man with bad pantsThe third annual Bad Pants Open golf tournament will be held Memorial Day, May 31, at Indian Lakes Resort in Bloomingdale, Ill., west of Chicago. The tournament is a charity event to benefit the eye-care program of the Lions Clubs. The cost of entering the tournament is $60, which includes a round of golf, a Bad Pants Open hat and admission to an apres-golf party. "The most outrageous pair of pants worn that day will be enshrined in the Bad Pants Hall of Fame," said Ata Kashanian, the resort's general manager. The property is offering participants a special rate of $69 per night in deluxe accommodations for any night or nights of the holiday weekend. Pictured here is last year's Bad Pants champion, Al Hanson, of Des Plaines, Ill. This year's contestants had better start shopping. Looks to us as though Al has "set the bar" pretty high. Or do we mean low?

Dinero loco

strange sign in MexicoNo, Mexico is not seeking to compete with a certain Scandinavian country for a certain, shall we say, crossover market. The sign pictured is merely an example of misguided graphics judgment. This one is in La Paz, capital of Baja California Sur, and there are others just like it at casas de cambio -- currency exchanges -- throughout northwest Mexico. The $, by the way, does not denote U.S. dollars, as Insider at first thought. When Mexico minted the nuevo peso in 1993 (only to devalue it severely a year later), the nation chose the $ as the symbol for the new currency. This causes some difficulty for norteamericanos at ATMs in Mexico. Some machines will dispense either U.S.$ or M$ on request, others will not, but since the symbols are virtually identical on the screen, you've got to be careful. Say you want about 200 bucks' worth of pesos. You can enter "$2,000," meaning pesos, and next thing you know, you're either getting two- grand American or being told, in Spanish, you aren't worth any two-grand American. Insider could figure out only one solution: Hit "$200" first; make sure it's pesos; pocket the cash; exit the screen; start all over, and hit "$1,800." Ole! Two hundred bucks.

Ulysses S. Juarez?

Once you've gotten past the ATM-en-espanol experience, further fiduciary adventures lurk, as Insider discovered whilst taking stock of our cash in a Chihuahua hotel room. We'd separated our U.S. dollars from our pesos some days earlier, stashing the dollars in a folder in our suitcase. We were sure we had about $200 there, but when we checked, we found a measly couple of twenties, a ten and two fives. Never before had we been so careless, we thought. But then, almost instinctively, we checked our wallet, and lo! among our Benito Juarezes and Miguel Hidalgos were several of those newfangled U.S. Grants and Andy Jacksons. That's right: As we were segregating our money, we had failed to recognize the gringo currency as our own.

Transpace at own risk

no transpassingThere's no shortage of fun signs to be spied in Mexico, as the rather lamely photographed specimen shown here will attest. Of course, anywhere one's own language is a second one is likely to abound in silly phrases, and Insider's license to indulge in this kind of fun is justified only by the knowledge that we sound even sillier in Spanish than this sign does in English. For the record: "No Entrar; Se Consignara a la Autoridad" -- encountered at an abandoned-salt-mine-turned-game-preserve off Baja California -- becomes "Keep Out; Transpacer Will Be Consignated to the Autorities." Why does "will be consignated to the autorities" sound even more onerous than "will be thrown in jail"?

I will see my love again, 400 miles

Agents looking for a giveaway for their corporate clients might consider a popular book of the season, "What Men Don't Want Women to Know: The Secrets, the Lies, the Unspoken Truth" (New York: St. Martin's Press, $15.95, hardcover). But be warned: You'd better know your client and her (or his) sense of humor well before you favor her (or him) with this. The book's authors are "Smith and Doe," which should tell you something. There is a chapter titled "The Business Trip: Great Getaways," in which the authors posit their "400-Mile Theory"; that is, the road warrior is safe in his cavortings if he ("he" is the very point here) is at least 400 miles from home, under which distance "the wife" may be presumed to have followed him. Other points of wisdom: The "Did you get there OK?" phone call shortly after your arrival in actuality is an "Are you really where you said you'd be?" call. That sort of thing. Note: Insider found this book in -- and filed this item from -- Cape May, N.J., which is a mere 160 miles from our home. What else was there to do?

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