Passion flares like gunshots

SHE'S 92, he's 53, but Helen Staudinger clearly doesn't believe the age difference should get in the way of romance.

Dwight Bettner is less enthusiastic, and when his wrinkly neighbour demanded a kiss before she would leave his home, the passion and emotion boiled over.

According to police in Florida, the elderly lady went home, got her gun and went back to shoot at the car he loved more than her.

Staudinger has been charged with firing four shots at the home of her unrequited lover and faces the possibility of jail because one of the shots missed the object of her desire by a few centimetres.

Adultery, mental cruelty, unreasonable behaviour and irrecoverable breakdown are all reasons couples get divorced.

But has there ever been a woman who has sought a legal split from her husband for a better reason than Sandra Torres de Colom? Naked ambition.

Sandra has instigated divorce proceedings after eight years of happy marriage so she can run to be president of Guatemala.

Her hubby, Alvaro Colom, is the existing president and under the Guatemalan constitution, neither he nor any member of his extended family can seek election to the post.

If Sandra is an ex-wife she will be free to succeed him. Kinda takes the romance out of the whole affair, don't you think?

Meanwhile, in Arizona, 28-year-old Angela Davito is kicking her heels in custody waiting to enjoy her wedding nuptials.

Davito was arrested by police at her wedding reception after a fight in which it's alleged she kicked the arresting officer during such chaotic scenes they had to use capsicum spray to restore order.

Stupidest criminal of the week must be Nathan Wayne Pugh, a 49-year-old bank robber sentenced to eight years in a Texas prison.

Pugh demanded $800 cash from a bank teller who responded that she could only hand over the dough if he produced identification.

Amazingly, Pugh produced his Texas state identification card and his client card for the very bank he was robbing. Not so smart that.

And finally, the online file sharing company Lime Wire is being sued by 13 record companies for copyright infringement.

The sum being sought in damages is the largest ever recorded anywhere: $75 trillion US.

A lawyer for Lime Wire suggests it is more money than the entire music industry has made since Edison invented the phonograph.

Alternative Universe is a weekly humour column by Adrian Taylor.