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Off Main Street / The offbeat side of the news

Not much better days

We experienced a painful case of deja vu recently while watching the trailer for the Jennifer Aniston movie "Love Happens."

In the background, we could make out the strains of the Goo Goo Dolls song "Better Days."

Buffalo Sabres fans might recall that in the distant past (2007), that song was the theme of a Sabres playoff run that many of us hoped would end with the hoisting of the Stanley Cup in HSBC Arena. Instead, it ended with the effective dismantling of the team.

A friend of Off Main Street had not seen the film yet, but noted that if history is any guide, "poor Jennifer isn't going to see a happy ending."

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The seat of power

The bad economy is hitting a lot of people where they live.

In Wales it's hitting people where they sit.

The Town Board this week tabled a resolution that would have replaced 30 chairs for audience members with more comfortable padded seats. The new chairs would have set the town back about $600.

But led by Councilman Gerald Klinck, who noted that the board recently decided to hold the line on most town salaries and is facing other rising expenses, members decided that now is not the time to be spending money on comfy chairs.

Call it a tough stance on sitting.

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How to get arrested

Here's a tip for criminals: If you're wanted for violating your parole and police spot you sitting on your porch, do not go back in the house to smoke crack and then, after fighting with the police, try to bribe your way out of going to jail. Twice.

If only someone could have told Timothy Goodwin that sooner.

According to Cheektowaga police, officers Jonathan Ober and John Skonecki spotted Goodwin, 26, at his residence on Ivanhoe Road around 8:30 p.m. last Friday. When Goodwin saw the police, he went inside. Police found him sitting on a couch in his living room smoking a crack pipe.

He not only refused to let go of the crack pipe, he decided to try and fight the cops. That didn't work, and he ended up in custody.

While the police were taking him to headquarters, Goodwin allegedly offered another officer, Bradford Hebeler, money to be released from the car. Hebeler declined. So Goodwin upped the offer. Still no go.

He ended up charged with bribery, resisting arrest and possession of a controlled substance.

Here's hoping he also learned a valuable lesson.

***

To our health

Put aside your worries about the economy, the weather, the sports teams and the state of politics in Buffalo and chew on this good news: We're not THAT unhealthy.

We know this because Men's Health magazine wanted to find the cities with the most fast-food addicts and out of 100 cities polled, Buffalo finished dead last.

The magazine counted the number of McDonald's, Burger Kings, Wendy's and Taco Bells per capita; factored in the percentage of people who visit fast-food restaurants and those who consume fast food seven or more times a month; and asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the number of people who are obese, and to see who's eating the fewest fruits and vegetables.

By that measure, Arlington, Texas, has the most fast-food addicts and Buffalo has the fewest.

Of course, the "study" did not take into account our venerable local fast-food franchises -- Anderson's, John and Mary's, Mighty Taco, Ted's, et. al. -- a fact pointed out by several people who commented on the online version of the story.

That might mean we're a little less healthy than Men's Health thinks we are, but we're a lot happier than people who have never experienced the joy of a hot dog with everything from Ted's or a Super Mighty.

Written by Bruce Andriatch with contributions from Nancy Gish and Samantha Maziarz Christmann.

e-mail: offmain@buffnews.com

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