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Curse calls

Chicago, Aug. 27 (Reuters): You have until Monday to vent your spleen or display your expletive skills for posterity.

So far, more than 500 callers have dialled “Swearline” to record their diatribes in answer to a year-long appeal by Lucky Pierre, a five-artist Chicago collective.

A selection of the recordings will end up on compact discs and put in a jukebox, possibly to be displayed in a willing art gallery or museum.

Some examples, most laden with repeated variations on the f-word, are viewable on the group’s website, www.luckypierre.org.

“A lot of people who call will put curses to a tune. One guy had composed a little song and played the piano while talking into the phone,” Lucky Pierre member Bill Talsma said.

The calls, most less than the maximum three minutes long, vary widely, Talsma said.

“From single words to long drawn-out diatribes, people voicing their opinions about sex and love and politics and work and all that stuff.”

The group takes some of its inspiration from the 1960s-era Fluxus movement, which challenged artists to respond to everyday life and to depict artistic activity “between the media.”

Post paid

Berlin (Reuters): A German court handed a former postman a 10-month suspended jail sentence and 200 hours community service for failing to deliver around 61,000 letters, authorities said on Wednesday. Police discovered mounds of post that had accumulated over two-and-a-half-years filling the rooms and basement of the 36-year-old’s house after locals complained about missing deliveries. The man resigned his job. “He said he had too many letters to deliver on his round,” said Bernd Lottes, spokesman for the court in the western town of Neuss. “He was hoping to deliver the other stuff when he had a bit of breathing space.”

Insect ire

Zurich (Reuters): A man who tried to fight bothersome wasps with insect spray and a cigarette lighter burned down his apartment and two neighbouring flats, Swiss police said on Tuesday. A police spokesperson said the man used a whole can of insect spray on a wasp nest underneath an overhanging roof outside his apartment. When he tried to fend off the angry wasps with his lighter, the fumes ignited and set the flats ablaze. No one in the apartment block was hurt, but the blaze caused 500,000 Swiss francs ($351,400) in damage.

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