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Work in the media? Struggle with statistics? Stan's irreverent (and often irrelevant) review of the latest media reports, news and gossip may not help at all... Stan the Statistician

Stan # 44: "We were raped by sex crazed turtle!" March 2001

Some statistics on shopping in the UK have come my way: Tills at Harrods in London ring to the tune of £1.5 million most days but £15 on the first day of the January sale in 2000. One in nine of the UK workforce is employed in the retail industry. The largest retailer is Dixons with 27,000 employees. The most popular family Sunday outing is a visit to the supermarket. Actually, I think this must be a misinterpretation of the data. I’m sure it should be the most common, not the most popular. The average supermarket trolley in the US is now three times the size of its 1975 equivalent. Maybe they'll be motorised in another ten years considering how many Americans are obese. The stress experienced by a man going into a crowded store is equivalent to that of a fighter pilot going into combat according to the CBS Evening News. 93% of teenage girls cite shopping as their favourite hobby. British men now spend £141 per year each on toiletries, more than French or Italian men. I wonder if there are women buying men’s toiletries for themselves? Economist Paco Underhill says the economy would collapse if people only shopped when they needed to buy something. Scientists are Stanford University are developing a pill that will cure the condition of shopaholism or oniomania. 8% of teens and 3% of adults in the UK are believed to be sufferers. Elton John, please take note.

A story from Florida which amused me: Florida scuba divers' underwater nightmare: 'WE WERE RAPED BY A SEX-CRAZED TURTLE!' ISLAMORADA, Fl. -- A huge, sex-crazed sea turtle is prowling the waters off the Florida Keys -- raping and molesting horrified scuba divers! Lawmen say the giant beast has already "raped" one man twice and has sexually attacked another. "This is every bit as terrifying as Jaws," said a Florida Marine Patrol officer. "Both divers were manhandled and then molested by the 300-pound turtle." Real estate agent Bruce Gernon was diving in the Upper Keys when he was mounted and pushed to the bottom by a huge "buck" turtle that divers have nicknamed "Crazy Charlie." "The damn thing really overpowered me," Gernon told The NEWS. "I either looked real good to him or he thought I was another turtle." Gernon, 34, wrestled himself free, but the oversexed Don Juan of the deep was determined to make love to him. "The thing grabbed me with its flippers and tried to pin me to the bottom," Gernon said. "All the while, the stupid turtle probed me on my backside." Fearing for his life, Gernon twisted out of the frisky turtle's mighty grasp and made his way to the surface. "I was lucky I weigh 210 and used to wrestle," Gernon added. "Otherwise, I might not have been able to get away." Another Islamorada diver, who weighs only 120 pounds, wasn't as lucky. He was "raped" twice by the same barnacled giant. The sex-starved turtle wrapped its flippers around the diver, who wishes to remain anonymous, and dragged him to the bottom. "I understand the turtle mounted the guy for about five to 10 minutes," Gernon said. "It's a good thing he had air in his tank or he could have drowned." Shaken by the harrowing experience, the terrified diver abandoned his diving equipment and swam to his boat. "We've been the butt of a few jokes around town since it happened," Gernon said. A couple of bars have put up 'wanted' posters for the rapist. "It was a scary experience, but now that it's over I'm trying to adjust to the fact that I was a turtle's love toy." Florida Marine Patrol officer Rod Stevens said he wasn't aware there were "turtles swimming around violating humans, but we're certainly going to look into it." "The human population is not normally the proper mating tool for turtles, who don't have sex just for the heck of it," Stevens said. Gernon and the other victims can consider themselves fortunate. "When a male turtle gets into a romantic mood, he will mate for several days at a time," Stevens said.

Bob Epstein, an outdoor writer who broke the story in an Islamorada weekly, said he has since been contacted by at least 10 other divers who have been sexually molested by the turtle. I was slightly disturbed by the man who had been raped twice. Could he not believe it the first time and had to go back to check?

Check in again at my desk soon!

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