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Updated: 01/07/04

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by Alexandre Dumas

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Wednesday, 7 January, 2004

I remember when buying Girl Scout cookies was just one of those things you did every year. Someone's kid was selling them and you bought a box or two. No big deal.

But those low-key days are over, my friends:

Girl Scouts prepare hard sell for cookie season

MINNEAPOLIS - Cookie season is only a few weeks away and some Girl Scouts are being trained not to take no for an answer this year. To prepare for the two-month season, which begins Jan. 17, a few dozen scouts gathered Sunday at a church in Plymouth for the second annual cookie-sale workshop.

It was a full day of marketing and sales advice for the young salespeople. The scouts, mostly teenagers, learned about "the surly customer," the one who just won't say yes, and the best response to the customers who say they've already bought.

Cookie sellers were coached to appeal to people's patriotism: You don't have to eat the cookies, you can donate them to troops overseas.

[Wow - cookie sales boot camp.]

We haven't had a good "I'm Stupid - Somebody Should Pay Me Money" story in while. So here ya go:

Chef sues hotel over cut finger

BBC NEWS: A chef who cut his finger is suing a hotel for 25,000 compensation by claiming no-one warned him about the danger posed by an avocado.

Michael McCarthy, 21, sliced into his hand when the unripened avocado he was trying to cut slipped and he lost control of his kitchen knife. He claims he had been shown how to cut the fruit, but had not been told the avocado might not be ripe.

The court action states that the restaurant was busy and he had already cut 12 avocados without problem before tackling the unlucky 13th.

Mr McCarthy sliced into his little finger and briefly fainted before being bandaged and required to finish his shift including cleaning the kitchen. He was later taken to hospital.

Now he claims the hotel was responsible for the injury because he had not been trained fully or warned that the accident could happen. He also claims the knife he was given was not suitable for the task.

He was off work for over two months and needed surgery, he said, and also briefly had to give up his hobbies of skiing, cooking, motorcycling and mechanics.

The chef, who lost less than 1,000 in wages, claims he cannot pursue his hoped-for career as a chef in the RAF.

I am especially fond of the allegation that he hadn't been warned that the accident could happen. I guess that his job of slicing open avocados with a sharp instrument wasn't a big enough clue.


And in a related topic, at least the Pennsylvania Supreme Court isn't buying into the "Free Money For Idiots" theme:

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ruled against one Charles R. Grady, who claims that Doritos are of such a shape and rigidity that they damaged his throat. Grady had been trying to introduce as evidence a study done by a former Pitt chemistry professor that purportedly calculated the exact chewing force-to-saliva ratio necessary for safely swallowing the chips.

This one can be grouped into the "I am too stupid to feed myself" catagory, along with those bozos that are suing Mickey D's because they ate their way into obesity.

On a lighter note, here's a story about a terrific practical joke:

A lone book titled "Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends" was untouched. But nearly everything else in Chris Kirk's downtown Olympia apartment was encased in aluminum foil when he returned home Monday night from a trip to Los Angeles.

The walls, ceiling, cabinets and everything in between now shimmer with a metallic glow, thanks to a prank by Kirk's longtime friend, Olympia native Luke Trerice.

Foiled again

Trerice, a 26-year-old known among his friends for his off-the-wall schemes, stayed in the apartment while Kirk was away.

"He's known for large-scale strangeness," said Kirk, who is 33. "He warned me that he would be able to touch my stuff, but it didn't sound so bad."

Trerice, who lives in Las Vegas, and a small group of friends draped the apartment with about 4,000 square feet of aluminum foil, which cost about $100.

No detail was too small or too time-consuming.

Trerice and his friends unrolled the toilet paper in the bathroom, enveloped the bath tissue in aluminum foil and rolled it back up again. They covered Kirk's book and compact disc collections but made sure each CD case could open and shut normally.

They even used foil to encircle Kirk's spare change -- each individual quarter he had left atop a living room bookshelf.

Aside from "Cruel Tricks for Dear Friends" -- which was a part of Kirk's collection before he left on vacation -- a portrait of Kirk's girlfriend in the kitchen, the bed and a bath mat were among the only items left undisturbed.


And the answer to yesterday's Woody Allen Trivia Question is:

"The Front," starring Woody and Zero Mostel. Credit to George for coming up with the title at lunch . . . and for whining about not getting credit in yesterday's blog.

Quote du jour:

"What's the difference between a 3-week-old puppy and a reinsurer? In 6 weeks, the puppy will stop whining."

-- Mike Ditka (1939 - ____) US football player, coach
[OK, so I paraphrased a bit.]

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