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The skinny

The skinny: Slider fan is steamed booth can't hold buns

SPecial orders

Slider fan is steamed booth can't hold buns

Martin Kessman of Nanuet, N.Y., has been asking his White Castle burger joint to supersize its booths for more than two years. He said they aren't sufficient to accommodate a customer of his 290-pound stature. The renovations aren't proceeding at a pace that satisfies Kessman, 64, so he is suing, on the grounds that the booths violate the civil rights of fat people. Kessman told the New York Post that it got so bad that he had to send his wife to the store to pick up his food so he could eat it at home, which as boycotts go, may not be the most effective. "I did not want to set foot into the store," he said. "I have been like an outcast." Kessman says he fits fine in booths at other fast food joints, and perhaps more telling, in airplane seats.

Civic unrest

Woman delivers a message in trash

The Labor Day holiday last week wreaked a little havoc with the garbage pickup schedule just about everywhere, but for the purposes of this item, in Portsmouth, Ohio. Janice Shanks, for one, said just skipping her route put her in "a real pickle." So she did the reasonable thing and bagged up her garbage and took them to the city dump. Wait, no, not the city dump. That would have been reasonable. Instead, she took it to Mayor David Malone's office, as a protest. Malone said some routes were just skipped for the week, instead of being rescheduled, so the city could avoid paying overtime. Malone accepted the trash and said he would take it to the dump.

Stop smoking

Zoo asked to widen smoking ban

One way or another, Shirley had to kick the habit. It was hard, because people just kept giving her cigarettes, and they were so nice, and not accepting them would just be rude, right? Tough. Because after coming to the attention of an activist group, the Malaysian zoo in Johor was asked to make sure that the orangutan was not given access to smokes. "I would say she is not addicted . . . but she might have formed a habit after mimicking human beings who were smoking around her," Melaka Zoo director Ahmad Azhar Mohammed said. The activist group says Shirley appears agitated when she doesn't have a cigarette. Zoo officials say she's fine and have ordered medical tests. Visitors toss cigarettes into the habitat.

School daze

No more hemline problems in school

The rising hemlines of schoolgirls' skirts are no longer a problem at many schools in Britain. The problem was solved by eliminating the skirt option. School uniforms have been a part of education in Britain for centuries, but even standardization couldn't keep students from making personalizations, and that generally meant ignoring the just-above-the-knee rule. "We didn't want to waste any more time on it," David New, headmaster of Nailsea school, told the Los Angeles Times. "It just means that teachers can concentrate on what's important in education."

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at

The skinny: Slider fan is steamed booth can't hold buns 09/12/11 [Last modified: Monday, September 12, 2011 7:28pm]
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