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Hard Labor: "Millions of Americans welcomed Labor Day. It's the one day they can escape the grueling drudgery of surfing the Internet at work."

Around the World: Twenty-six million copies of "Titanic" have been manufactured. "To put that in perspective, that's enough VHS tape to circle the planet 260 times of James Cameron's head twice."

Saving the Show!: The rating for this year's Miss America pageant dropped 25%. "To increase ratings next year, pageant officials are considering dropping the talent portion of the show."

Express Yourself: Madonna has put her daughter, Lourdes, on the waiting list for the exclusive Cheltenham Ladies College Boarding School in England. "First, the phony British accent. Now this? What next? Divorcing a member of the royal family?"

Well, Duh!: A damaged painting by Leonardo da Vinci has been restored. "Upon hearing this, a teenage girl said, 'Like, I totally didn't know Leonardo DiCaprio's brother was a painter. That family is sooo talented.' "

A Special Treat: A Virginia ice cream man was arrested on charges of selling marijuana to kids from his truck. "Actually, it was a great marketing decision. After the kids smoked the pot, they came back and bought 47 Eskimo Pies."

The Music Man: Barry Manilow plans to do an album of Frank Sinatra songs. "Sinatra responded from the grave that 'if the little punk does that, I'll have him whacked."

Smart Crookie: Police in Oakland, California spent two hours attempting to subdue a gunman who had barricaded himself inside his home. After firing ten tear gas canisters, officers discovered that the man was standing beside them, shouting out to give himself up.

Stupid Crook:An Illinois man, pretending to have a gun, kidnapped a motorist and forced him to drive to two different automated teller machines. The kidnapper then proceeded to withdraw money from his own bank account.

Working Man:A man walked into a Topeka, Kansas Kwik Shop and asked for all the money in the cash drawer. Apparently, the take was too small so he tied up the store clerk and worked the counter himself for three hours until police showed up and grabbed him.

Wrong Turn:Surprised while burgling a house in Antwerp, Belgium, a thief fled out the back door, clambered over a nine foot wall, dropped down and found himself in the city prison.

Heads Up:Two West German motorists had an all too literal head on collision in heavy fog near the small town of Guetersloh. Each was guiding his car at a snail's pace near the center of the road. At the moment of impact their heads were both out of the windows when they smacked together. Both men were hospitalized with severe head injuries. Their cars weren't scratched.

Add fries:In a classic case of one thing leading to another, seven men aged eighteen to twenty nine received jail sentences of three to four years in Kingston on Thames, England, in 1979 after a fight that started when one of the men threw a french fry at another while they stood waiting for a train.



ANN ARBOR: The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 8:50 AM, flashed a gun and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away.



KENTUCKY: Two men tried to pull the front off a cash machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck. Instead of pulling the front panel off the machine, though, they pulled the bumper off their truck. Scared, they left the scene and drove home. With the chain still attached to the machine. With their bumper still attached to the chain. With their vehicle's license plate still attached to the bumper.



IDIOTS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road. The reason ..... Many deer were being hit by cars and he no longer wanted them to cross there.



IDIOTS ARE EASY TO PLEASE: I was sitting in my science class when the teacher commented that the next day would be the shortest day of the year. My lab partner became visibly excited, cheering and clapping. I explained to her that the amount of daylight changes, not the actual amount of time. Needless to say, she was very disappointed.



LOUISIANA: A man walked into a Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer? Fifteen dollars. If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, was a crime committed?



ARKANSAS: Seems this guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. Seems the liquor store window was made of Plexi-Glass. The whole event was caught on videotape.



NEW YORK: As a female shopper exitted a convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police had apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied "Yes, Officer ..... that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from ."



SEATTLE: When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find an ill man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges, saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.

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8/13/99