FLAT EARTH

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The Independent Online
Without wall

Anyone out there with a decent chunk of the Berlin Wall? The city's mayor would like to hear from you. Eberhard Diepgen thinks Berlin is missing a part of its heritage, and wants to recreate "the Wall experience". Regrettably, vandals and developers have left only small fragments standing, so the authorities must begin anew.

A "Wall memorial" in out-of-the-way Bernauer Strasse is already taking shape, much to the displeasure of local residents. They think it is "disgraceful" that the new Wall looks nothing like the old one. There are no guard towers, no razor wire, the clearing for patrol dogs is missing. Worst of all, they ask indignantly, whatever happened to all the minefields?

The Mayor agrees. He wants no Mickey Mouse Wall, but the real thing, with all the trimmings and bang in the centre of Berlin. That should get the tourists pouring in.

Four Star snooze

A poorly timed nap taught a Spanish petrol station attendant the high price of falling asleep on the job.

When customers drove into the petrol station in the north eastern city of Tortosa in the pre-dawn hours one day last week, and saw the attendant had nodded off, they decided to fill up their cars and call their friends to do the same. The fuelling frenzy ended some Pta300,000 (pounds 1,225) later when, after seeing a long queue trailing out from the station forecourt, the local cops grew suspicious

"One of our patrol cars went in to fill up and saw the long queue, which was odd at that time in the morning," said one of the sleuths responsible for stopping what the locals must have thought was the equivalent of a gusher in an oil field. "The officers went in and woke the man up, but a lot of people had already come and gone."

Adding insult to injury, the employee was arrested because he was wanted by police on another matter.

The whole tooth

If a military career is what you are after, and a successful one at that, then good teeth could be your ticket to the top. So says an eminent Finnish dentist. Matti Laara examined almost 3,000 conscripts' teeth and found a correlation with their owners' personalities.

"Those with good teeth are more group-leader types and those with poor teeth are more rank-and-file," he said.

His study showed that those with good dental health were more responsible, more social, and more eager to look good in front of authority figures - such as dentists.

FIONA BELL

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