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The skinny

The skinny: Woman puts up $7,200 to aid customers in California store

shop talk

women don't look this gift horse in mouth

A woman with a foul mouth, fat wallet and dislike for men bought $7,200 worth of clothing for more than 50 women at a Southern California discount store. Claudia Smith, above, showed up at the Everything a Deal store in Oceanside on Tuesday night and bought $2,200 worth of clothing for the few customers in the store. Smith, 66, lived in San Felipe, Mexico, for several years and wanted to buy things for poor Mexican women, she told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Word of her largesse spread through the neighborhood where she lives and where the store is located. On Wednesday morning, hundreds of women showed up at the store, many waiting all day until Smith arrived again at 4 p.m. After her $5,000 check cleared, the store allowed 50 women to spend $100 each. Some customers blushed at the profanity Smith used to criticize men and dispense nonsensical advice, but many hugged her as they left the store.

baggage claim

Security, there's a man in my luggage

A man was arrested in Spain after curling up inside a large suitcase that was placed in an airport bus cargo bay and sneaking out to steal from other people's luggage, police said Thursday. The man arrested last week was 5 feet 10 and very thin. An accomplice, also arrested, would place the contortionist inside the cargo bay of a bus running from the airport in the city of Girona south to Barcelona then board the bus. During the 60-mile ride, the thief would slip out of the suitcase and use a sharp object to pick locks or open zippers to get into the luggage, placing the stolen objects in a smaller bag he brought with him. The thief would then get back into the larger suitcase and the accomplice would retrieve both pieces in Barcelona.

first twice

Courthouse can't open without her

An Ohio woman called to jury duty on the first day at a new Franklin County Common Pleas Courthouse this week also was on the first jury at the old court building when it opened in 1973. Jury commissioner Gretchen Roberts in Columbus says Mary Evans, 64, of suburban Grove City beat odds that are "pretty astronomical." Registered voters are randomly picked by computer for service on given dates.

sick fascination

Flower opens to rancid reviews

After nearly three years, the bloom of a rare flower at a Washington university finally came up, but it didn't smell like roses. The University of Washington biology department says its so-called corpse flower opened after midnight and unleashed its stink of rotting meat on the hundreds waiting. The Indonesian flower attracts pollinating insects by smelling like carrion when it blooms. The department says on its Facebook page that about 550 people visited its botany greenhouse Wednesday night in waves of nausea.

Compiled from Times wires

The skinny: Woman puts up $7,200 to aid customers in California store 06/09/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:13pm]
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