You say you understand why perestroika is in trouble, you're current on Operation Desert Shield, you personally predicted the winner in the elections in Haiti, and yet you still have a feeling you missed some news in 1990?

You probably did. Read on.

Crime NEW YORK -- After a month-long search, police collared a man who had been following well-dressed women on the streets of Manhattan and targeting their backsides with tiny homemade blow darts.

LOS ANGELES -- Police puzzled over the motive, not to mention the muscle, of a felon who made off with 150 manhole covers in one week.

NEW YORK -- A former chief legal officer for the company that makes Preparation H was arraigned on charges he pretended to be a doctor and illegally ordered enemas for hospital patients, and then allegedly would phone the patients at home to discuss the procedure.

LAKE CITY, Fla. -- A 20-year-old woman who may have seen too many slasher movies was jailed after unsuccessfully attempting to hold up a motel with a chain saw.

BALCH SPRINGS, Tex. -- A Domino's pizza delivery man told police he was robbed of $50 by a pair of thieves armed with a snapping turtle.

BRISBANE, Australia -- Police arrested two European tourists suspected of smoking marijuana, but the substance turned out to be horse manure. The men explained they had nothing else to smoke.

Fitness PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield School Committee decided to allow high school juniors and seniors to pursue physical education requirements by reading pamphlets about exercise.

Nature Fights Back

SALEM, Ore. -- A Salem woman, advised to put her aged, lethargic hamster out of his misery with a night in the freezer, discovered the treatment instead charged the tiny 4-year-old animal with vigor.

During the night, the hamster not only didn't die, but dined grandly on an arctic smorgasbord of bread and hash browns, and greeted her in the morning with accusatory looks.

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Mokbul Kazi thought it wasn't much of a deal when he tried to kill a snake with a spear.

The Bangladeshi farmer was used to snakes slithering into his home when the summer monsoons flushed them out of their holes. But this one was different. Wounded by Kazi's attack, it clung tenaciously to the mud and straw ceiling of his hut, the Khabar newspaper reported.

That night, about 50 snakes invaded Kazi's hut, hissing disapprovingly.

Kazi and his family fled.

The snakes stayed for a week. They left when their wounded comrade died, the newspaper said.

BASEL, Switzerland -- A 29-year-old Swiss woman climbed into a zoo enclosure with a female rhinoceros and stroked it fondly for several minutes. Then the rhinoceros killed her.

HEBBURN, England -- Police said the theft of 153,000 snails from a farm that sells the mollusks to restaurants was apparently a liberation raid by escargot rights activists.

Age Cannot Wither ... NEW YORK -- Police arrested a 95-year-old man for murder in the death of an 88-year-old woman. Published reports said the incident involved a love triangle with a second woman, 86.

BLYTHE, Calif. -- An 81-year-old Baptist minister, whom the Guinness Book of World Records calls the World's Most Married Man, announced plans to divorce his 27th wife and marry her 15-year-old sister.

He said he planned to pay for his new bride's trip from the Philippines with $10,000 that he wants his present wife, 19-year-old Daisy, to earn posing nude for Playboy magazine.

Glynn "Scotty" Wolfe said it was time Daisy struck out on her own.

"She's growing up, cuttin' wisdom teeth," he said from his home in Blythe. "She's been with me five years. I want her to walk her own way."

Daisy said she was undecided whether to divorce, but would do so if her husband demanded it.

"He's a good husband," she said.

PERTH, Australia -- Five-foot-tall Abraham Cohen, 66, was back in court again for propositioning a tall woman.

"He's addicted to chatting up tall girls -- you'd think he would be burnt out at 66," attorney Ron Cannon said of his client.

Cohen pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault for feeling the thigh of a woman sitting next to him on a shopping mall bench.

Cannon said Cohen was one of his "most persistent clients," with a long record of similar offenses dating back 20 years, and that he always paid his legal fees in advance to avoid bills so his wife wouldn't find out.

Bella Italia NAPLES -- A couple of car-crossed lovers are suing an insurer for damages, claiming an unplanned pregnancy resulted from an automobile accident in Naples' "love park."

Italian newspapers reported that the claim stems from an accident in March involving a medium-sized Regata and a tiny Panda car. The accident occurred in a park that nightly attracts scores of couples who make love in their cars.

The young man claimed he and his girlfriend were engaged in amorous activity in their small car when the large car hit it from behind. The impact made them lose control, resulting in the pregnancy.

The suit demands compensation for the cost of repairing the Panda and the cost of the wedding the couple decided to have after discovering the woman was pregnant.

CINCINNATI -- A man who fled to Italy after allegedly feeding drug-laced spaghetti to two women and then sexually assaulting them pleaded guilty to felony sex charges.

Nicola Iannone, 35, submitted his plea in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court to two charges of gross sexual imposition. Iannone's victims alleged that he came to their Cincinnati apartment and fed them a pasta dinner and that they woke up the next day with their clothes off.

