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Retailer moves to end 'wrap rage'

PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 24 (UPI) -- One major retailer is giving a holiday gift to U.S. consumers in the form of what it calls "frustration-free packaging."


Responding to consumer rage over clamshell packaging, online seller has announced it is offering 19 best-selling products that won't need tools to open, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Monday.

The move by Amazon is undoubtedly music to the ears of West Palm resident Gary Cowles who said he destroyed his daughters' Disney princess figurines while attempting to extract them from their packaging.

"There were four casualties in the first package and a few more in the other two," Cowles told the Post. "Some had been decapitated; some now had to have prosthetic limbs."

The cry of wrap-rage has become so common that Consumer Reports magazine hands out Oyster Awards each year for products with the most difficult-to-open packaging, says the Post.


Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos says his firm hopes to someday offer an entire catalog of products in frustration-free packaging.

Couple thinks creaky couch is haunted

BRISTOL, England, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Christine Strange and her husband, Nigel, say a couch in their home in the British city of Bristol makes mysterious noises because they believe it's haunted.

Strange, 52, said the creaking noise from the leather couch began randomly one recent weekend and the couple has been unable to determine what has been causing the strange noise, The Daily Telegraph said Monday.

"One Sunday morning I sat down on it with a cup of tea and suddenly heard this odd squeaky noise," she said.

"I thought I must be going mad but Poppy, my Yorkshire terrier, heard it too."

Strange said her 54-year-old husband has also been mystified by the unusual noise that they have compared to a clock being wound up, the Telegraph reported.

"It could be an alien for all we know," Strange told the newspaper of the possible cause of the racket from the couch.

"The noise is getting louder and louder. I'm scared it's going to come bursting out one evening while we're watching TV."


Man admits to grand larceny in gum theft

NEW YORK, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A New York man will serve four months in jail after pleading guilty to grand larceny charges related to the theft of 54 packs of bubble gum, a judge says.

Judge Robert Raciti of Queens Criminal Court handed down the sentence to William Rouse, 47, who was allegedly seen on a surveillance camera attempting to steal the bubble gum from an area Kmart last week, the New York Post said Monday.

Sources said before Rouse could leave the scene of the crime with his chewable booty, a security guard stopped him and allegedly found the bubble gum in a bag Rouse was carrying.

The Post said the four-month jail sentence was given to Rouse for the estimated $172 theft due to a prior alleged bubble gum theft.

Court documents indicate that on July 31 a Wholesale Club manager caught Rouse allegedly attempting to steal 25 packs of gum from the store. It wasn't reported whether Rouse was convicted in that case.

U.K. jockey gets maiden win after 28 years

SOMERSET, England, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A British jockey who seems more at home with cows than horses announced his retirement shortly after winning his first race -- in 28 years of trying.


Anthony Knott, a dairy farmer and amateur jockey, won a weekend race at Wincanton Racecourse in Somerset by nearly two lengths despite a late charge by the place horse as Knott was busy waving to the roaring crowd.

"I thought, 'Oh God, it's not finished yet' and I could hear another horse coming up behind me so I sat back down and got on with it," Knott told The Daily Telegraph after his triumph.

The Telegraph said Knott, a 44-year-old full-time dairy farmer, has been racing since 1980 and was a fixture in last place in most of his contests.

"I just wanted to win one race and I've done it now so I think I'll leave it at that," Knott said.

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