Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Issue: "Ronald Reagan: In memoriam," June 19, 2004

Hamming it up

What do you get when you pile 312 lbs. of sliced ham onto a bed? In midtown Manhattan, it's called a work of art. A street-level gallery at the Roger Smith Hotel this month displayed the work, by artist Cosimo Cavallaro.
Previous works by the Montreal native include a New York hotel room painted with melted mozzarella and a vacant Wyoming home sprayed with five tons of pepper jack cheese. Might Mr. Cavallaro's latest creation attract cockroaches? "They are welcome," he said. "Imagine what this looks like from the point of view of an insect."

Cash back

Where security didn't work, shame may have. A thief apparently broke into a London bank twice: once to steal about $207,000 and a second time, a week later, to return about $187,000 of the loot.
The original break-in at Barclays in east London occurred the night of May 21. But on May 28, employees at the same branch found a large garbage bag with the returned money inside. "We know we offer cash-back facilities," said a Barclays employee, "but we didn't expect ­anything like this."

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Critics say students and staff at Avonworth Senior High in Pittsburgh, Pa., showed impaired judgment in choosing party favors for this year's prom. Boys at the dance received shot glasses and girls received champagne flutes-even after local police had staged a mock car crash days before to illustrate to students the dangers of underage drinking. Principal Margaret Boden said she had not known about party favors, but said she would have taken "just as much flak" if she had forbidden the inexpensive choice.

Parking power trip

British parking attendants are so zealously enforcing a zero-tolerance policy that it's sparking a public backlash. The New York Times reports that Nadhim Zahawi was ticketed for illegally parking his motor scooter after it was strewn across the street after a traffic accident. As one of London's parking attendants wrote the $180 ticket, Mr. Zahawi sat in a nearby ambulance receiving treatment for a broken leg.
Another man stopped to ask directions from one attendant-and was promptly ticketed by another. And one former traffic warden, Samson Adeyemo, says he was fired because he only gave out 12 parking tickets a day. The Times reports that parking officials now outrank telemarketers in surveys of the British public's most reviled workers.

Tasty tobacco

What's more addictive than cigarettes? Some people would say chocolate, and that may be why British American Tobacco is considering chocolate-flavored smokes. The Agence Presse France news service reports that the company has been testing cigarettes with chocolate, wine, sherry, cherry juice, and vanilla flavors, in what anti-smoking activists call an attempt to lure children into smoking. A company spokesman denied the charge.

True colors

Bald is officially a color in Montana. When applying for driver's licenses, bald men no longer have to report what color their hair once was and can now simply claim baldness as a hair color. Montana residents may also choose bald as an option when applying for fishing licenses online. "It's a newer option, along with other hair colors, such as sandy," said Patrick McJannet, an official with the state's Motor Vehicle Division.

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