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War of the Cabbage Patch Worlds

MILWAUKEE -- Two disc jockeys who told listeners that a B-29 bomber planned to drop hundreds of hard-to-get Cabbage Patch dolls over County Stadium said Thursday they thought the story was so 'outrageous' no one would believe it.

They were wrong. The 'tongue-in-cheek' broadcast led two dozen frustrated shoppers to brave freezing winds and wait for the dolls to fall from the sky.

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Disc jockeys Bob Reitman and Gene Mueller told listeners that 1,500 to 2,000 of the homely, squishy dolls would be dropped over the stadium, home of the Brewers baseball team.

They said would-be doll owners should bring catcher's mitts and their American Express cards. When the dolls came tumbling down, they said, shoppers were to hold the credit cards up in the air so an aerial photo could be taken of the card number for later billing.

The two announcers said Thursday they thought everyone would know they were just kidding. 'We thought we had made it outrageous enough so that people would laugh,' Mueller said.

But two dozen people showed up at the stadium Tuesday, waiting for the drop while gusty winds brought the windchill down to 7 below zero.

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'When I heard it on the radio I thought 'far out.' I thought some rich guy wanted to give them away,' said one man who wanted a doll for a Christmas gift for his 2-year-old daughter.

'It's not far-fetched. It could be possible that somebody could do it for a publicity,' the man said.

In another joke -- which apparently got no takers, Mueller and Reitman embellished Wednesday's story with an even more far-fetched angle.

They said a rented barge containing the dolls was anchored eight miles out in Lake Michigan with Popeye aboard. Shoppers were instructed to swim out to the barge with a cans of spinach to exchange for the dolls.

To keep the dolls from getting wet on the return trip, people were told to bring along plastic bags.

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