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On the Light Side

January 15, 1987

NEW YORK (AP) _ A Denver disc jockey will climb to the top of the Empire State Building and get dunked in a vat of Gatorade if the New York Giants beat the Denver Broncos in the Superbowl.

But if the Broncos win, WNCN-FM Morning Show host Bob Evans must don a bathing suit and use a teaspoon to shovel a city block of snow for every point in the margin of victory.

Steve Burke at Denver station KVOD-FM accepted the on-air wager Tuesday morning during Evans’ show on the New York classical music station.

A time and date for the payoff will be set after the game, said WNCN spokesman Keith Hark.

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - It barks like a dog, cuddles like a kitten, looks like a large guinea pig and, a pet shop owner hopes, is developing as a status symbol pet.

Western farmers also probably hope prairie dogs catch on.

Jack Briel, a suburban Grand Rapids pet shop owner, says he bought a batch of the woofing rodents last spring, quickly sold 18 for $75 each, and is awaiting a new shipment.

John and Jacquie Berning bought a female prairie dog in July and are thinking of ordering a male companion. ″She’ll sit in our laps and watch TV and run around the house,″ Berning, 25, of Spring Lake Township, said Wednesday. ″They’re a neat little pet.″

Because of the potential agricultural damage they could cause, prairie dogs are banned in Grand Rapids, although legal in neighboring Wyoming, where Briel owns Wonderland Pet Center.

He has the only permit in Michigan to import prairie dogs, said Michele Stratz, of the state Wildlife Division, adding, ″There really isn’t any Michigan law to prevent people from keeping these things as pets.″

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Court of Historical Review and Appeals has made it official - Italians, not Chinese, invented spaghetti.

″The judge showed good taste,″ said attorney Frank D. Winston, savoring his first victory before the moot San Francisco court. ″He used his noodle.″

Judge George T. Choppelas - a real judge - heard arguments from real lawyers Wednesday and then ruled that Italy had spaghetti before Italian explorer Marco Polo returned from travels in China.

Losing attorney Roderick A. McLeod argued that Chinese pasta is a parent of spaghetti and called several witnesses, including Bruce L. Smith, a psychologist at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley.

Smith said pasta has been consumed in China since the Chang dynasty in 1700 B.C. and commented that the case is ″another example of Western prejudices. If something never originated in Europe, it never happened.″

Marco Polo, portrayed in court by E. Wyman Spalding, apparently made the case, however, admitting that contrary to a Gary Cooper movie, he did not bring noodles back to Italy from China.

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