Bright Ideas 

London's Gymbox in Bank athletic club, recognizing that lifting weights can be a boring way to exercise, introduced "human barbells" recently, hiring five men of various sizes (including two dwarfs) that customers could use for weights instead of the iron. One advantage of the humans is that, on request, they shout encouragement to the customer with each lift. The largest of the five is a 37-year-old, 340-pound man.

Walter Tessier was charged with one of the pettiest of petit larceny counts in January as sheriff's deputies in Amsterdam, N.Y., said he tried to defraud a Price Chopper store. Tessier had purchased a $10.99 lobster but returned it, claiming that it had turned "bad," and the store allowed him some crab meat in exchange, but employees discovered that the "lobster" was only its empty, carefully reconstructed shell that made it appear whole. Tessier then ran from the store but was arrested later at his home, where he had just finished the crab meat.

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