Inflatable Hippo Costume Dancing Off the Shelves ... Thanks to Pandemic-Friendly Hug Option

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Hundreds of air-filled hippo suits are selling out, possibly because they provide extra protection for folks to hug their loved ones ... as demonstrated by one loving daughter on TV.

The hippopotamus ballerina costume is ballooning in popularity, and the latest display was featured on the news at the Fox Trails Senior Living Home in Stephens City, Virginia last week.

A daughter dressed up as a large gray hippo in a tutu in order to embrace her mother living at the residence ... while still protecting against COVID-19. The nursing home staff reportedly came up with the idea to use sterilized suits so family members can hug during visits.

Inflatable costumes like the ballerina hippo are in high demand right now, too. This particular suit has been getting scooped up by consumers since "social distancing" became a thing ... in fact, there are only a few left in stock at top online costume retailer HalloweenCostume.com.

We're told the company sold around 75 of the same hippo ballerina costume in 2019, but this year ... 450 suits have pranced out of its warehouse, so far.

The item’s the third top seller on the site right now, even after doubling its original price tag to $120 thanks to popularity and white-hot demand.

Holding the top spot is the "Jurassic World" T-Rex inflatable suit, which is currently out of stock. Owner Tom Fallenstein tells us only 20 of the air-filled $89.99 dino costumes were purchased in 2019 ... but it came roaring back this year with 600 units sold.

A few of the customers decked out as dinosaurs paid a visit to another senior living home’s parking lot earlier this month ... to lift the spirits of the residents sheltering indoors.

Whatever it takes in 2020 for some happiness, right?

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' Yovanna Officially Back for Season 13 Nene Drama Be Dammed!!!

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The snitch is back!!! That's probably how the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" cast will react after learning Yovanna Momplaisir's returning next season as an official cast member, so get ready for more of her drama involving NeNe Leakes.

Sources close to the production tell TMZ ... producers invited Yovanna to sign on for season 13 as an official cast member. We're told the contracts went out to all the ladies after they filmed the reunion. More on that later.

As for Yovanna's role next season ... our sources say her main storyline for the upcoming season will piggyback off the scandal that erupted during season 12. As diehard 'RHOA' fans know ... the so-called SnakeGate drama roped in the entire cast after the ladies found out Yovanna came on the show as a friend/spy for NeNe, who wanted Yovanna to gather intel to see which of the ladies were trash-talking NeNe behind her back.

The ladies ultimately were led to believe NeNe asked Yovanna to record the conversations. During a trip to Canada, they peppered Yovanna with questions, but she danced around everything. As it turns out, Yovanna never recorded anything and admits NeNe asked her to record the conversations. The cast's reaction ... "so you're a snitch?" Ouch.

Yovanna never got the chance to confront NeNe about SnakeGate and how it affected her. As the reunion previews show, NeNe bounced from the virtual reunion after getting into an unrelated argument with the girls. NeNe later took to YouTube to explain why she didn't return to the reunion.

NBA's Cliff Alexander Arrest Video ... Cops Brought Up H.S. Ranking During Stop!!!

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GETTIN' DETAINED
TMZSports.com

Cliff Alexander was such a star H.S. basketball recruit ... one cop remembered him during the former NBA player's gun arrest this month -- and the interaction was all caught on police video obtained by TMZ Sports.

Alexander was pulled over at around 9:30 PM CT on May 6 in Chicago, Ill. after cops say he blew through a stop sign ... and shortly after, one officer realized who exactly he had detained.

"Oh, you're that hooper!" the cop said, before asking him about his high school recruiting ranking.

FYI -- Alexander was largely considered the top prospect in the country back in the 2014 recruiting class ... right alongside future Duke Blue Devil Jahlil Okafor.

In the video, you can hear the officer actually asks Alexander about the battle for the No. 1 spot with Okafor ... and the interaction is kind of funny.

"I remember that sh*t!" the cop said. "That's crazy! ... You went to Kansas, right!?"

