Watercooler Stories

Nov. 14, 2008 at 6:30 AM
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Store gave kids book with sex drawings

HAVERHILL, England, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the Sainsbury's grocery chain has apologized after children visiting a Haverhill, England, store were given sexually explicit books.

The spokesman said the book, entitled "How to Change the World for a Fiver," was mistakenly given to fourth graders visiting the store from Burton End primary school, The Daily Mail reported.

The book included the suggestion that readers save water by "bathing with a friend" and contained 12 sexually explicit illustrations.

"This was a well-intentioned mistake," the spokesman said. "It is a very nice book about how to make the world a better place but it is not targeted at children. The books were given to store staff by head office because they mentioned the company's positive environmental activities.

"A few spare copies were left over in the store which were given as presents to the visiting children," he said. "The cover looks like a kid's book. This was a mix-up and we would like to apologize for any distress caused. It certainly won't happen again."

Parents: Hair double standard at school

WINCHESTER, England, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A Winchester, England, couple said their daughter was suspended from school for dying her hair months after her sister did the same thing without consequences.

Stuart and Dawn Gander said their daughter, Kirby Moore, 13, was suspended from the Kings' School after she changed her hair color from light to dark brown, The Daily Mail reported.

The couple said their 15-year-old daughter had changed her hair color months earlier to a lighter shade of brown than her natural hue and no teachers had complained.

"Our uniform code is clear. Hair must be in an appropriate style and must not reflect any extreme of fashion," King's School Headmistress Sue Lawrence said in a statement.

However, Dawn Gander said her daughter's "hair looks perfectly respectable."

The couple said they are keeping both daughters at home after school officials told them Kirby would have to remain in isolation from her classmates until her hair is back to its natural color.

"We agree pupils must abide by the school's rules," Stuart Gander said. "But we cannot accept one rule for one daughter and another rule for the other."

Garbage truck noise targeted in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The sound of garbage trucks filling up with refuse in the middle of the night has become an unacceptable presence in Nashville, some residents say.

Nashville residents such as John Anderson say garbage workers have not been respecting city noise ordinances covering residential garbage pickups and routinely do little to muffle their presence in area neighborhoods, The (Nashville) Tennessean said.

"You hear bang, bang. The lid smashes against the side of the dumpster, and the trucks all have bad brakes," Anderson said.

City ordinances prohibit garbage pickups before 7 a.m. each day, except on commercial properties.

Metro Councilman Jim Gotto said such open policies regarding commercial pickups should be altered to prevent nearby residents from being disturbed.

"There's absolutely no reason for a trash hauler not to know that they're operating near a residential area," Gotto, who is preparing related legislation to introduce to the city council, told the Tennessean.

Bicyclist avoids jail for nude ride

PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A 21-year-old man will not spend any time in jail as a result of his decision to bicycle naked through part of Portland, Ore., a judge has ruled.

Multnomah County Judge Jerome LaBarre ruled Wednesday that since Portland has an established culture involving nude bicycling, Michael "Bobby" Hammond should be cleared of all criminal indecent exposure charges against him in nude bike ride, The (Portland) Oregonian said.

Among the nude bicycling traditions in the Oregon city is the annual World Naked Bike Ride that took place June 14 and involved an estimated 1,200 nude bicyclists.

Hammond had faced a public nudity charge for stripping down to his birthday suit and taking a short journey through the city's Alberta Arts District June 26. He said the ride was simply an act of free speech aimed at showing that only his body was powering his chosen mode of transportation.

A video of Hammond's nude romp through the Portland district even found its way onto the Internet thanks to a bystander with a camera, the Oregonian said.

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