Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Rethinking the death penalty," Oct. 19, 2013

Caught snapping

To the eternal question: Is there a monster under my bed? For Guy Whittall, the answer was yes. Whittall, a 40-year-old Zimbabwean living at a nature lodge in the African country, woke up one morning in September with an 8-foot Nile crocodile lounging under his bed. Whittall, a former cricket standout, said he even dangled his feet over the edge for a while before getting on with his day. The crocodile was discovered lying on the cool ceramic tile floor later that day by housekeepers who had entered the room to clean.

Pointless job

Bad news for hipsters pining for a well-sharpened No. 2. David Rees, the New York man with an artisanal pencil sharpening business, says his pencil shaving days may soon be over. Rees began his mail-order business two years ago, promising to knife-sharpen any yellow, No. 2 pencil for $35 (“Leaving a mark,” May 19, 2012). Now, after more than 1,800 sharpenings, Rees says his pencil sharpening gig may be lucrative, but it is boring too. He told New York TV station WNYW on Sept. 19 that he intends to close down after reaching 2,000 pencils: “You do anything long enough for money, it just starts to become a job.”

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