Of course, the stop didn't go so well for Alexander outside of that convo ... cops say the 24-year-old illegally had a loaded firearm under his seat, which one officer said appeared to be a "Glock 21."

Alexander also admitted to cops during the stop he had "like 6 grams" of weed on him ... and you can see in video, he explained to an officer he stuffed it in his pants because "I'm paranoid."

Eventually, Alexander was arrested and booked on a felony charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He was also hit with a citation for failing to stop at a stop sign -- but he was NOT booked on drug charges.

Alexander -- who spent just one season in the NBA after a disappointing first year at Kansas and now plays professionally overseas -- is due back in court in July for a hearing in the case.

Quarantined Kardashian Kurves Guess Who!

If you haven't been keeping up with these sexy sisters, then you might not have seen all the hot quarantine pics the Kardashian/Jenner crew have been sharing!

Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie have been staying busy and snapping away through this time at home, and these siblings sure know how to pass the time and have been entertaining their followers with their famous photos ... and now we're sharing them with you!

Take a look at what sweet shots have been shared by scrolling through our gallery of Kardashian quarantine kurves ... check out all the sister snaps and try to see if you can guess which sis is in the pic!

You got this, bible!

UCSB's College Town IV Businesses Could Dry Up ... If Students Skip Fall

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College towns in the U.S. are biting their fingernails at the prospect of students being kept home for the upcoming fall semester, including one prominent California university ... UCSB.

We called up several small businesses operating in the bordering campus neighborhood of Isla Vista, and they all pretty much told us the same thing ... they need kids to come back to school this fall, or else they'll have little to no clientele and, more importantly, employees.

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Take Woodstock's, a famous pizza joint around there. A manager tells TMZ that a vast majority of their workforce is made up of students, and if they're told to stay home when September rolls around ... there won't be enough staff to man the ship throughout the year.

That, obviously, could spell trouble for keeping the business afloat. Not only would there be a reduced staff, but there'd also be virtually no one to sell the food to if students vanish.

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Ditto for Rockfire Grill -- they tell us 80% of their employees are students, and they put it bluntly ... no students, means no business. They're now ramping up marketing efforts to reach folks outside of UCSB's immediate vicinity ... perhaps in Goleta or Ventura, perhaps.

Funny enough, one store that's doing well is Isla Vista Bicycle Boutique, which says tons of people are buying their bikes right now. They do acknowledge though ... if students aren't around in the fall -- they too will be hurting financially, as they rely on those customers.

It's a problem that probably applies to several colleges and neighboring towns. And, with UCSB still undecided on what to do, it could mean at least 3 months of a ghost town.

Ross The Place to Be ... Massive Lines As Stores Reopen

Yes, Dress for Less -- but also ... dress comfortably for long wait times at Ross, 'cause that's what hundreds of people are experiencing across the country as the company starts to reopen its doors.

Check out all these crazy scenes from different Ross discount stores nationwide -- from Louisiana to Indiana and probably lots of other locations in between. There are MASSIVE lines out the door that wrap around the building ... and in some cases, out into the parking lot.

As one FB user noted, there doesn't appear to be a special promotional giveaway or anything that Ross has announced lately. Other than the fact that these go-to retail haunts are just now starting to let customers back in, not much else has changed. So, what gives?

Well for one ... apparently some Rosses are having major sales upon reopening, which would explain the crowds. They're already pretty cheap, and a sale is like giving stuff away. Two -- and probably more to why the lines are so long -- is that Ross has pretty strict restrictions in place for getting in ... including a limited head count, and roadblocks.

Word on the ground is that Ross has implemented plexiglass all throughout the inside, and a lot of their aisles are one-way too. Oh, and don't forget social distancing ... Ross wants people to adhere to that when they're roaming their racks. So, in short, it takes forever now.

Ross started opening their stores back up pretty recently, this after they reported their latest sales figures ... which were awful. Welp, they got business back and then some.

Two-Faced Kitten 'Biscuits & Gravy' Janus Cat Dies ... 4 Days After Birth

A two-faced kitten who was born in Oregon this past week has died just four days later ... despite a hard-fought battle to pull through.

