Mouse Shooter Mistakenly Hits Girlfriend

It's a lesson replayed over and over on "The Tom & Jerry Show" (search) cartoon, and one a real live man and his lady learned the hard way: A pesky little mouse is no easy target.

In an attempt to kill a rodent, Confluence resident Donald Rugg, 43, fired his pistol but missed the mouse — shooting his girlfriend in the arm instead, state police told The Associated Press.

Luckily, Cathy Jo Harris, 38, was in fair condition at Somerset Hospital on Tuesday, according to hospital spokesman Greg Chiappelli.

Police told the AP they wouldn't file any charges against Rugg, but they warned people not to shoot firearms inside.

Neither Rugg nor Harris could immediately be reached for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Cell Phones Make Diners Sick

Diners at The Vineyard in Bentonville, Ark., were getting tired of the constant ringing in their ears.

In fact all the cell phone chatter buzzing around them as they ate was making some of them sick, figuratively speaking. So they complained to management, asking for a ban so they could be spared the gory details of other diners' lives, The Associated Press reported.

"It's an interruption. It's loud. Normally you speak louder on a cell phone and it interrupts the peaceful atmosphere of a restaurant," customer Bo Landry said.

The Vineyard obliged, designating a "no cell-phone" area in the restaurant.

"We had a therapist in from New York in who was giving marriage counseling on the phone for 30 minutes," said server Brittany Peacock. "There were two other tables in the dining area and both complained."

But whether hungry patrons feel like being surrounded by peace and quiet or wireless conversations as they eat depends on the meal.

"At dinner, there are people who don't want cell phones," Peacock said. "At lunch, people come in and expect to take a call in the middle of the day, and they want cell phones."

If someone receives a call while in the cell-free area, they are asked to go outside or into the section of the restaurant where mobiles are allowed.

"I think you need an option if you have emergencies a lot of people have kids at home with a baby sitter," Landry said. "But I also think it's a nice to go to an area where it won't interrupt your meal."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dead Man Pitching

NEW YORK (AP) — Somewhere on a slab in Boston is a citizen of Red Sox Nation who actually gave his body to the cause.

With the team's future increasingly dependent on Curt Schilling's (search) right leg, doctors decided to try an apparently unprecedented procedure to keep a tendon from slipping around in his ankle. But first, they wanted to test it out.

So they used a cadaver. No way to know if it was a Red Sox (search) fan.

"We were going to try to do everything we could to try to stabilize the tendon," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said Wednesday night before Game 7 of the AL championship series. "We were only going to do it as a last-ditch effort."

The Red Sox wound up winning the playoffs Wednesday night against their rivals, the New York Yankees (search), and will head to the World Series for the first time since 1986. The Boston team hasn't won the baseball championship since 1918.

Schilling hurt the ankle near the end of the regular season and tried to pitch with the injury for Game 1 of the playoff series against the Yankees. Unable to push off the mound with full force, he allowed six runs in three innings — his worst postseason performance since 1993.

The Red Sox lost the game 10-7 and went on to fall behind 3-0 in the best-of-seven series. They won the next two to stay alive in the series, but they used every available pitcher in the process and found themselves needing Schilling again.

The Red Sox training staff thought of various ways to keep the tendon in place. Special high-top shoes didn't work, and they hit upon the idea of sewing skin in Schilling's leg to the tissue underneath, creating a wall that would keep the tendon in place.

"It seems extreme. We couldn't find a case of it ever being done before," Epstein said. "It was the best way to allow him to have his normal mechanics."

Schilling had three stitches put in at about 2 p.m. on Monday, about 90 minutes before he tested his ankle on the bullpen mound in Fenway Park (search).

"If it didn't work, he's in the same situation he was before," manager Terry Francona said. "We went out to the bullpen, he did pretty well without it. ... Schill kind of bought off on it, and they did it a day early to see if he could get used to it and let him get comfortable with it. And it certainly seemed to do the trick."

Although there was some fluid and blood leaking through Schilling's sock on Tuesday night, Epstein could see after the first pitch that Schilling was throwing like normal.

The sutures were taken out after the game to avoid infection; if Schilling pitches again, they would be put back in. Epstein said there was no problem repeating the procedure a couple of more times.

"We only have one more series," he said. "People think it's reasonable to do it a couple more times."

Bunny Times Bunny Equals 73

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — He wanted a bit of company, so he bought a pair of bunnies. He ended up with more company than he could handle. Given the run of the house, the little furballs did what rabbits are known for.

In less than a year, the man, whose name the Louisiana SPCA (search) withheld on grounds that he was embarrassed enough already, had 73 rabbits.

They chewed the furniture. They burrowed into chairs, couches and mattresses. They processed food faster than their owner could clean up after them.

Finally, said SPCA Executive Director Laura Maloney, he passed out. Then he moved out and called his doctor for help.

The doctor called the SPCA, which chased rabbits through the house for much of the day Monday. Now — though a few have been adopted — it still has lots and lots, and is asking other area shelters for help.

"The rabbits were clean and healthy, even though the house wasn't," said Kathryn Destreza, director of animal services.

Maloney said the man was not cited and does not have the mental disorder called animal hoarding, Maloney said.

Hoarders collect strays and shelter animals in a misguided attempt to love and care for them, and rarely ask for help, she said. "He was a very nice man who recognized he was in a situation where he needed help."

TV in Distress

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Chris van Rossman's television came with a VCR, DVD player and CD player — plus a hidden feature that had a rescue team beating a path to his door.

On the night of Oct. 2, the TV began emitting the international distress signal — the 121.5 megahertz beep emitted by crashed airplanes and sinking boats.

The signal was picked up by a satellite, relayed to an Air Force base in Virginia, then to the Civil Air Patrol, then to officials in Oregon. Most signals are false alarms, but they're all checked out, and soon, men in Air Force uniforms, a police officer and Mike Bamberger, a Benton County Search and Rescue deputy, were at van Rossman's apartment door.

"I have a pretty spotless record, so I wasn't overly concerned — just a little confused," van Rossman said. "The police officer asked if I was a pilot or had a boat or anything."

They left when he said "no," but came back when they narrowed the location of the signal to a wall in van Rossman's hallway, Bamberger said.

The solution to the mystery was nailed when van Rossman turned off the TV before answering the door the second time. The signal stopped, too. An inspection of the television confirmed it was the source.

"Their equipment was just bouncing everywhere as they turned it on and off," van Rossman said.

Neither investigators nor officials at Toshiba Corp. (search) know exactly what caused the problem, Bamberger said Tuesday. Toshiba plans to replace the television and examine the offending one.

"We have never experienced anything like this before at Toshiba," said spokeswoman Maria Repole.

In the meantime, van Rossman is keeping the set unplugged — to avoid a fine of up to $10,000 per day if his TV cries wolf again.

Compiled by's Catherine Donaldson-Evans.

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