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Bright and Brief

July 12, 1985

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ A Texas publisher is declaring ″Be Nice to New Jersey Week″ - and it’s about time.

After years of jokes about toxic waste dumping and gangster infiltration, Craig Scharf of Lone Star Publications in San Antonio says he’s heard enough.

″We have determined after lots of intensive studies that New Jersey is the most picked-on state in the country,″ says Scharf, who happens to hail from the Garden State.

″New Jersey is a great place to be from, just ask all the people who have moved away.″

His firm, which has a combined nationwide circulation of about 3,000 for its newsletter, joke book and a digest of humorous stories and drawings, has asked readers to write friends or relatives in New Jersey and apologize for ″picking on their great state.″

So, that’s that.

Now, how about a few Jersey jokes?

″Swine flu was discovered in New Jersey - where else?″

″The state gem is concrete. The state flower is swamp algae. The state tree is dead.″


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Ralph Combes says weeds and bugs had irked him, but they were nothing compared to coming home and finding his lawn rolled up like carpet and stacked at the curb.

Missing Thursday was the grass he had fussed over, weeded and watered.

″It’s been sliced up like sod into rolls. It was a very neat job. I mean, the dirt is just as level as can be,″ Combes said.

He was stunned: ″Who would come and steal your lawn? I could not think of any possible reason.″

Then he saw a note on the mailbox from a landscaping company that regretted to say it had ″inadvertently removed 2,000 to 3,000 square feet of your lawn.″

The note said the company would replace the lawn with new sod.

The problem apparently stemmed from a simple mixup. Combes lives on Camelot Place. Maybe the landscaping company had meant to strip the lawn from a house at the same number on Camelot Drive.

The mailman sometimes has that problem, Combes said, and the company’s letter was addressed to Camelot Drive.

″It’s funny, in a strange sort of way,″ he said.


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) - A minor revolution changed the image of Denmark’s red-coated mailman this week as many of them made their rounds wearing new regulation shorts. The sight of bare-kneed mailmen immediately encouraged a member of Parliament to demand the same right for legislators.

The optional new summer uniform was introduced officially Thursday by the Danish postal services after several years of dispute over uniformity of dress. At one point, shorts-wearing mailmen in a Copenhagen district were told to change to long pants or be fired.

″But habits and styles of dress have changed,″ Ernst Nielsen, a postal services departmental head in charge of uniforms, explained philosophically.

This brought prompt reaction from Steen Tinning, a Leftist-Socialist, who to stepped on the rostrum of the Folketing, Denmark’s parlaiment, last year wearing shorts. He was immediately ordered down and told to don more dignified dress if he wanted to address the assembly.

In a letter to Folkenting Chairman Svend Jakobsen, Tinning said, ″MPs must enjoy the same personal freedom as mailmen.″ He suggested the introduction of regulation shorts, possibly issued in a range of colors reflecting the political spectrum.

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