The rare feline phenom -- which is often referred to as a Janus cat -- was part of a litter of six kittens that popped out in Albany on Wednesday, and the owner, Kyla King, noticed one of them had two mugs on one giant head. She named the kitty Biscuits and Gravy.

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Kyla and her family documented B&G's development over the next few days, showing off their attempts to feed the kitten -- which proved incredibly difficult, on account of it being able to feed itself out of both faces -- as well as it playing and napping with its siblings.

The owners say Biscuit (its short name) was actually able to eat pretty decently, but he simply wouldn't grow ... and had trouble carrying its head, which was too big for its body.

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In the end, the cat died of natural causes -- with Kyla writing ... "This photo was taken about an hour before Biscuits died. Kyla gave up 3 1/2 days of her life to put all of her efforts into saving him. He was born with the longest of odds and by living nearly 4 days, he beat those odds."

She added, "We thank all of you who have been so kind, prayed, and wished the best for Biscuits and Gravy. So many of you care and wanted to follow his progress, and said some very nice things to and about us. We will never forget your kindness!"

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It's not uncommon for Janus cats like these to have short lifespans -- they simply have too many internal complications for prolonged good health. One exception though ... 15-year-old Frank and Louie, AKA Frankenlouie. He toughed it out for a long time, and died in 2014.

RIP

Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning Victory Over Brady, Mickelson ... In COVID-19 Match

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5:18 PM PT -- Brady's insane shot wasn't enough to help his side come out on top ... with Tiger and Peyton pulling away with the close, 1-up victory.

The event helped raise $20 million for coronavirus relief.

3:00 PM PT -- Tom Brady with the shot!!!

After playing HORRIBLY all day, TB12 just came through strong with an unreal shot on the 7th hole!!

NAILED IT
Turner Sports

Tom had been golfing so poorly, even Charles Barkley -- the worst celeb golfer on the planet -- was talking trash!

And, get this, things were going so badly for Tom, the guy SPLIT HIS PANTS!

Pro golfer Brooks Koepka had said he’d donate $100,000 if Tom made par on the front 9 — and that shot did the trick! So, it wasn’t just a highlight, it helped raise a ton of cash!

HERE WE GOOO!!!!

The biggest golf event of the year is finally underway ... with Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning facing off against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady in "The Match" -- a COVID-19 charity golf showdown in Florida.

The whole thing was up in the air earlier Sunday morning ... with a massive rainstorm delaying the big event.

And, if golfing in the rain sounds like a fun time ... it definitely doesn't look like it.

The star-studded lineup just hit the links at Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound for a fan-less affair ... braving the weather for the showdown.

Of course, Phil and Tiger faced off back in 2018 with Lefty coming out on top ... but adding the 2 Hall of Fame QBs will be sure to make things a lot more interesting in the tag-team format.

And, for those looking to tune in on the action, Charles Barkley is on board as an analyst for the Turner broadcast ... as if you needed any more reason to check it out.

FYI -- Peyton is reportedly a 6.4 handicap, while Tom is reportedly an 8.1 ... for those interested in putting some dough on the showdown.

BTW -- Tiger's wearing his Sunday Red ... so be ready for an EPIC performance.

Originally published -- 1:00 PM PT

FL Wildlife Park Gatlorland's New Mascot ... A Social Distancing Skunk Ape!!!

One Florida theme park has a fun way to make sure guests obey their new coronavirus rules -- an overly aggressive, but totally well-meaning furry mascot, which seems very effective.

The place is called Gatorland, and it's in Orlando -- not too far from Disney World, Universal Studios and all the other family-friendly facilities nearby. They just reopened Saturday, and they rolled out a new costumed character to enforce their safety guidelines.

Meet the Social Distancing Skunk Ape!!! The name is just as subtle as his intro video that the company posted, which goes into great demonstrative detail about what it's all about. Basically, he roams around and low-key hassles non-abiding guests ... gently, but firmly.

