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Odds & Ends 2/9

Soon-to-be Peyton Manning keeps his word
DECATUR, Ill. — Scott Wiese is a man of his word. But soon his friends will be saying that about Peyton Manning.
    Wiese, a die-hard Chicago Bears fan, will legally change his name to that of the Indiana Colts quarterback after signing a pledge in front of a crowd at a Decatur bar last Friday night. He vowed to adopt Manning’s name if the Bears lost Sunday’s Super Bowl.
    The final score was Colts 29, Bears 17.
    So on Tuesday, Wiese went to the Macon County Courts Facility and started the process of changing his name.
    ‘‘I made the bet, and now I’ve got to keep it,’’ said the 26-year-old, who lives in Forsyth, just north of Decatur.
    Wiese will now have to advertise his intention in the local newspaper — the Herald & Review — for several weeks and then have a judge give him the OK to become, legally anyway, Peyton Manning.
    The men have little in common, Wiese acknowledges.
    Manning the quarterback is 30 years old, stands 6-foot-5 and has a contract with the Colts worth more than $100 million.
    Wiese is 5-foot-11 and works at a Staples office-supply store for somewhat less.
    ‘‘I think I kind of represent all Bears fans,’’ he said. ‘‘Not that I’m saying they’re all idiots like me, but I represent their passion because I really care about my team, you know?’’
    While he pledged to take on the new identity, Wiese didn’t make any promises about how long he would keep it.

You spit, you pay
   BEIJING — No spitting and get in line.
    That’s the message Beijing city officials are trying to get across 18 months before the Olympics open in China’s capital.
    ‘‘Everyone will be fined for spitting,’’ read the headline in Thursday’s Beijing Daily Messenger.
    In a chaotic city of 15 million, jumping ahead in line is common. So is spitting and littering, which officials hope to restrain in an effort to improve the city’s image.
    Officials have announced a range of measures including ‘‘punishment and reward’’ programs to improve conduct.
    One campaign for ‘‘civilized behavior’’ will be kicked off Sunday in the upmarket Wangfujing shopping area, located just east of Tiananmen Square. This will be the first ‘‘Queuing Day,’’ which will take place on the 11th of each month.
    The 11th was picked because the two numbers — 1-1 — resemble two people lining up.
    People spitting could be fined up to 50 yuan, equal to about $6.50, the daily income of a Chinese college graduate. It can buy 16 subway tickets on the Beijing system.
    ‘‘Fifty yuan is a fairly hefty warning for spitters,’’ said Zhang Huiguang, director of the Beijing Civil Affairs Bureau. ‘‘The amount of money is not the most important, the most important is to warn people.’’

Malaysia wants a toilet revolution
   KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — It’s never too late for toilet training.
    Some Malaysian colleges may soon offer courses on how to keep public restrooms clean, the national news agency reported Thursday.
    The effort is meant to help Malaysia’s public lavatories become as hygienic as those in countries such as Britain and Singapore, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Robert Lau was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.
    ‘‘Clean toilets cannot merely be judged by the eyes,’’ Lau was quoted as saying. ‘‘This matter also involves the use of cleaning equipment, soap, fragrances and proper tissues.’’
    Courses would involve managing washrooms by the highest standards in design and sanitation technology, said Lau.
    Malaysia’s government recently said it wanted to start a ‘‘toilet revolution’’ in a country where public restrooms have long nauseated citizens and tourists with their lack of basic items such as toilet paper, soap and sometimes even toilet seats.
    Lau said his ministry plans to soon introduce a system for the public to lodge complaints about filthy toilets via cell phone text messages.
    Other recent measures have included setting up modern self-cleaning toilets in popular shopping districts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s largest city, and scrapping the business licenses of restaurants found to have foul lavatories.

Man uses walking stick to fight off attacker

    SEATTLE — An 82-year-old Seattle man whose walking stick was damaged when he struck a younger man who witnesses say had doused him with lighter fluid is getting a replacement cane from the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild.
    Gus Jones responded to the Jan. 31 downtown Seattle attack by smacking his assailant with his cane. Police say the attacker then ran over to two women, doused them with lighter fluid and lit a match, singeing their coats and one woman’s hair. The women were not seriously injured.
    Paul Pearson, 50, arrested shortly after the attacks, has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault.
    The older man survived the ordeal with just a cut to his ring finger. His cane, however, was bent in the attack and rendered unusable.
    When the Police Guild heard about the case, its board decided to buy Jones a replacement aluminum cane, inscribed with his name, said Sgt. Richard O’Neill, guild president.
    ‘‘Hopefully he won’t have to whack someone with it,’’ O’Neill said.
    ‘‘Maybe if he didn’t take the action he did, more people could’ve been hurt,’’ O’Neill said. ‘‘He was going to fight back — he wasn’t going to be a passive victim.’’

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