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On the Light Side

August 29, 1987

FALLBROOK, Calif. (AP) _ The rules of the duel were simple: candidates Pearl Marsh and Robert Olds were placed back-to-back, told to march six paces, turn and then fire mud at each other.

″Where else can political candidates literally fling mud at each other?″ asked Al Diederich, manager of the Chamber of Commerce in this unincorporated town in San Diego County. ″There’s mudslinging in politics all the time, but never with real mud.″

The dirty competition, held annually for 14 years, was a fund-raiser for the chamber, which has netted as much as $8,000 from past events.

Candidates sell ″votes,″ in the form of tickets, for $1 each. The one who gets the most votes becomes honorary mayor after the loser of the mudfight has 25 votes subtracted.

Facing off Friday at high noon, Marsh, 60, and Olds, 34, stood with their pails of mud, which were a consistency of their own choosing.

Marsh, garbed in a yellow rain slicker, valiantly tried to cover Olds with sticky muck. But Olds, dressed in pseudo-Western gear, was declared the victor with his soupier concoction.

″I must say that Pearl put up a good fight, but she’s got mud all over her,″ Diederich said. ″It looks like Robert is the winner.″

″I feel great,″ Olds, a cabinetmaker, said afterward. ″A little gritty in the teeth, but good. Forget the shower. I’m ready for lunch.″


OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) - Not long after this seashore community had money wash up on its beaches, police were buffeted by a wave of reports of lost wallets.

A week ago, bills in denominations ranging from $1 to $100 started floating in with the seaweed. The bills were quickly grabbed by bathers, and one visitor reported collecting about $140.

″We’ve had six calls since the day the article came out in the paper,″ police Lt. James Nickles said Thursday. ″They all say, ‘The money’s mine.’ One story was that the person was swimming with a money belt. The swimming story is the most common one.″

Angelo Maglieri, a 56-year-old hair stylist from Warminster, Pa., took a day off work Thursday and traveled to Ocean City, carrying a state police report he filed Aug. 2 after he losing his wallet while fishing off North Wildwood, 16 miles south of Ocean City.

Maglieri says he lost $1,300 and some jewelry when the rented boat he was in capsized.

″It wouldn’t wind up here - it’d be washed south, toward Cape May,″ said Detective William Getty.

Even if the money was Maglieri’s, police don’t have any of the soggy bills in their possession. When they arrived at the beach to investigate the report, people had already collected all the evidence, Nickles said.

″One lady had $38 in her hand,″ he said. ″I wasn’t about to take it from her.″


ESCONDIDO, Calif. (AP) - City planning commissioners, convinced that an obese duck named Cheeseface won’t disturb neighbors, will let a man keep the pet quacker despite an earlier order that the creature must go.

″Cheeseface just meanders around the backyard eating bugs,″ said Bruce Hawthorne, who bought the duck for 50 cents as an Easter present for his 11- year-old daughter, Summer. ″She’s too fat to fly. She just waddles and hangs around.″

A neighbor, peeved that the Hawthorne family was keeping the duck, a pygmy goat, a goose and a bunch of rabbits in a residential neighborhood, had complained to the city’s code-enforcement officer, who ordered removal of Cheeseface, the goat and the goose.

Hawthorne got rid of the goose, which he acknowledged was noisy, as well as the goat, which butted in a window. But he saw no harm in keeping Cheeseface, so named because Summer decided the duck’s bill loooked like a piece of cheese crammed onto its face.

Hawthorne’s father, Tom, presented the case to the Escondido Planning Commission, which voted 4-2 on Tuesday to allow one duck per household.