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The Buzz

Why, I otter...

Dollar day at the Buffalo Zoo gummed up traffic for miles around. The zoo P.R. office said 11,000 visitors showed up last Monday. What is it like, 11,000 people at the zoo? One person offered the obvious: "The place was a zoo." But as one employee laughed on Facebook: "No animals acted up, a few of us staffers felt like acting up." You had to hand it to the zoo for getting Twitter twittering like the M&T Bank Rainforest Falls. "I heard people could hold an otter today -- is that true?," someone asked. Replied the zoo: "That would be a big NO, the otters aren't on board with that plan." Someone else chimed in: "Only Emmett Otter and his jug band!"

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Corporate challenge

Forget triathlons. The real test of a Buffalonian's speed and endurance is: Can you get to James Desiderio & Sons, the wholesale place on Bailey Avenue, in time to score a flat of fresh figs? Hearing how good these figs were, Buzz showed up one Saturday at 8:55 a.m. Alas, no figs that day. Strike one! Last Saturday we got there at 8:30 a.m. and the last box had just been sold. Strike two! However. A salesman said to come back Tuesday. "We open at 4:30 a.m.," he said. Tuesday, Buzz rose at dawn and drove to Desiderio's. And yes, they had figs! We picked a box, any box, which seemed to be proper etiquette. (One guy was pawing through the pile, and a salesman snapped: "What, did you drop your ring in there or something?") The best part of the drama: You pay for your figs at a cashier station more bulletproof than a bank. Delicious!

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More eating

Description from an Italian cookbook of how to tell a ripe fig: "It has a neck like a hanged man and an open shirt like a thief." How violent! You should see it in the original Italian. ... Inspired, Buzz went to Guercio's to get prosciutto to go with our figs. We love how the sign over the deli telling you not to talk on your cell phone is signed, not "The Mgt." but "The Mang." ... Finally, what gentility Saturday at the Clinton-Bailey Market! Buzz and a friend, buying everything but the stands themselves, overheard a little kid telling a customer: "Here's your change, ma'am." And a farmer telling a prospective plum buyer: "This isn't Tops. You can try one."

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Pre-season jitters

It's the new parlor game: Will the Buffalo Bills win one game this season? Yes or no? And please, could our guys at least look fierce? The Wall Street Journal site has a new video, "Terrell Owens: What's Your Workout?" It shows Owens, the Buffalo Bills and reality show star, looking handsome, chiseled and mountainous, alternately towering over a treadmill and tossing a football around to an aggressive beat. The trouble is, he's so sweet and polite as he discloses his body fat (6.1 to 6.3 percent, last time he checked) and admits that at 35, the media think you're over the hill. Couldn't T.O. act a little P.O.? Didn't we hire this guy to be a baddie?

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The buzz

Cling to the summer! The Transit Drive-In will stay open for the next few months. ... Marveled Joseph Ellicott, on Facebook, after the Chicken Wing Festival: "How does a woman so small consume so many chicken wings? Where do they go?" ... "Over the Tavern," Revisited: Tom Dudzick's drama could have a new twist if he set it in the apartment currently available over the Snooty Fox.

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"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be jpegs."

-- Nova Photo on Hertel Avenue, continuing to fight the Digital Age

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