It's an interesting idea, and certainly brings some much-needed levity to the heaviness everyone's been feeling during all this. On Saturday, some ticket holders got to meet the Social Distancing Skunk Ape in person -- and he looked just as charming as he does on YT.

The question now ... is Disney and co. about to do something similar with their many mascots??? They definitely could make a few tweaks to reflect the times ... The 'Rona Humanoid Rat is one way to go. Don't Hug Me Damsel in Distress Princess is another.

In all seriousness though, we probably already have an idea of how Disney's going to handle their costumed workers. Shanghai Disney recently reopened, and they kept them all away from their guests on a far-away float.

Gatorland's a little more hands on, apparently. Different strokes 🤷🏽‍♂️

Memorial Day Gesture Woman Rents Giant Cherry Picker ... Sings to Seniors Fo' Free

A generous, talented lady out in Chicago reached new heights to live out her mission of lifting quarantined senior citizens' spirits with a song ... and used heavy machinery to do it.

The woman's name is Colette Hawley, and she goes around professionally singing to old folks who live in nursing homes, and who might be feeling extra isolated and lonely during the pandemic. BTW, she does all this for free -- and she's pretty darn good at it too.

For Memorial Day weekend, Colette decided to utilize a new way to entertain as many seniors as she could in one shot -- renting out a cherry picker to bring up several stories as she had a megaphone in hand to belt out some scat singing, and other tunes.

She writes on Twitter, "I rented a Cherry Picker to sing to seniors(close but not too close!)for Memorial Day. This is an unbelievably hard time for them. I love & value our seniors. NO ONE IS DISPENSABLE. Offering free shows to nursing homes. 💖 coco."

Watch -- it would appear her good deed was a hit with her target audience ... a bunch of nursing home residents came out and started dancing. Even from their wheelchairs!

Obviously, this reminds us of the grandmother balcony serenade from a few weeks back, which some other nursing home elders were happy to piggyback on themselves.

Welp, this happy time's for anyone and everyone, it seems. Good on her for doing it.

LAPD Horse Ditches Cop Rider ... Evades 'Arrest' on Venice Beach

An LAPD horse went from trusty steed to fugitive on the run on Venice Beach this weekend after it somehow lost its police officer rider ... then tried to make a clean getaway.

The wild scene went down Saturday, and it starts out with a cop who somehow came off the saddle and attempted to run down the free-spirited stallion in the sand -- to no avail. It looks like the horse might be freaked out by all the people who gathered around.

Yeah, that probably didn't help ... it quickly became a spectacle.

Eventually, the big fella found his fellow horse pal standing calmly nearby with its own rider mounted on top ... and he finally settled down enough for the frantic officer to catch up and rein him in, literally. The horse stopped putting up a fight and allowed itself to be led away.

What's crazy is that once the horse was away from the massive audience, it still was being a little stubborn and jittery. But, alas, the cowboy cop broke the bronco once more ... and got back on the horse.

No official word on if they rode off into the sunset together -- probably not, it was still around mid-afternoon here.

Kobe Bryant Lakers Ring He Gifted Mom ... Sells for $206k!!!

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The 14k gold-and-diamond ring Kobe Bryant gifted his mom 20 years ago has just sold ... and it brought in more than $206k!!!!

$206,080 to be exact.

As we previously reported, Kobe bought two identical, blinged-out rings for his parents to commemorate his first NBA championship with the Lakers following the 1999, 2000 season.

Kobe's mom, Pamela Bryant, famously tried to sell the rings, along with a bunch of other Kobe memorabilia back in the day ... and Kobe sued to try and stop the sale.

Kobe ultimately agreed to allow his parents to sell 6 items -- including the rings -- and, in 2013, they sold to a private collector (a big Lakers fan) for a total of $280,000.

Now, that private collector went to Goldin Auction to see what they could get for the rings ... and obviously, the value has skyrocketed.

The minimum bid was $15,000 -- and after 20 total bids, it sold for $206k.

AND ... the ring Kobe gave his father, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, is expected to hit the auction block soon and it could fetch even more than Pam's ring.

