Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Issue: "Faith-based about-face," Aug. 27, 2005

Going postal

It's not quite "man bites dog," but Louisiana police weren't amused with Mark D. Plumb's antics. The Butler, Mo., man was arrested in Houma, La., and charged with battery when he ran barking out of a house and bit a mailman on the shoulder.


Champion eater Takeru Kobayashi isn't just a hot dog man anymore. The record-breaking eater managed 83 steamed dumplings in eight minutes on Aug. 13 during a Hong Kong contest. The 27-year-old Japanese man picked up the dumplings with chopsticks and swallowed them whole. Meanwhile, his competition, mindful of Mr. Kobayashi's prowess, made pained faces as they struggled to keep up. But there was no stopping the man who once downed 53 hot dogs in 12 minutes. He said he could have eaten more dumplings, but that he needed to "reserve room" for the next day's final contest.

Death by Halo

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Parents of Halo 2--obsessed teens may have a new bit of ammunition: One South Korean found a way to overdose on video games. The 28-year-old Taegu man died of heart failure just moments after finishing up a 50-hour binge of computer gaming in an Internet café. The man sat down to begin gaming Aug. 3 and only got up briefly for short naps and toilet breaks over the three-day period. Friends and associates say the man had quit his job to spend more time playing video games.

Game plan

Perhaps PETA figures what's good for the goose is good for the gander. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called on the University of South Carolina to abandon their Gamecocks mascot a week after the NCAA put restrictions on Indian mascots. In a letter to the NCAA, PETA made an odd analogy, calling cock fighting "a hideous 'blood sport' that, like spousal abuse, bank robbery, and driving while intoxicated, is illegal in South Carolina." USC said it would remain the Gamecocks.

Honest Abe

A Lafayette, Ind., man didn't last long as a counterfeiter. Police charged 22-year-old Earl H. Devine with four counts of theft and forgery after he was caught passing bogus $100 bills at a bar. Mr. Devine's funny money wasn't hard to spot: He used Abraham Lincoln's face in the watermark.

Slave wages

Chip Davis and Chris Pullen's time is worth less than they thought. The St. Joseph, Mo., teenagers thought they'd dreamed up a big moneymaker when they decided to sell their labor on eBay. Mr. Pullen and Mr. Davis, fellow Central High School graduates, planned to use the ploy to raise money before embarking for college at the University of Missouri this month. "Buy us for one week to do those tedious tasks you hate!" ran their auction site headline. The two teens started with a $1 minimum bid and low expectations: "I didn't care who won," Mr. Davis said, "as long as we didn't have to clean someone's sewers or something." Auction bidders weren't as enthusiastic: The winning bidder bought a week's worth of labor from the two for just $246.50.


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