Watercooler Stories

New rep. wants to draw a veil on hat rule

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Federica Wilson, Florida's new congresswoman, may not wear all her hats at once as the "Caps for Sale" peddler, but may have trouble donning one in the House.


Wilson, a Florida state legislator known for her collection of fancy hats, says she's trying to ask Speaker-apparent John Boehner to waive a House rule that bars members from wearing hats while the chamber is in session, The Miami Herald reported.

"It's sexist," Wilson said of the rule. "It dates back to when men wore hats and we know that men don't wear hats indoors, but women wear hats indoors. Hats are what I wear."

She said people "get excited" when they see her hats.

"Once you get accustomed to it, it's just me," Wilson said. "Some people wear wigs, or high heel shoes or big earrings or pins. This is just me."

She managed to show off at least one of her hats in Washington, when she arrived for orientation wearing a sequined black cowboy hat.

Man who drank after crash cleared

JACKSON, Mo., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- A Missouri man acquitted of drunken driving charges told the jury he began drinking after a crash to keep warm.


Thomas Drummond, of Jackson, Mo., who was accused of driving while intoxicated after crashing his car into a culvert Feb. 6, was cleared by a jury Nov. 24 at the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse, the Southeast Missourian, Cape Girardeau, Mo., reported.

Drummond told the jury he was not intoxicated at the time of the crash -- but was by the time emergency responders arrived, because he had been drinking brandy during the 2 hours between becoming stuck in the culvert and their arrival.

"It was the day before the Super Bowl and he had just done some shopping," Stephen Wilson, Drummond's lawyer, said Monday. "It was 32 degrees or colder out and he had brandy in the car, so he kept warm."

Students learn history through 'Mad Men'

EVANSTON, Ill., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Northwestern University in suburban Chicago said 16 students are learning about history through the lens of the AMC series "Mad Men."

Michael Allen, the history professor teaching the freshman seminar, said the students enrolled in "Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, 1960-1963," are learning about topics including the beginnings of social reform movements by watching and analyzing the first season of the series about an advertising agency, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.


"It shows the way the 1950s and 1960s blend together and how they related to each other," Allen said of the series.

The professor said he will teach the seminar again next year "if the show maintains its high quality."

'Sore' Walmart greeter, 100, plans return

MILWAUKEE, Dec.1 (UPI) -- A 100-year-old Milwaukee Walmart greeter who was shoved by a customer during a dispute said she is bruised and sore but plans to return to work.

Police said Lois Speelman hit her head when a 37-year-old customer shoved her to the ground Sunday. She was examined and released from Wheaton Franciscan-St. Francis Hospital, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.

The woman who allegedly pushed Speelman was arrested and the district attorney's office is investigating possible charges, a police spokeswoman said.

Speelman said she plans to return to work Thursday.

"I'm just stiff and sore," she said. "I'll deal with that."

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