Brief asides


POSTED: Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Deflated publicity seekers running out of hot air

Let's call it well past 15 minutes of fame and move on.

Whatever happens now between Colorado authorities and the Heene “;boy in balloon”; family should stay in Colorado.

On the heels of Thursday's live drama, parents Richard and Mayumi Heene are now facing possible felony charges for falsely reporting that their 6-year-old son had drifted away in their large home-made helium balloon. The drama transfixed the nation for hours until the balloon landed — sans boy, who turned out to be hiding in the family attic all along.

While authorities mull criminal charges, stories are emerging about the Heenes' appetite for TV fame, whetted by two “;Wife Swap”; appearances, leading up to the alleged hoax. And about others involved as conspirators — allegedly ... And about their poor children made to tell lies for the hoax — allegedly ....

It's time to pull the plug on these reality TV wannabes.



I scream, you scream, we all scream for peanut butter

PB&J, to the rescue.

With the bleak economy forcing people to stretch hard-earned dollars, peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches seem to be making a big comeback. At least, peanut butter ones are — as evidenced by the product's banner sales.

“;There's an old adage in the industry that you can almost track the economy by consumption of peanut butter,”; said Stanley Fletcher, a peanut economist at the University of Georgia. “;It's basically the cheapest source of protein.”;

Peanuts processed for snacks were slightly down for the year ending July 31 — but peanuts used for peanut butter set an all-time record at 1.1 billion pounds, topping the previous year's national total by 100 million pounds.

More than a billion pounds of nuts, churned into a creamy or crunchy average sales of about $100 million monthly. And that ain't peanuts.