Lurking sales assistants

Jeremy writes: "Both myself and my partner are getting sick of being followed by staff at JB Hi-Fi whenever we shop there. This happens every time. We aren't going to steal anything and have spent a good amount of money there over the years. I would really like to know if anyone else has noticed being shadowed by staff so overtly? It's really not good customer relations to treat people like they're criminals."

Have your cake and eat it too, but no photos

A reader wrote to Jen at Cake Wrecks (a site devoted to pictures of terribly and hilariously decorated cakes) to say her local supermarket bakery has a new policy banning photography. Apparently, management was afraid the cakes would end up on that "bad cake site". In fact, store employees tried to stop photos being taken by saying their cake designs were copyrighted. So rather than hiring professionals or training cake decorators, it's easier to ban photos. Cake Wrecks hears from readers every week who are harassed, shooed away, and even kicked out of stores for whipping out their cellphones. "Now, far be it from me to criticise rules (even ones I find really, REALLY stupid) but I don't see how harassing your own customers - and ones who often buy your wrecks because Cake Wrecks has made them a world-wide inside joke - is good for business," says Jen.


Woman says she's not racist despite Obama slur

A California woman insists she's not racist despite a Facebook post about President Obama that included a racial slur and a musing that "maybe he will get assassinated this term". Denise Helms' post triggered a Secret Service investigation and she was fired by her employer, Cold Stone Creamery, after angry phone calls and Facebook messages, the LA Times reports. Still, Helms seemed shocked by the whole thing: "The assassination part is kind of harsh. I'm not saying I'd go do that or anything like that, by any means, but if it was to happen I don't think I'd care one bit." (Source:

Fire-prone Californians turn to goats

Fire-prone residents in California are employing an up-and-coming company that uses goats to eat away fire-fueling vegetation. Brush Goats 4 Hire, of Santa Barbara will bring more than 60 goats to eat chemise, ceanothus, thistle and assorted native grasses that pose fire hazards, USA Today reported. "They'll eat for about 20 minutes, then lie down like they're pregnant," said owner Lorraine Argo.

Ribena berries are not cannibals

Karmen Chin Chan-Laung has got it all wrong, says Brendon Tod. "Ribena is made out of Black Currants. Ribena berries are berries that drink ribena, they are not black currants and therefore not cannibals."

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