Gimmick generates genuine suspence
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — In a publicity gimmick that has generated genuine suspense, four Malaysians competing in an endurance test have lodged themselves in a car outside a shopping mall, battling boredom, body odor and bothersome pedestrians.
The radio-sponsored contest, which entered its second week Monday, forces strangers to live together in a car parked in public for as long as their sanity holds. The last person to leave gets the vehicle.
After seven days, Malaysians are now wondering who will budge first — the glamorous law student, the affable driving instructor, the plucky housewife, or the enthusiastic salesman?
“It gets tougher everyday,” said contestant Wong Hsin Ee, 21, gobbling her breakfast of rice in the car. “The first week, we just ate and slept. Now, it’s a miracle we’re still here. I’ve missed all my classes.”
Monitored round-the-clock since Feb. 25 by security cameras and guards, the four contestants are only allowed out of the car once every three hours for 15 minutes to head for a nearby restroom.
Despite a current hot spell, the rules also forbid them to shower or shave. Once every two days, they can brush their teeth and change clothes, except for their underwear.
Magazines, mobile phones and other entertainment are banned. The contestants are only allowed to listen to the car radio, which is constantly tuned to the network organizing the challenge.
COUPEVILLE, Wash.— On your mark, get set, slurp.
Andy Elf won the heart of seafood lovers everywhere by gobbling 80 freshly steamed mussels in a minute during the 16th annual Penn Cover Mussel Festival.
Thousands of visitors sampled chowder from nine restaurants at the weekend festival in this town on Whidbey Island about 45 miles north of Seattle.
Seven eaters put their innards on the line for the contest Sunday at The Captain Whidbey Inn overlooking the cove where the succulent mollusks, typically no bigger than half the size of their Mediterranean and Maine cousins, are harvested.
Elf was nothing if not confident before the contest began.
“Andy’s my name, and mussel’s my game,” he said in a pre-slurp interview with The Herald of Everett. “I’m going to crawl right inside that shell and become one with the mussels.”
His effort won him a $50 gift certificate to the Inn and a Mussel Muncher sweat shirt. He said he would be back to defend his title next year.
Pet strollers hit market
ELKHART, Ind. — Taking your precious bundle of joy out for a spin in a carriage isn’t just for babies anymore.
Jim Montgomery has designed a stroller for proud pet owners who want to take their favorite ferret or cat along for a jaunt.
Montgomery originally came up with the idea when his wife wanted to take her cats along on her walks while recuperating from surgery.
Because cats don’t do well on leashes, Montgomery created the Kitty Kart. Now, the contraption also has become popular among ferret owners.