salad and snake in his backpack. An animal rescue service captured the snake and the ALDI supermarket is investigating how the dangerous reptile found its way in.
LAWMAKERS FIGHTING LIKE CATS AND DOGS? NOT OVER THIS BILL
CONCORD. N.H. (AP) — Nine lives notwithstanding, killing a cat in a hit-and-run soon could become illegal in New Hampshire. State law already requires drivers who injure or kill dogs to notify police or the animals’ owners, or else face a $1,000 fine. It is unclear why cats and other pets were left out of the initial law, but the state Legislature is currently considering an expansion that would give cats equal footing to canines. Republican Rep. Daryl Abbas sponsored the bill after the death of his 5-year-old cat, Arrow. The Animal League Defense Fund says there has been a trend of similar state laws that recognize the bond between animals and their human companions.