Table Talk

13 September 2004
Table Talk

Caped intruder was a roman in the gloaming Sodexho catering manager Teresa Collett works in a haunted kitchen, and even her customers, the Colchester police force, are powerless to bring the poltergeist to task. Utensils move around at night; knives and forks are tipped on to the floor of the closed, empty restaurant; and staff sometimes glimpse a caped, dark figure moving in the shadows. When a clothes horse drying the dishcloths began to spin one day, it all became too much for Collett and she called in a medium. The medium revealed that the police station is built on a Roman burial site and that the kitchen's resident spook was a former Roman soldier.
How to get 10 years in free accommodation A 31-year-old American man was in a Berlin police cell last week after allegedly running up £35,000 in bills at luxury hotels in the German capital by claiming he was a visiting dignitary or bank executive. The imposter is also accused of having obtained £10,000 using fake identity and bogus credit cards. The man, identified only as Michael A, would e-mail a hotel to reserve a suite, giving a fraudulent credit card number. On arrival he'd claim he'd been robbed and ask for "pocket money" to tide him over. Impressed by his sophisticated manner and expensive clothes, hotel managers would hand over £750 in cash and put it on his hotel bill - which he never paid. On departure he'd add generous tips to credit card receipts, but he'd never tip anyone with cash. German police had been on his trail for six months. As they clamped the handcuffs on him, he told them: "Oh well, it was good while it lasted." He now faces up to 10 years in prison.

There'll be no pees in the alley Dutch boozers who can't wait until they get home to relieve themselves are in for a surprise in the town of Tilburg, where a restaurant owner has installed a shower in the alley next to his premises. Fed up with drunks urinating in the alley, restaurant owner Willy van Boomgaard has rigged up a cold shower to surprise the piss artists. The shower head is equipped with sensors which spring into action when anyone nears the alcove. "It cost me over €900 [£613], but if it means my restaurant gets rid of the stench of urine, it'll be worth it," he said.

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