MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ The old saying ''what you don't know can't hurt you'' is being stretched at the local federal building to ''if you don't know how hot it is, you'll feel cool.''

Wall thermometers are being covered with black paint.

The thermometers, built into thermostats in the 11-story Clifford Davis Building, often are inaccurate by 1 to 3 degrees, said General Service administration employee Earl Jenkins.

''It confuses people,'' he said. ''It makes people think they are hotter than they are.''

Employees in the clerk's office of U.S. District Court responded to the thermometer censorship by covering half of a wall clock with tape.

''If you don't know what time it is, you won't get hungry,'' said Donna Russell, an assistant clerk.

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LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) - A single mother who went on strike at home nearly a month ago has been offered a labor contract by her three sons, and she says that while the pact needs work she believes they can come to terms.

Jan Bundy staged the walkout against her sons Aaron, 11, Sean, 14, and Kevin, 16, after she received a compliment from the two younger boys' boss at The Denver Post for the way they handled their paper route.

She said it dawned on her that she was the one who had been getting up at 4:15 a.m. to clean up the mess the boys had made in the kitchen the night before, and then it was she who helped them with the paper route at 4:45 a.m.

''I told them, if you're not willing to clean up the kitchen when I cook for you, and if you're not willing to put your clothes in the hamper when I wash them - then I won't do it anymore,'' said Mrs. Bundy.

She posted strike signs, saying she no longer would cook, clean or wash dishes or clothes. The boys even had to do their own grocery shopping.

Mrs. Bundy said she returned home Sunday and found a proposed contract posted for her.

''The contract needs work, but I think we can work it out,'' she said. ''I'm getting tired of living in the mess. But the youngest boy did his vacuuming yesterday, so there's hope.''

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TIFTON, Ga. (AP) - Peanut butter, a staple in kids' lunch boxes, has emerged as a delicacy for upscale spreaders, according to members of the Adults-Only Peanut Butter Lovers Fan Club.

Peanut growers in Georgia, Florida and Alabama organized the club, which they say has gained nearly 15,000 members in a little more than a year.

''It's just been overwhelming,'' said Marilyn Moore, director of food and consumer services for the Georgia Peanut Commission. ''The people writing in are saying, 'Oh, we're so glad you started this. We've always been peanut butter closet eaters.'''

The club's quarterly newsletter, ''Spread the News,'' features interviews with celebrities like TV and radio talk show host Larry King, who says ''to know peanut butter is to know joy.''

Other celebrity fans, listed as honorary members, include Gerald Ford, whose favorite presidential breakfast was peanut butter on an English muffin, columnist William Buckley, actor Charlton Heston, chef Julia Child, comedian David Brenner, TV weatherman Willard Scott and rock singer-actress Madonna.

The club is changing the perception that peanut butter is strictly kids' stuff, said Mrs. Moore.

''It's become the posh thing,'' she said.