Watercooler Stories

Sept. 7, 2010 at 6:30 AM
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Man lived in shed to avoid creditors

WEYMOUTH, England, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A British man who lived in his garden shed for a year to avoid debt collectors said he is now back living in his home.

Steve Morris, 60, of Weymouth, England, said he took out a $15,300 loan for some equipment and his debts continued to mount as he became unable to repay the bank loan, The Sun reported Monday.

Morris said he lived in the shed with only his microwave and television for an entire year while debt collectors posted an eviction notice on his house and changed the locks.

He said his hiding spot was discovered when worried neighbors called police to report he hadn't been seen.

Morris said he has since been working with group Citizen's Advice to freeze his debts and draw up a payment plan. He said he is now back living inside the house.

Pair fined $175 for exiting train early

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- A British couple said they were outraged to be fined $175 for getting off their train two stops early.

Emma Clark and fiance Davyd Winter-Bates said they each purchased discounted $9 tickets to travel back to Southampton, England, from a London vacation but they decided to get off early in Eastleigh, England, to meet some friends for lunch, The Sun reported Monday.

The pair said they gave their tickets to an agent at the Eastleigh stop and were told they had violated the rules by getting off before their destination.

They were fined a total $175, amounting to twice the amount of two normal tickets.

"It is utter madness. I could understand being fined if I had stayed on the train two stops beyond my destination," Clark said.

A spokesman for Stagecoach, which operates the trains, said the fine is standard procedure for getting off at the wrong stop with specially discounted tickets.

Police: Suspicious powder grandma's ashes

WORLAND, Wyo., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Wyoming police said suspicious items in a vehicle included marijuana, drug paraphernalia, prescription drugs, syringes with residue and a grandmother's ashes.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol said Thomas Garay, 30, and Zachary Beason, both from Worland, Wyo., were arrested during the 7 a.m. Wednesday traffic stop on Wyoming 28 for misdemeanor possession of a Schedule II prescription drug, painkiller OxyContin, The Denver Post reported Monday.

Troopers also discovered marijuana, the syringes and items described as drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.

The State Patrol said troopers also found a zip-top bag filled with powder initially thought to be "poor quality cocaine or methamphetamine."

"After scrutinizing the powdery substance, questioning the two vehicle occupants and checking with the vehicle owner, it turned out that the small Baggie contained the cremated ashes of the vehicle owner's grandmother," a report said.

The owner was not in the car at the time of the traffic stop. The ashes were not confiscated.

Postal Service apologizes for 'poopy' cake

CAPE CORAL, Fla., Sept. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Postal Service apologized for a Florida Post Office manager who baked a cake looking like poop for employees due to a poor mystery shopper score.

The cake, which did not contain poop but was made to resemble human feces, was made by the Cape Coral Post Office manager to represent the "poopy day" they had as a result of receiving a low score from a mystery shopper sent to score the performance of the office, WZVN-TV, Naples, Fla., reported.

"I thought it was appalling. I thought it was degrading to the employees and I just couldn't believe it," said Southwest Florida American Postal Workers Union President Sam Wood.

The U.S. Postal Service apologized for the incident in a statement.

"This unfortunate incident demonstrates poor judgment on the part of the responsible party, and does not represent the professionalism of postal managers in the local community and across the country. The Postal Service apologizes to employees who were offended," the statement read.

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