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This ‘N That

April 11, 2013
Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

Usually, when I sit down to write a column, I've got some topic to tackle, offer a commentary on, or just want to share with you. But, I must confess the idea shelf is empty.

Pffffft. Nada. Lights are on and no one's home.

I was truly at a loss for something to write about.

So, I got online, did a little research and lo and behold, I found a couple of goodies that should keep your interest and take your mind off the troubles of everyday life.

Dateline Berlin Germany. Some thieves must have sticky fingers or one whale of a sweet tooth, but Police aren't quite sure which is the case.

Apparently on over the past week, German Police say an unknown number of culprits made off with five metric tons, or 11,000 pounds of Nutella.

For those who haven't seen the commercials, Nutella is a chocolate and hazelnut mixture that spreads like jelly. I've never tried it, but that's not important.

Anyhow, the 11,000 pounds of Nutella were taken from a semi-trailer parked in the central German town of Bad Hersfeld over the past weekend.

Now, if you think this was a nickel and dime type theft, guess again. The truckload of Nutella was valued at $20,710 in U.S. currency, or right at $16,000 Euros, if that's your currency of choice.

Someone is set for breakfast for a while, it would seem. But, the rub to this story is the fact that not all that long ago, thieves had stolen a semi-trailer load of energy drinks from the same location, according to the German News Agency dpa.

And now, from the folks that brought us another sandwich spread that should be forgotten, Vegemite.

A business owner in Brisbane Australia has decided that free enterprise should also include knowledge, as well as merchandise.

The owner of a store called "Celiac Supplies" had a good business, supplying food products that are strictly gluten-free to people needing such products. However, our intrepid businessman had a problem with folks wandering into the store, looking over his products, asking questions about the products, and then not buying anything.

Instead, our businessman claimed customers who would come in to "just look" and ask questions were doing nothing more than gleaning his knowledge and expertise with the products, and then going to other stores or online to buy the products, thus "cheating" him out of his time and knowledge.

So, he came up with an answer to cure customers of the tactic a sign at the front door of the business now states that a "Browsing Fee" is now in effect. When customers enter the store, they are asked to pay a $5 fee if they are "just browsing".

Thank you very much.

Of course, the browsing fee is refunded if a customer buys something.

Unless I miss my guess, his business should see the effect of that charge quite quickly and I'd guess it won't be positive.

And finally, I found a classic tale of the little guy winning against the big boys.

A Bank of America branch had the tables turned on it back in 2011 after the company wrongfully harassed an alleged mortgage scofflaw in Florida. Bank of America had attempted to foreclose on a homeowner in 2010, even though he had bought the house with cash - paid directly to the same Bank of America branch office.

It ended up taking the Bank of America a year and a half to understand they were making a mistake. Ah, but the homeowner sued the bank and won a judgment for his expenses in the amount of $2,534, which the folks at the Bank of America promptly ignored. That was not the thing to do.

The intrepid homeowner's attorney obtained a seizure order from the court, and two sheriff's deputies, complete with a moving truck, rolled up to the Bank of America branch office and loaded up $2,534 worth of furniture and computer equipment from the bank's offices.

About an hour after the seizure of the bank's computers and such, the local branch manager, after a few phone calls to his bosses, issued a check for $2,534 to the homeowner undoubtedly to get his office chair back.

And I'll bet the bank didn't offer the poor guy a free calendar or pen, either.



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