Science Marches On MINNEAPOLIS -- A sleep expert says people can get by on only 90 minutes of sleep a day if they limit themselves to 15-minute naps every four hours.

Claudio Stampi of the Institute of Circadian Physiology in Boston said that's what Leonardo da Vinci did, and look what he accomplished.

Stampi told the Association of Professional Sleep Societies that an Italian actor who emulated the Renaissance artist's sleep regime had to quit after six months because he wound up with too much spare time. "He didn't know what to do with it all, since he wasn't another Leonardo," Stampi said.

Wondrous Events LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- A former circus performer who prosecutors said can swallow and regurgitate sharp objects at will was convicted of slashing a jail guard even though the blade was never found.

Benjamin Carnesoltas, 36, was convicted of assault for cutting the neck of Municipal Corrections Institution Officer John Wickizer on Oct. 29. The injury required about 10 stitches.

The defense said there was reasonable doubt about Carnesoltas's culpability because no one found the razor blade. But prosecutors said Carnesoltas, who came to the United States in the 1980 Mariel boat lift from Cuba, either was a professional sword swallower or had learned the skill while working in the circus.

"He swallows razor blades and brings them back," Assistant Prosecutor Jim Humphrey told Jackson County Circuit Court jurors. "I wouldn't be surprised if he had one now."

Bad Sport CAIRO -- A 40-year-old Egyptian man hanged himself in despair over Egypt's elimination from the World Cup soccer tournament after a 1-0 loss to England, police said.

"My life came to an end when Egypt's match with England ended," said a suicide note found by his body.

The note released by police wished the national team good luck in the 1994 World Cup tournament.

The Mysterious East BEIJING -- Li Jinyu, who spent his first 24 years in the nude, is now starting to wear pants and think of marriage.

Li, a peasant in southwest China's Sichuan province, refused to wear clothes until a local doctor last year coaxed him out of his lifelong bout of "clothesphobia," the official China Daily said.

Li, nicknamed "Fire Boy" by local villagers for his ability to endure the coldest weather, was illiterate but not ignorant, and led a normal life except for his au naturel state, the newspaper said.

Li's sisters-in-law are now looking for a girlfriend for him. His mother said Li demands that his future mate have "good appearance, good merit and {be} a virgin."

TOKYO -- Japan Air Lines is offering a new alternative to in-flight food -- no flight.

Its new restaurant in Osaka has a full-size replica of a JAL Boeing 767, a cabin crew, videotapes of travel information and seats in executive or first-class sections.

"For some people, airline food is an oxymoron," said JAL spokesman Geoffrey Tudor. "But we thought there was a group of people who didn't think so. We're aiming the restaurant at people who maybe don't travel very much, but want to try out the experience."

Triumph of Culture BOSTON -- A prisoner climbed onto a jail roof and declared he would come down only if corrections officials could name all six children on "The Brady Bunch."

ATLANTA -- The Georgia legislature engaged in extended debate over a bill to make Little Richard's "Tutti-Frutti" the state rock song. The measure was not passed.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Anthony Thornton, 39, eclipsed his own Guinness world record of walking backward by backing up for 23 hours 45 minutes, for a total of 95.7 miles.

Thornton said his reverse stroll was uneventful for him, but his wife, walking forward, tripped and hurt her arm.

SAN JOSE -- A 30-foot banner at the San Jose Public Library, hung to welcome guests in 27 languages, was pulled down after red-faced library officials discovered that a greeting in the main native Philippine language did not mean "welcome."

It meant "circumcision."

Triumph of Government SAN FRANCISCO -- California has a new law requiring state employees to answer their telephones within 10 rings. The legislation was written by Democratic state Sen. Bill Lockyear.

The San Francisco Examiner couldn't reach Lockyear for comment on the effectiveness of the law because no one was answering his telephone.

SINGAPORE -- The government introduced a fine of $17 for people who don't flush after using public toilets.

Incorrigible non-flushers may have to pay as much as $588 for three or more offenses.

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. -- Eric Levin hoped a catchy name for his record store would bring in business, but he got more attention than he wanted after opening Secret Service Music & More.

The shop specializing in hard-to-find recordings hadn't been open long when the owner got a visit from two real Secret Service agents. They told him he was violating a federal law by using the name of their employer.

"Their reasoning was that if someone knew of someone threatening the life of the president and wanted to call the Secret Service, they could get confused," Levin said.

The agents confiscated Levin's business cards, several posters and several dozen T-shirts featuring the store's logo.

A shaken Levin agreed to change the store's name. It's now Criminal Records.

Triumph of Religion BRUGES, Belgium -- Police were investigating purchases of racehorses and other unusual property by a convent here..

The religious order reportedly also bought a Mercedes-Benz auto equipped with a bar; a farmhouse; and a castle in Tarbes, France.

The nuns are members of the Poor Sisters of Clare.

PROGRESO, Tex. -- Hundreds of people have been traveling to this tiny town in the lower Rio Grande valley to view what they perceive as the image of the Virgin Mary on the concrete floor of a shower stall in the bathroom of Progreso Auto Supply.