Double Takes

updated 12/31/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/31/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Who says Princess Anne doesn't earn her $414,000 annual government allowance? To benefit Riding for the Disabled, one of the Princess Royal's charities, she joined in a Wellie-flinging contest, pitching 41 feet, 5 inches.

To get psyched and primed for a big event, runners pasta-load and pitchers warm up. But Thoroughbred Summer Squall and exercise rider Robert Vickers, 19, added horselaughing to their morning workouts before last May's Preakness. Summer Squall, chuckling all the way, won the race by 2¼ lengths, confounding any neigh-sayers.

After presenting a ritual pole to a Frankfurt museum during a cultural visit last March, these aborigines from the Australian Outback braved 57-degree temperatures to collect useful gifts in trade: stowaway suitcases for their trip home. Hey, they travel light, anyway.

Unhappy hotel guests, finding the towels small and scratchy, held the Queen of Mean at gunpoint while she called Housekeeping....But seriously, folks, the soldiers were on hand last August to help Leona Helmsley, convicted of tax evasion but free on appeal, salute the American Armed Forces in the Middle East by lighting up the Empire State Building (managed by one of husband Harry's companies) in red, white and blue.

Great Lift Upward: the Chinese panda-ed to the camera in Beijing in November as they showed off pumped-up Basi of Fuzhou Zoo. Basi, 10, is a female (eat your heart out, Mr. Schwarzenegger!) who has been trained to lift weights as soon as they are presented to her. On this occasion, Basi made ft look easy when hoisting 22 pounds in the dean-and-jerk, an event heretofore limited to humans.

Since the Berlin Wall began to crumble in November '89, Westerners have been privy to some unusual sights in the city's East sector—such as this mural of the late Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East Germany's former head Erich Honecker demonstrating their ideological passions.

Uh-oh! Could it be yet another awkward pizza delivery to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in their subterranean lair? No, it's just Bob Havens, sunk deep in his work repairing a stoplight, under an Indianapolis street last January.

The winds of wore: Fashion's lesser royal, Sarah, Duchess of York, hasn't yet picked up the regal art of hem-weighting. So when she arrived Down Under in November, her skirt sailed Up Over, leaving Fergie tugging awkwardly during a curtsy from Sandy Curwen, wife of the Governor of Victoria. But the royal faux pas apparently became a trend back home. A tiny subject named Nicola Young, 2, daughter of British Deaf Association President John Young, caught the wave and, bungling a curtsy, flashed the highly amused Princess Diana. Then the tot demanded her bouquet back—and got it.

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