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Friday, 4 May, 2001, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
Amazing tales from Planet Tabloid
Planet logo
Truth is smoother than friction
This week a man who makes bookcases which double up as coffins, a dog which smells terrible, worrying news about Jordan, and highlights of the week's crossword puzzle clues. But first...

BURNING ISSUES OF THE WEEK

Question 1: Is Ant and Dec's move from children's TV to grown-up TV the greatest thing since the invention of sliced bread?
Answer: Yes.
Geri Halliwell
No surprises

Question 2: Do Geri Halliwell and Robbie Williams sleep together?
Answer: "It'd be no great surprise if we did, would it?"

Question 3: Are we going to see Geri Halliwell taking part in the Ant and Dec show in some capacity in the near future?
Answer: It'd be no great surprise if we did, would it?

VEGETABLE ABUSE STORY OF THE WEEK

A man is planning to push a potato across the Humber Bridge with his nose.

Humber Bridge
Humber bridge: Spud over troubled water
The potato man, Mark Boulton, 23, is planning the feat in order to raise money. He needs money badly because he is planning an expedition to Mongolia.

Pushing vegetables over suspension bridges is dangerous.

Bridge Master Roger Evans told the Hull Daily Mail: "We once had someone push a pea over the bridge with his nose. I think he ended up in hospital."

Lincolnshire - which is linked by the Humber Bridge to Yorkshire - is famous for potatoes. But Mongolia is not.

MY DOG'S GOT NO NOSE...

Dog
Before...
A depressed dog resident in a Merseyside home for stray dogs is being treated with "holistic aromatherapy".

Henry, the dog, is reported by the Liverpool Post to have experienced personality problems, including insomnia and "inability to deal with other dogs".

Dog
... After
Now he has massages twice a day with special oils and ointments including lavender, to aid relaxation, yarrow to boost the immune system, and great mugwort.

Henry seems to be getting better. But nobody is really sure if the treatment is working.

COFFIN FUN

A carpenter from York has started making furniture which converts into coffins.

The coffin man began by making a box which converts into a bookshelf.

The idea of keeping a multi-purpose coffin handy in case of emergencies was invented by Moby Dick.
BRAIN-TEASER
Hone your wits with this selection of crossword clues from this week's papers
1. Grand National animal (5)
2. Dog's Sound or outer layer of tree trunk (4)
3. Sheep's hair (4)
4. Metal container for preserving food (3)
5. Night bird (3)
6. Cuppa of steaming brew (3)
7. Lubricant (3)
Answers at foot of page

But, looked at in another way, what coffin man Richard Pickles has come up with is a bookshelf which, later on, can be used as a coffin.

Pickles told The Sun: "My local pub wants one to use as a phone booth and it's just taking off.

"A lot of undertakers charge ridiculous prices for coffins. Mine are a lot cheaper and you get a lot more use out of them."

WORLD REPORT

Worrying international news from the Daily Star this week - Jordan is planning to get "even bigger".

The small but strategically important middle-eastern kingdom/pin-up artiste has signed an exclusive deal to appear only in the Daily Star.

Jordan
Jordan
This is thought to be the first time a sovereign country has signed an exclusive rights deal with a media outlet.

It is possible, however, that one of Star's tabloid rivals is planning to hit back by "buying up" exclusive rights to print pictures of, say, Syria.

HOUSEHOLD TIPS

Choice pieces of advice from Take A Break magazine:

"I love bananas, but they always used to ripen before I had a chance to eat them. Now I hang them on a mug tree and they keep fresh much longer.

"Whenever I decorate the ceiling I always seem to get paint in my hair. I've finally solved the problem by wearing a shower cap. It may not be a fashion statement, but at least it keeps my hair clean.

"Three suggested uses for spare lengths of drainpipe: (1) umbrella stand; (2) conservatory plant stand (3) pipe for watering flowers in growbags."

Puzzle answers: 1. horse, 2. bark, 3. wool, 4. tin, 5. owl, 6. tea, 7. oil.


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