Southern oddities and entities:

Tennessee State Sen. Doug Jackson, a Dickson Democrat, has gotten approval from a Senate committee for his bill to make it illegal to sell fake urine.  The aim of the bill is to prevent people from using fake urine to falsify drug tests.  However, the bill apparently doesn’t outlaw the sale of real urine.  The legislation also provides an exception for making fake pee for “bona fide educational, medical, and scientific purposes.”

Who would sell fake urine, you may ask.  One company, QuickFix, advertises “premixed laboratory urine” that “provides a non toxic testing medium that mimics the characteristics of normal human urine.”  All you have to do, says the QuickFix’s web page, is warm it up to between 90 and 100 degrees in a microwave for about 10 seconds.   The company offers a heat pack you can attach to keep the urine warm for up to eight hours. But Ultra Pure insists its fake urine is the best and offers a 500 percent money back guarantee.

Kelly Dobbins of Mid-South Drug Testing in Memphis told “I’ve always said out of thirty people who walk into my office, at least 5 people have someone else’s urine, and I think that number varies but increases daily.”

Who knew?

When tin foil is not enough: A Georgia House committee has approved a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to implant microchips, sensors, transmitters or any other manner of tracking devices into individuals against their will.  The Senate already has passed a version.  In Virginia, where one legislator likened microchip implants to the “mark of the beast,” the House of Delegates passed a bill similar to the Georgia bill, but the Senate decided Virginia brains were safe enough for the moment.  In Tennessee, a House committee failed to endorse microchip brain protection.

In other health news: The Sun Sentinel reports that a Pompano Beach, Florida, company has expanded its December recall of “Love Fuel,” a male sexual enhancement dietary supplement, because the product contains undisclosed ingredients found in prescription erectile dysfunction medications, making them unapproved drugs.

Celebrity news!  Celebrity news! The Augusta Chronicle reports that former South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford, now divorced from the globe-plotting governor, is dating Augusta businessman and developer Clay Boardman.  They were spotted together at the Masters.  So, don’t cry for her, Argentina.

Not your normal slap in the face: A Rock Hill, North Carolina, man has been charged with assault and battery after allegedly hitting another man with a 4-foot-long python.

When flag poles are outlawed … Tea partiers in North Carolina were unhappy that state officials decided they couldn’t carry flags on poles because of fears that the poles could be used as weapons.  “It’s sad our country has come to this,” said Laura Long, the Apex woman who applied for the permit on behalf of Triangle Conservatives Unite.  Officials allowed the teapers to carry tiny flags of the kind handed out at parades and Fourth of July events.

Check out our News and Opinion Feeds for a lot more Southern happenings.

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.