As for the identity of the new buyer, that has no been disclosed -- and may never be.

Corey La Barrie Parents Sue Daniel Silva ... Claim Wrongful Death

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11:11 AM PT -- 5/24 -- A source close to Daniel tells TMZ, Daniel did not have any drugs in his system at the time of the crash and he has never had a DUI. He’s never even had a speeding ticket since living in L.A.

Corey La Barrie's parents claim "Ink Master" star Daniel Silva is responsible for the wrongful death of their son -- and they want him to pay up in court.

The YouTuber's parents, Simon La Barrie and Lissa Burton, filed suit against the tattoo artist ... alleging he and his company, Daniel Silva Tattoos, were negligent in the hours and moments leading up to Corey's untimely demise earlier this month, on his birthday no less.

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Corey's parents allege that Daniel was driving at an unsafe and unreasonable speed when he was in the car with Corey, which they say means he was operating the vehicle without due care and in violation of California law.

Not only that, but they go on to allege he was under the influence at the time of the accident -- which ultimately killed Corey -- and they even go so far as to say that his own company provided the intoxicants, which the La Barries say was alcohol and/or other unknown substances. Then the nail in the coffin ... they say Daniel had been popped before for driving under the influence, so he should've known the dangers of doing so.

As we reported ... Daniel has been charged with murder in connection to Corey's death. Now, he's got a civil suit to deal with too.

Corey's parents say that, with the loss of their son, they're going to be missing out on a whole lot of emotional comfort he did and would've provided them for years to come -- not to mention the burial expenses they've incurred and other costs.

For that, they want a judge to grant them damages. We've reached out to Daniel's attorney for comment ... so far, no word back.

Originally Published -- 5/23 5:42 PM PT

Adolf Hitler Rumored 'Pet Alligator' Dies at 84

An alligator rumored to have once belonged to Adolf Hitler has died at quite a remarkably old age.

The reptile -- who goes by Saturn -- recently passed away in the care of the Moscow Zoo, which he called home since the 1940s after he was discovered by British soldiers and gifted to the facility shortly thereafter ... once Germany suffered defeat in WWII, of course.

Saturn is actually said to have survived a bombing at the Berlin Zoo back in 1943 -- where he had been living after being shipped there from America in the mid-'30s -- and somehow lived among the ruins until he was found again in 1946. After that, Russia was his new home.

For some reason ... rumors swirled in Moscow that the alligator might've once been part of Hitler's personal collection of exotic animals. The Moscow Zoo says it became an urban legend but doesn't elaborate on why something like that might've even been thought.

Whatevs ... the scaly creature lived out the rest of its days in Moscow's care, and apparently -- he was a very good, but also cantankerous boy. Of the animal, the Zoo writes ... "He was fussy about food and loved being massaged with a brush. If he didn’t like something, he would gnaw on the concrete decorations." He had a diet of rabbits, rats and fish.

Now, the Zoo doesn't confirm whether the Hitler story is true or not -- the theory could never be proven -- but they do defend Saturn's rep by saying ... regardless of who he might've belonged to, an animal's an animal, and shouldn't be judged by any human action.

The alligator was 84.

RIP?

Wild Ozark Lake Party Pass the Corona

PANDEMIC PARTYIN'
@scottpasmoretv

If you need guidance on social distancing ... look away.

Apparently, these folks didn't see the sign that read, "Please practice social distancing: 6 ft apart."

The shindig went down at a Memorial Day party at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. The lake was filled with boats, and sun worshipers and ... well, looked just like any other Memorial Day.

The Governor partially re-opened the state, but with safety guidelines, including social distancing. It was clearly lost on all these people. BTW, the video was shot by Scott Pasmore, a reporter with the CBS affiliate.

The state has also allowed restaurants and other businesses to re-open. The question ... will this happen there?

Pretty much every state has partially re-opened, and hopefully, it's the beginning of a return to life. Problem is ... this is exactly how the disease spreads -- close contact without protection.  One person can infect dozens, and each of those dozens can infect dozens more ... and so on and so on.

Old news is old news!
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