Watercooler Stories

Aug. 27, 2009 at 6:30 AM
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Flea market kicks out casket seller

FORT MILL, S.C., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A South Carolina man who builds discount wooden caskets in his backyard says a flea market wouldn't let him sell his wares.

Merritt Eggleston of Rock Hill said many potential customers had expressed interest in his caskets Saturday at Trader Marc's flea market in Fort Mill, S.C., before market owner J.R. Pettus told him to leave, WCNC-TV, Charlotte, N.C., reported.

"This guy comes up to me and says, 'You're not supposed to be here,'" Eggleston said. "He says, 'I can't have you selling this here.'"

Eggleston, who said his caskets cost thousands of dollars less than the cheapest available at funeral homes, had rented two booths from an employee of the market, Pettus said.

But Pettus said when he saw the casket display he had the booths shut down.

"We studied a lot of flea markets before we opened this one, and we didn't see anyone selling caskets at any other flea market," he said.

Pettus said he gave Eggleston $100 -- twice what he paid for the two booths -- for his trouble.

9 1/2-foot-wide NY home on sale for $2.75M

NEW YORK, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The narrowest house in New York City, which measures only 9 1/2 feet across, has been put on sale -- with an asking price of $2.75 million.

The sale of the house at 75 1/2 Bedford St., last purchased in 2000 for about a $1 million less than the current price, is being handled by the Corcoran Group, the New York Post reported.

The real estate company said the 1,500-square-foot home in Greenwich Village once housed Pulitzer Prize winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and is rumored to have counted Hollywood legends Cary Grant and John Barrymore among its guests.

"This is a place for someone who wants a bit of history, charm, and, well, uniqueness," said Alex Nicholas, a broker for the Corcoran Group. "But when you have the narrowest house in all New York, you'll always be newsworthy."

Law student samples jail in ID snafu

CHICAGO, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A law student says he gained valuable insight into his chosen profession after spending a week in a Chicago jail in a case of mistaken identity.

Darrius Whitehorn was tossed in the Cook County Jail Aug. 17 after being identified as Kirk Davis, a robbery suspect from nearby Hammond, Ind., who was using Whitehorn's Social Security number and date of birth.

"It was valuable to see things from the way an inmate sees things," Whitehorn told the Gary (Ind.) Post-Tribune this week as he resumed classes at Loyola University.

Whitehorn, who had never been locked up before, cooled his heels for a week as police in Chicago and Hammond confirmed his true identity.

Whitehorn told the Post-Tribune his fellow inmates left him alone, but he said his court-appointed attorney didn't do much to speed up his release.

"I would not wish this on my worst enemy," Whitehorn said. "I felt I was guilty until proven innocent."

UConn sacking acrobatic cheerleaders

HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 27 (UPI) -- University of Connecticut fans will no longer see cheerleaders performing tumbles and stunts at sporting events, the school has announced.

The UConn cheerleaders are being replaced by a new "spirit squad" that won't be doing any acrobatics to get the fans fired up, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported.

"By changing the style, and not requiring gymnastics experience, we will be able to offer the opportunity to participate to a broader pool of students," the university said in a statement explaining the change.

The Courant says the change is particularly dispiriting for cheerleaders who came to UConn to perform gymnastic moves with a traditional squad.

"They are disrespecting cheerleaders in general by doing this," said Alanna Ferguson, who made the cheerleading squad last year as a freshman from Windham, N.H. "I know people really enjoy watching us when we do our pyramid and stunts, flipping people into air."

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