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Watercooler Stories

Man wants $20k for license plate

LEUCADIA, Calif., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A former resident of Del Mar, Calif., said he is hoping to sell the rights to his personalized license plate, which reads "DEL MAR."

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John Chambers, who has had the license plate for 22 years, said he decided to sell the plate after moving to Leucadia and he is now hoping it will fetch about $20,000, KSWB-TV, San Diego, reported Monday.

"I lived in Del Mar, went to school there my entire life," Chambers said. "I was a Del Martian. I remember walking home and seeing Jimmy Durante sitting in front of the drug store and going up to Zell's Liquor and getting a piece of a bubble gum."

Chambers said his scheme was inspired by a news story about a Connecticut man who sold his license plate, which read "4," for $1.6 million.

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Officials with the Department of Motor Vehicles said it is legal to sell the rights to the license plate.


High wire artist loses footing at 330 feet

SHAOYANG, China, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A Chinese high-wire walker completed a 50-foot stroll between two hot air balloons at 100 feet, but lost his balance trying to repeat the stroll at 330 feet.

Saimaiti Aishan, a seventh-generation high wire artist, completed the walk between the balloons at an altitude of 100 feet Sunday in Shaoyang, China, but he misstepped while trying to duplicate his success at an altitude of about 330 feet, China Daily reported Monday.

Saimaiti, who was working without a safety net, managed to grab onto the steel wire and held on until he was returned to safety, Sky News reported.


Woman mistakenly reported murdered

KENNEWICK, Wash., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A Washington state woman who was incorrectly reported to be a murder victim said she is "not ready to be buried."

Cheri Taylor (formerly Cheri Schumann) said she was shocked to find an article in the Kennewick, Wash., Tri-City Herald about the Kennewick High School Class of 1971 reunion incorrectly placed her among seven classmates who had been slain, the newspaper reported Monday.

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"My sister was very upset," said Taylor, of Mill Creek. "It was very unsettling. I've felt creepy all day."

"I'm happy and healthy and kicking. I'm not ready to be buried," Taylor said.

Debra Blum, co-chairwoman of the class reunion, said the mistaken information came from an e-mail believed to have been sent by a classmate. She said she has since learned another classmate reported murdered in the article, Leo Marcel, actually died in 2004 after a lengthy illness.


Bandage found in ice cream

ALBANY, N.Y., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- A New York Education Department employee said she discovered an adhesive bandage in a dish of ice cream she purchased from an Albany store.

Melanie Dallas, 37, of Watervliet said she bought the dish of Perry's Panda Paws, a vanilla ice cream with peanut butter cups and fudge swirls, at the ice cream stand at Emil's News in Albany July 7, the Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union reported Monday.

Dallas said she bit into the bandage while eating the ice cream at work.

"I felt sick and was so grossed out I started to vomit," Dallas said. "I started screaming to my co-worker, 'Look what was in my ice cream! It was in my mouth!'"

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Dallas said she took the bandage back to Emil's News, where an employee gave her a certificate for a free ice cream and a $1 coupon.

"I have no idea how it got there," said the owner of Emil's News, who asked to only be identified as Ron.

Ron said a health inspector did not find any violations at his business and the shop has since stopped selling the ice cream.

A Perry's representative sent Dallas an e-mail apologizing for the incident. The e-mail said Perry's employees are trained to only use blue bandages that would set off metal detectors before the ice cream is shipped.

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