Romance lives on … sort of

Valentine-related headlines reassure a weary nation that romance is not dead:

  • “AARP says ‘sexting’ is a hit for the over-50 set.” Goodness gracious. (Is it our ageist society that makes “Granny Clampett,” rather than Isabella Rossellini, come to mind?) Whatever. Members of the lusty, not notoriously tech savvy, over-50 set just needs to keep their cell phones far, far away from their grandchildren/children or be prepared to pay for their lifelong therapy.

  • “Blue whales are singing in a lower key.” California researchers found that the whales’ voices have dropped by more than half an octave since the 1960s. Unable to explain the voice change, researchers surmised “that whales would rather not sing in higher voices if they didn’t have to,” the Los Angeles Times reported. They prefer deep and manly — “a lower, sexier frequency,” said researcher Mark McDonald. That would be the “Barry White of the Sea” theory.

  • “‘Love doctor’ to boost D.C. tourism.” “Psychosexual therapist” Dr. Ruth Westheimer was sworn in as the city’s honorary secretary of the “Department of Love and Relationships” for a monthlong promotion. She was scheduled to announce a new “stimulus plan” for tourism, AP (heh heh) reported. But then came all the snow! We know what that means — nine months from now, much of the Midwest and East will experience a small baby boom. All without Dr. Ruth’s help.

  • “Group gives out 100,000 endangered species condoms for Valentine’s Day.” The promotion is designed to highlight the impact of human overpopulation on wildlife.

    For the record, it’s the condom package, rather than the contents, that features endangered species.

    The Center for Biological Diversity is distributing six different packages, with original artwork and slogans. One that can be repeated features the Northwest’s own spotted owl. “Wear a condom now, save the spotted owl.” (Even clunkier than “Give a hoot — don’t reproduce.”)

  • “No wives for 24 million Chinese men”: China’s 20-year-old gender imbalance continues to grow. In 2005, there were 119 boys for every 100 girls in China. In some areas the ratio was as high as 130-100.

    Perhaps it was this news that prompted Royal Caribbean Cruises to announce it would offer in-demand “cougar cruises,” not long after the Carnival Cruise Line hosted its first, and last, such cruise — a voyage aimed at older women who like to pursue younger men. Carnival didn’t give a reason for axing the concept — but the ship likely lacked the proper number of “cubs” for the “cougars” to pursue.

    Royal Caribbean sees the potential.

    Now it’s just a matter of getting 24 million eligible Chinese bachelor cubs onboard.