By Associate editor
msnbc.com
updated 11/8/2007 11:45:22 PM ET 2007-11-09T04:45:22
COMMENTARY

For the virtually tens of people who have been needing a) an outlet to go public with their need to get their groove on sans clothing and/or b) like to watch said groovers — and "Pants-Off Dance-Off"just doesn't quite fulfill it — your long national nightmare is over.

Jockey — the underwear guys — are sponsoring an online competition for adults to post videos of themselves dancing in their drawers. Top prize: $5,000.

Aspiring exhibitionists have until Nov. 15 to upload their videos. The competition will be capped at 32 participants, who will be randomly divided into tournament brackets and will advance based on online votes.

Dancers — alone or in groups — are given plenty of freedom to be creative, as long as men are wearing boxers or briefs and women are wearing panties. Males and females can also wear T-shirts or jackets, as long as their skivvies — of any brand — are partially visible.

Hard to believe anyone wearing rival Hanes will shimmy away with the trophy.

"We're trying to keep it clean," said Patty McIntosh, the Internet marketing manager for Jockey International Inc. "The bottom line is, we're just letting people do their thing and have fun."

Bottom line, get it?

Because of copyright concerns, dancers have to choose from one of 16 musical clips on the Jockey Web site. The selections range from a 45-second pulsing tango to a 3 1/2-minute techno blast.

For people who don't want to compete in the UnderWars tournament but still want to know whether they're better than their friends at shaking their moneymakers, the site also offers head-to-head challenges for Web surfers to judge.

In the three weeks since the site was launched, there have been about 35 individual matches.

What? You thought the "virtually tens" comment was a joke?

"Those winners don't get money, but they do get bragging rights," McIntosh said.

Or whatever the exact opposite of bragging rights are.

Homicide for the holidays
A German advent calendar for children has become a hot seller since word got out it has a picture of a notorious serial killer on it.

The cartoon calendar shows Fritz Haarmann, who murdered 24 young men and boys in the 1920s, lurking under a tree with a hatchet next to the door for Dec. 1. Below him, Santa Claus hands out presents to children in a festive-looking Hanover.

A local tourism office included the serial killer alongside 23 other celebrities in the northern city, including philosopher Gottfried Leibniz and hard rock band The Scorpions.

Haarmann's depiction featured in last year's edition, but this year it is attracting wider attention because top-selling newspaper Bild questioned whether the use of the murderer in a children's calendar was in good taste.

"People are queuing up to buy the calendar now," said a surprised Hans Nolte, director of the city's tourism board.

Nolte said he expected the initial 20,000 copy run of the calendar to sell out soon as orders were pouring in from Berlin, Vienna and other parts of Austria. Proceeds from the sales are going toward a local charity for children with cancer.

"It's part of our history," Nolte said.

Nonetheless, the serial killer, who was beheaded in 1925, will not appear in next year's edition, Nolte said.

Anything beats eHarmony
Twenty Chinese men, including several on the country's richest list, paid $8,000 each to attend a matchmaking party with 30 "single young beauties," state media said Monday.

Saturday's controversial party was held at a luxury European-style villa in Shanghai, the birthplace of China's Communist Party in 1921, with guests arriving in stretch limousines and getting the full red-carpet treatment.

"To disguise their identities from photographers' cameras, all guests scurried into the venue wearing a face mask, some even using a paper bag," the China Daily said.

Market reforms in the past three decades have lifted China out of dire poverty, but they have also fostered a culture of quick wealth and money worship, and as the income gap widens, resentment of the rich grows.

Each male guest paid a 58,800 yuan ($8,000) entrance fee, while the women, chosen for their "looks, kindness, thought and taste," were selected from tens of thousands of candidates, according to the social network Web site which organized the event.

The site, which boasts a membership of 100,000, held a similar party on a boat in Shanghai last year, drawing criticism from many observers for treating women as objects.

Tan Chao, the site's marketing director, said the company provided different services, including dating arrangements.

"For those who pay most, we will try different means, not within our own club, until we find them the right one," he was quoted as saying.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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