Watercooler Stories

Man shot while rehearsing play

SARASOTA , Fla., Jan. 21 (UPI) -- An 81-year-old Florida man who was accidentally shot in the head while rehearsing a play says he is not finished acting on stage.


Fred Kellerman said he was rehearsing "Of Mice and Men" Sunday with the Sarasota Senior Theater mere hours before the play was scheduled to open at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, The Bradenton (Fla.) Herald reported Wednesday.

Kellerman said his character, Lenny, takes a fatal gunshot to the head at the end of the play and no one had checked before the rehearsal to ensure the gun being used by his co-star, William Bordy, 78, was not loaded.

The .32-caliber revolver fired off a bullet that tore into Kellerman's skull, bounced off a bone and ripped off part of his ear.

"It took a chunk off my ear, but I was told it will grow together. I really feel no pain," Kellerman said. "I was really lucky."


He said the play went on as scheduled with another actor filling his spot.

"There were 100 people there waiting. They sure should have done the show," he said.

Kellerman said he is not through with acting and is currently rehearsing a musical that is scheduled to go up next month.

Police said the incident is still under investigation.

Officers allegedly forced iPod payment

NEW YORK, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A New York cabbie says he wants to return an iPod Nano he claims uniformed airport officers forced him to accept as a fare.

Mohammed Islam said he wants to return the iPod Nano to Natalie Lenhart of Sacramento under the supervision of a Taxi and Limousine Commission official, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

The driver said he called 911 after Lenhart swiped her payment card 20 times in the taxi cab at John F. Kennedy International Airport but was rejected each time.

Islam and Lenhart both said Port Authority officers responded and told Lenhart she "had to give the driver some compensation" if she did not have money for the fare and forced her to surrender her iPod Nano, which Lenhart said was worth about $90 more than the fare plus tip.


Islam said he wants to trade the music player for the amount of the original fare.

"What am I going to do with the iPod? There's no ear phones," he said.

The New York Port Authority said the incident is under investigation.

"As of now, we have no evidence of any wrongdoing" the Port Authority said in a written statement. "However, this is against our policy if it happened as reported, and we will investigate and take appropriate action if it's found that someone didn't follow proper procedures."

Overwhelmed mail carrier faces sentencing

DETROIT, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A former letter carrier told a Detroit judge she stashed mail in a storage facility rather than ask for help in completing her appointed rounds.

Jill Hull pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge in federal court after she put thousands of pieces of mail into storage rather than delivering them along her route in suburban Howell, the Detroit News said Wednesday.

"I was unable to deliver all of the mail," Hull told a federal magistrate on Tuesday. "Instead of asking for help ... I took it upon myself to place the mail in a storage facility."

Hull apparently couldn't keep up with her payment schedule, either. The cache of nearly 10,000 pieces of mail dating back to 2006 was found last fall when employees of the storage facility were preparing to auction off the contents.


The News said Hull had been facing a more-serious mail embezzlement charge, but would likely only get probation on the lesser count. Magistrate Judge R. Steven Whalen allowed Hull to remain free pending a presentencing report.

Stripper arrested 22 times, no convictions

ABERDEEN, Scotland, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Scottish officials have criticized a police department after a male stripper was arrested 22 times -- but never convicted -- for impersonating a police officer.

The Grampian Police have spent nearly $240,000 arresting Aberdeen University student Stuart Kennedy, 25, 22 times on allegations of impersonating an officer and holding him in custody for a total 123 hours, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday. Kennedy has never been successfully prosecuted, the newspaper said.

Richard Baker, Justice spokesman for the Labor party, was among the officials criticizing the department for what some see as a waste of money and resources.

"I don't see this as serving effectively as a deterrent and people regard this more as ludicrous than as a serious matter," Baker said.

Colin Menzies, assistant chief constable of Grampian Police, said the department has a "duty to investigate all instances when reports of alleged criminal behavior are received."

"I am, however, extremely disappointed that the force and our officers have come in for such criticism when I believe they have acted proportionately and with the greater interests of the community we serve at heart throughout," Menzies said.


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