The relatively recent creation of almost-obscene wealth has precipitated a crisis in Britain and New York City because the resulting demand for professional butlers far exceeds the supply. Longstanding butler schools in both countries are running at capacity, turning out debonair, refined man-servants at salaries that may exceed $100,000 a year (in the U.S., an extra $20,000 or so for one who speaks “British”), but fortunes are being created at an even faster pace, so that, increasingly, multimillionaires are just having to make do without one, according to recent reports in The Wall Street Journal and The Independent of London.
CAN’T POSSIBLY BE TRUE
The Good Hope Hospital in Sutton, England, apparently had an official policy in recent years of reusing sheets from one patient to the next to reduce its laundry bill (estimated at the equivalent of $1 million a year), according to an April report in London’s Daily Mail. The policy coincided with a period in which the hospital’s reported cases of clostridium difficile infections doubled. A hospital official said the policy had been discontinued, though some posters announcing it were on display.
LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS
Years ago, officials on the Torres Martinez Indian reservation (about 40 miles southeast of Palm Springs, Calif.) decided that the tribe could make more money as a toxic dump than with casinos and luxury hotels, but now faces millions of dollars in federal fines as an out-of-control Superfund site, according to a June Los Angeles Times report. In addition to pits and piles laden with arsenic, dioxin and chromium, there is an area about 1,000 feet by 300 feet by 40 feet high consisting only of human sewage. The site’s problems are not easily resolvable, said a UCLA professor who has studied Torres Martinez factions, in that “intertribal relationships” make it “complicated” to change policy.
In April, Marilyn Devaney, who is one of eight elected Massachusetts officials with authority over certain actions taken by the governor, was accused of assault in Waltham, Mass., after she allegedly hit a beauty-shop clerk with a curling iron when the employee declined to take Devaney’s personal check. Devaney had allegedly, indignantly pointed out her status and yelled, “Don’t you know who I am?”
In May, a curious Joe Heckel of Cincinnati and his son took apart the heavy punching bag Joe had bought for their boxing practice and to their surprise found it full of, not sand or plastic pellets, but men’s and women’s underwear, some of it used. According to a May report on WLWT-TV, the manufacturer, Technical Knockout Inc., eventually contacted the Heckels and admitted that it had experienced a “quality” problem and that the people who had thought up the bag-stuffing idea had been fired.
PEOPLE WITH ISSUES
In March, police in Ann Arbor, Mich., were called to the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity at the University of Michigan after a female trespasser entered during the dinner hour and ignored repeated attempts to get her to leave, even though she merely sat down, removed her clothes and masturbated. Frat members said later they would throw out the two sofas she touched. MTW