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It’s a weird world

HA HA HA: Santas in Australia’s largest city have been told not to use Father Christmas’s traditional “ho ho ho” greeting because it may be offensive to women.

Sydney’s Santa Clauses have instea

d been instructed to say “ha ha ha” instead, the Daily Telegraph reported.

One disgruntled Santa told the newspaper a recruitment firm warned him not to use “ho ho ho” because it could frighten children and was too close to “ho”, a US slang term for prostitute.

“Gimme a break,” said Julie Gale, who runs the campaign against sexualising children called Kids Free 2B Kids. “We are talking about little kids who do not understand that “ho, ho, ho” has any other connotation and nor should they,” she told the Telegraph.

“Leave Santa alone.”

A local spokesman for the US-based Westaff recruitment firm said it was “misleading” to say the company had banned Santa’s traditional greeting and it was being left up to the discretion of the individual Santa himself. — AFP.

LAUNCHED: A London firm has launched what it claims is the world’s first perfume made especially for dogs.

Mungo & Maud are selling their Petite Amande eau de toilette for £38.

The company hired well-known perfumer Lyn Harris to come up with the scent, which features French blackcurrant, Tunisian neroli, mimosa and violet leaf on a base of sweet vanilla bourbon with a little almond.

There is even a matching £15,95p dog shampoo, for the pet who likes to co-ordinate its fragrances. — Ananova.

HIT: A clip of the King of Spain saying “Why don’t you shut up” to Hugo Chavez has become a ringtone hit in Spain.

An estimated 500 000 people have now downloaded the insult, generating a reported £1 million, reports the BBC.

King Juan Carlos asked the Venezuelan president to “shut up” at a summit in Chile after the president said Spain’s ex-PM Jose Maria Aznar was a “fascist”.

Branded mugs, t-shirts and websites featuring the row are also said to be doing brisk business.

In Venezuela, a group of students who oppose Chavez’s government have also been downloading the ringtone, a US newspaper reported.

“It’s a form of protest,” a 21-year-old student in Caracas told the Miami Herald. “It’s something that a lot of people would like to tell the president.”

Companies selling the ringtones have avoided legal problems concerning breach of the king’s image rights by using an actor to voice the line. — Ananova.com

INVESTIGATE: Thailand’s air force has launched an investigation after a pilot allegedly landed a search-and-rescue helicopter in a field to pick mushrooms for his mother, an official said.

Seven air force crew including the two pilots are being probed after they made the unscheduled hour-long stop in a rice paddy in western Kanchanaburi province on Tuesday, said air force spokesman Monthon Suchookorn.

“It’s obviously wrong to leave the plane unattended for one hour — it could risk terrorist sabotage,” Monthon told AFP.

Local press quoted villagers in Kanchanaburi who said they were perplexed when the chopper flew in low over the fields and then landed.

They asked the crew what they were doing, and one pilot replied that his mother had called and asked him to pick up some mushrooms, newspapers said. — AFP.

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