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THE SKINNY

SO BAD IT'S GOOD

It was a bright and CALM day, eTC, etC, etC

To become an award winning writer, an opening like this is the ticket: "Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil." Molly Ringle of Seattle penned that little gem and walked away with the top prize at San Jose State University's annual bad writing contest on Tuesday. Judges said the unseemly sentence that compares a kiss between two lovers to the union of a thirsty gerbil and a giant water bottle was without any doubt the worst entry submitted for the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, named for 19th century writer Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton. Entrants are asked to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels. Bulwer-Lytton opened his 1830 novel, Paul Clifford, with this line: "It was a dark and stormy night."

a rare find

Good things are just around corner

It's the talk of Myanmar, a rare white elephant, above, found in the jungle. In mostly Buddhist Myanmar, such animals are considered good omens. State media reported Tuesday that forestry officials captured the elephant - about 38 years old and 7 feet 4 inches tall - on Saturday in the country's northwest after getting a tip. White elephants, actually albinos, can look similar to other elephants except for certain features like fair eyelashes and toenails, light-colored hair or a reddish hue to the skin, like the elephant found Saturday. The elephant will be the fourth white one to be held in captivity in Myanmar.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

Guess who is running red lights

Police in Cedar Rapids, Iowa like to speed, even when the cameras are running. Traffic cameras have snapped 26 local patrol cars speeding and running red lights. But police Chief Greg Graham says it's not as it appears. Six officers have been issued letters of discipline because they didn't have their patrol car's lights and sirens operating when they were speeding to a call, he says. But five incidents were not violations and the remaining 15 instances are under review, according to the chief. And the speedy cops have company. Police are investigating infractions by county deputies, city buses and a garbage truck.

back to jail

Next time, call for pizza instead

She should have skipped the ice cream. Because Darlene Marie Green, 79, didn't, she's in jail. Green is accused in the June 18 shooting death of her husband, William "Bill" Green, 81, the Sun in Bremerton, Wash., reported. After being formally charged on June 22, she was released from jail and ordered to be confined at her home under monitoring by an electronic ankle bracelet. She was told to go straight home and stay there. Well, she and her son, who was driving, stopped for ice cream and a few other items. The judge saw that as a violation and sent her back to jail on Friday.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources.

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