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The skinny

By Times Wires
Published August 22, 2007


WE'RE NO. 1!

FOR CLEANLINESS, JUNGLE JIM TAKES THE THRONE

If you're looking for a really nice place to go, try Jungle Jim's International Market in Fairfield, Ohio. The grocery store was just voted No. 1 in the country for its superclean restrooms. The doors make it look like the facilities are his and hers Port-O-Lets, but the doors open into nice, clean rooms with flowers and marble and are all the rave on the Internet. "I'm all about putting smiles on people's faces," said owner Jim Bonaminio. "Those bathrooms just seem to make people laugh." Jungle Jim's would have seemed to have had an uphill battle to the title, as one of the other finalists was the necessary room at a restaurant in Flushing, Mich.

NONMOVING VIOLATION

Time is short to pick up his Maserati

When the parking tickets were piling up on the car of Bertrand Des Pallieres, authorities in London were left with no choice but to tow it. It was kind of weird, though, because they rarely tow $160,000 limited edition Maseratis. Then they had to decide what to do with it when he didn't come pick it up. Sometimes they destroy unclaimed cars, but they decided to auction this one and were researching its value when Des Pallieres told them to hold on, he would come get it. He said he was traveling, trying to set up a hedge fund, and didn't have time for such domestic nuisances as parking tickets. He owes about $10,000. If he pays, he gets his ride back. He didn't think to claim it until the Evening Standard newspaper contacted him for a story about the Maserati that had been unclaimed in impound for three months.

ONE ARMED BANDIT

This arm might just break yours

It seemed like a great idea. A Japanese arcade machine that gave you the opportunity to test your strength by arm wrestling a mechanical appendage, above. But there was a problem. The game, Arm Spirit, broke the arms of three mere human opponents. "We think that maybe some players get overexcited and twist their arms in an unnatural way," said company spokeswoman Ayano Sakiyama, dismissing the possibility that wrestling a disembodied bionic arm may somehow be ill advised. So now that there is a trail of shattered bone, the company is removing the 150 machines to see if there is a malfunction.

UPDATE

Forensic firing

Ann Chamberlain, a forensics scientist in Michigan, has been fired from her job with the state after she ran tests on her husband's underwear to determine if they, well, contained any forensic evidence that would help her in her divorce case. They did, she says. She did the tests on her own time with expired chemicals, she says, but the state found that she broke policy anyway.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.