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Man Gets 12 Years for Fraud

 

A federal judge sentenced Bruce Jones to 12 years in federal prison for fraud. Over a 10-year period, Jones had managed to swindle almost $10 million from thousands of gullible people throughout the state.

He advertised his fantastic ideas on TV. "For some reason," Jones said, "TV seems to break the ice. Even though you are a total stranger to the viewer, once he sees you on TV in his home, he feels like he knows you. You enter his living room and become a trusted friend."

Jones had an imagination that wouldn’t quit. One time he showed viewers an "official government" earthquake report which “proved” that the western half of California would collapse into the sea within three years. For $100, he said, Jones would insure your house and property for full value. Thousands of people who saw that TV ad sent him a hundred dollars each.

In another TV ad, Jones claimed that he had negotiated with the federal and state government for exclusive air rights. He told viewers that, for only $100, they could own the first 10 miles above all their property. You would be able to charge any commercial plane that flew over your property $100 per crossing. You would also be able to charge government rockets, satellites, space shuttles, and space stations $100 for each and every violation of your air rights.

Another time, Jones claimed to have invented a product that gets rid of calories. He showed the viewers a spray can of "NoCal." He said that by simply spraying NoCal on your food, a chemical interaction would cause all the calories in the food to simply evaporate within about 10 seconds. The NoCal was only $10 a can. As usual, Jones received thousands of checks in the mail.

The judge told Jones that he should be ashamed of himself. Jones responded that he was very ashamed of himself, and that when he got out of prison he hoped to become a TV consultant to help people avoid getting scammed. He told the judge that he was already developing an instructional CD that, for merely $100, would save people thousands of dollars in scams. The judge nodded, and then changed Jones’s sentence from 10 years to 12 years.

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Larry Needs a New Air-Conditioner

 

It had been another hot spring day. By ten o’clock in the evening, it had only cooled down to 87 degrees, according to Larry's thermometer in the living room. He rarely looked at his thermometer because he usually didn't care what the exact temperature was.

Larry had two table fans in his bedroom. Because of the high temperatures, the last three evenings had been “two-fan” nights. He used his air-conditioner only occasionally. During one month the previous summer, he had used the air-conditioner 10 days consecutively, day and night. His electric bill that July, normally about $30, was $77.

But Larry figured that, once in a while, using the AC wouldn't kill him. So that evening at 11:30, just before he went to bed, he turned on the AC. He set the thermostat to 72 degrees. He woke up four hours later when he heard a big bang, which sounded like two cars had run into each other on the street outside. But it wasn't two cars. It was the AC capacitor on the roof; it had just blown up. Larry's air-conditioner was officially dead.

Two circuit breakers had switched off, so he switched them back on. Larry had already suspected that there was something wrong with his air-conditioner. He called Jack, the repairman, but Jack didn't show up until four days later because he was so busy repairing all the other air-conditioners in the neighborhood.

When Jack finally came, he climbed up on the roof. Larry heard a lot of banging. Twenty minutes later Jack told Larry, "You need a new air-conditioner. Yours is the original model that came with this apartment building. All the other original AC units have been replaced. Yours lasted longest, but now it’s kicked the bucket. I'm going to call your landlady to see if she will approve a new AC unit for you. It’s going to cost $1200 parts and labor.”

“Wow,” said Larry.

Jack said that if everything went as planned, he'd install a new unit Monday morning. “Until then,” he said with a smile, “stay cool.”

Larry said, “No problem,” but he wondered if he should drive to the thrift store to look for a third fan for his bedroom.

 

immy Fixes His Door

 

Jimmy lives on the second floor of a six-unit apartment building. His front door has two locks -- a security deadbolt, and a regular door handle lock. The front door also has a peephole -- a tiny piece of glass through which Jimmy can look out his door at about eye-level to "preview" who is knocking on his door or ringing his doorbell.

The peephole is a security device, but Jimmy never uses it. When someone knocks, he just opens the door. First of all, he lives in a safe neighborhood, so security is not really a problem. Second, people rarely knock on Jimmy's door, so he is always eager to greet a visitor.

Before you can knock on the front door, you have to push the button on the black screen door to open the screen door. The screen door has an inside lock on it, but the lock has not worked since the screen door was installed more than two years ago. This has bothered Jimmy from day one. Today, Jimmy finally decided to do something about the lock on the screen door. It was a nice, warm sunny day. Jimmy was in his shorts -- no flip-flops, no shirt.

The lock was part of the screen door pushbutton handle. The outside and inside handles were held together with just two screws. Jimmy got a flathead screwdriver and loosened both screws. He kept adjusting the screws, and pushing on the outside button. Eventually he adjusted the screws enough to where the lever stayed in the locked position when he pushed on the outside button. Finally, he had made the right adjustment.

But now he needed to put a spacer on the inside handle to maintain that adjustment. He found a piece of plastic that was just the right thickness. He inserted the plastic between the handle and the doorframe itself, and then he tightened the two screws. Bingo! It worked perfectly. He could push on the outside button with all his might, and the lever would remain locked. Jimmy grinned. The screen door finally worked properly!

Jimmy had fixed a two-year-old problem in less than an hour. He was ecstatic. He returned the screwdriver to the toolbox, thinking “I'm a genius.”

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