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Odds & Ends 11/11

Diamond pen has to be delivered to stores by armed guards
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A pocket protector would be pointless for this diamond-encrusted, $170,000 fountain pen that will never be used.
    ‘‘You do not put ink in that pen. It’s like owning a Ferrari that you don’t want to drive,’’ said owner Al Parish, a Charleston Southern University professor.
    The pen, one of only three in the world, went on display Wednesday at the Montblanc store along with others from Parish’s $1.2 million collection. They arrived in an armored car accompanied by security guards.
    The pen is the ‘‘Montblanc Solitaire Mountain Massif Skeleton’’ and was created in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Swiss company. Its 1,400 white and blue diamonds are arranged to depict the Mont Blanc mountains and the pen is topped with a 43-facet star-cut diamond.
    The buyers of the three handcrafted pens were chosen from among 60 collectors worldwide in a lottery, said Jan-Patrick Schmitz, chief executive and president of Montblanc North America.
    He said the company sought pen aficionados like Parish who collect rather than sell them for a quick profit.
    The pen will join Parish’s collection of about 150 other Montblancs, which he plans to pass along to his children.
    ‘‘You don’t really own it,’’ he said. ‘‘You’re just keeping it for one generation.’’

Women take off clothes for a man who tells a bugging story 

    WAUKESHA, Wis. — An unidentified man has been bugging women by using an insect story to try to persuade them to disrobe.
    Police said the man, who remained at large Thursday, told female workers in at least seven businesses they have a tick on their clothes and should remove clothing to find it.
    ‘‘We don’t know what his potential gain is, if it’s sexual gratification or he’s trying to be funny, but it’s a serious crime,’’ Police Sgt. John Konkol said.
    Hali Frankowski was working recently at Sunset Tan when the man came in and asked her to show him the tanning beds.
    At one point he told her she had a tick on her shirt, she said.
    ‘‘He was like ’It’s right there.’ That’s when he took my pants, pulled them down, pulled them over, and that’s when I jumped and started walking toward the bathroom,’’ she said.
    The man left, leaving her stunned.
    ‘‘You know some guy is violating your space. Just the most random story in the world,’’ Frankowski said.
    Police said the man has tried the trick in the Milwaukee-area cities of Waukesha, Muskego and Franklin. They said he seems to target younger women working alone in stores.

Man will host a drive-in Christmas light show 

    MASON, Ohio — A homeowner who was forced to pull the plug on his computerized Christmas light show last year has a bigger display planned for this holiday season.
    Carson Williams will be decorating a park in this Cincinnati suburb.
    Williams, a 41-year-old computer engineer, spent nearly two months last year hooking up 25,000 lights at his home in Deerfield Township and programing them to flash to Christmas music. The music was broadcast through a low FM transmitter, so people driving by could pick it up on their car radios without the music being played through the neighborhood.
    Williams’ display went dark last Dec. 6 because of safety concerns and increased traffic from sightseers. But the attention led to appearances on national television, and the house was featured in a Miller Lite beer commercial.
    This year’s display, opening Dec. 2 at Heritage Oak Park, will include 35,000 Christmas lights synchronized to music. Visitors will view it from their cars like a drive-in movie.
    It will cost $15 per car for a 15-minute show. Williams will get some of the proceeds, with most going to Festivals of Mason, a local nonprofit group that organizes family events.

Cooking: the new community service 

    FARMINGTON, Utah — Senior citizens here could soon be feasting on cuisine prepared by jail inmates.
    Davis County officials are considering awarding a food service contract to Canteen Correctional Services, which makes food for the jail and seniors who participate in its meal-assistance programs, said health department director Lewis Garrett.
    The food would be prepared by inmates at the jail’s 12,000-square-foot kitchen and would be of a higher quality than what inmates or officers get, he said. Dietitians would create the menus.
    Garrett said supervisors, an on-duty guard and security camera will ensure that food tampering would not occur.
    Members of the county’s Senior Services Advisory Board toured the jail’s kitchen earlier this week to get a glimpse of the meals.
    ‘‘I feel very good about it,’’ board member Fawn Jensen said. ‘‘They (the meals) are really an improvement from what they’ve been able to serve so far.’’

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