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News of the Weird

Wednesday July 03, 2002

Sprinklets for hire 


GREENSBORO, N.C. — A stay-at-home mom is responding to the recent water restrictions in her community by offering her services — and those of her three children — as “human sprinklers.” 

For about $15 an hour, Jinni Hoggard and her children — ages 12, 11 and 8 — will hand-water lawns, gardens or anything else in need of a drink. 

City officials in Greensboro, which is suffering from a four-year drought, have declared it illegal for residents to use sprinklers, but not hand-held hoses. 

Hoggard believes some people may be too busy to spend hours personally watering their lawns. 

“I thought, ‘Ooh, I could be a human sprinkler, and I could make my children sprinklets,”’ she said. 

Last week, Hoggard bought a classified newspaper ad to tout her services. She hasn’t received any gigs yet, but she thinks people will call as their gardens falter. 


No more peddling here  


SHALLOTTE, N.C. — The town of Shallotte has given roadside peddlers the boot, saying they clutter the town’s aesthetics and compete unfairly with permanent retailers. 

Sunday was the last day for sellers of everything from shrimp and peanuts to old clothing after the town council passed an ordinance banning peddlers. 

At least one peddler got around the ban. Peanut salesman Charles Williams had his brother, who owns the gas station where Williams’ stand is located, buy the peanut business. 

Shrimp dealer Richard Todd, who has peddled seafood for 16 years in the same location, said he would explore selling his operation to the owner of the lot where his stand is located. 

The ban came just as peddlers were gearing up for the busy July 4 holiday, when summer traffic gets busier in the coastal town. 


Home of the flag  


ANDOVER, Kan. — Mario and Cassie Aberle won’t need to hang an American flag outside their home for July 4th. That’s because their home is the flag. 

The couple wanted to do something big to show their patriotism following Sept. 11. 

They noticed they had 13 siding strips on their house, just the right number for the stripes on a flag. So, the couple painted the side of their home to look like Old Glory. 

Hundreds of people have stopped by to see the giant flag and snap photos. The Aberles say eventually they’ll have to repaint their house — but it will be at least another year before they do.