Little Kisses, Big Battle of the Bands

It's like "West Side Story" — if the Jets were a dwarf-only KISS cover band and the Sharks were also a KISS cover band, but they had three little people and a 350-pound woman.

Er ... and it's in Vegas instead of New York.

At any rate, it's a battle of the bands of diminutive proportions.

Joey Fatale, a 4-foot, 4-inch New Yorker and head of the all-dwarf KISS tribute band MiniKISS, is embroiled in a bitter battle with Tiny Kiss, rival KISS cover band featuring little people.

Reports say that Fatale tired to sneak by security at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to confront "Little" Tim Loomis for allegedly stealing his miniature KISS cover band concept, The New York Post and L.A. Times report.

Loomis used to be the drummer for MiniKISS, but he was performing with Tiny Kiss as part of a variety show at Beacher's Madhouse when the alleged confrontation occurred.

"[Fatale] came out here and tried to cause trouble, so I had him 86'd from the Hard Rock. The impression I got was that he was looking for a fight. He'd been threatening me over the phone," Loomis said.

But Fatale says that's not the case.

"This whole thing about me going to the Hard Rock with my gang — that didn't happen. What happened was, I went there because somebody told me [Tiny Kiss was] doing the show that night … Nobody escorted me out of there. I went there by myself to approach them like a gentleman," Fatale said.

Jeff Beacher, the host of the variety show, says Fatale attempted to get past security saying he was Tiny Kiss. Reports indicate Fatale's lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to try to shut the Tiny Kiss act down.

But Fatale insists that the whole fiasco is much ado about nothing.

"This is all a big publicity act for the guy at Beacher's," he said.

Thanks to Out There reader Tim B.

Prunes Are Good for More Than ... You Know ...

LONDON (AP) — The humble prune is set to be recognized as one of the secret weapons of World War II. A London auction house, Spink, is selling two grizzled prunes that it says were destined to be stuffed with maps or other documents and smuggled to prisoners of war. The prunes were part of the memorabilia collection of a British spy.

The prunes are part of a collection of World War II memorabilia collected by a British woman, the late Doreen Mulot, a former member of Britain's Special Operations Executive, which was set up to carry out operations behind enemy lines.

Sometimes referred to as "the Baker Street Irregulars" after Sherlock Holmes' fictional group of spies, the executive was set up by Winston Churchill and Hugh Dalton to conduct warfare by means other than direct military engagement.

Interviewed by telephone by The Associated Press, Richard Marshall, Mulot's great-nephew who's selling the collection, said his great-aunt had lived in a large house in the north London neighborhood of Hampstead "with a large bathroom where they prepared the prunes."

The dried fruit were softened in water, then de-pitted to allow carefully rolled documents covered in waxed paper to be inserted. The fruit was then re-dried and packed into food parcels for the prisoners, who used the information to escape and find their way home.

Water was added, and "as the prunes swelled up they picked out the (pits) and filled the cavities with waxed paper. The prunes were then dried out and sent to prisoners in Red Cross parcels. It was quite ingenious, but not the sort of thing you usually associate with fighting a war."

His great-aunt, he said, had "kept the two prunes as a souvenir." These particular prunes were never used in an operation, the auction house said.

Her collection also includes accurate forgeries of official German rubber document stamps and elaborate plates used to counterfeit "camp money," which was used by prisoners of war to buy a limited range of goods inside the camps.

There are also instructions on sabotage that were hidden in booklets that were made to resemble diaries, cookbooks, health manuals and pocket dictionaries.

It's Like Grown-Up Time Out, but Funnier

DETROIT (AP) — Legal experts are questioning the legitimacy of a punishment levied by a federal judge after a suburban Detroit man balked at serving on a grand jury.

William Schramm, a retirement planner, has reported to the federal courthouse in Detroit on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays every other week since the end of January.

On unwritten orders from Chief U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman, Schramm sits on a first-floor bench from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day the grand jury is in session. He isn't allowed to read and he doesn't receive the $40-a-day pay or the mileage reimbursement jurors get for traveling to the downtown courthouse.

The sentence did not result from finding Schramm in contempt of court, The Detroit News reported in Monday editions.

Friedman said he has intrinsic authority to administer justice that no law specifies. The judge said Schramm answered a question or questions in an inappropriate and apparently untruthful manner while he was interviewing prospective grand jurors.

As a result, Friedman said, "he had to contemplate his behavior and his interference with the administration of justice. The message is that when you are summoned to jury duty you must tell the truth."

Schramm, 31, told the newspaper he has not complained because he fears further upsetting the judge and being found in contempt, which he said could jeopardize his license to sell securities.

Federal grand juries consist of 16 to 23 people. They meet in secret to consider federal indictments and decide whether felony charges should be brought against an accused person.

I Spy With My Little Eye ... a Moron

ELKO, Nev. (AP) — A man accused of burglarizing a laundromat in Elko figured he made a clean escape over the weekend when he took off with the store's six video surveillance cameras.

But it turns out he left some rather compelling evidence behind — the video machine and videotape that recorded his face each time he stood in front of the cameras at the Southside Laundry.

Elko police said they came away with several close-ups of the suspect, Robert Lynn White, 52, Elko.

And even if the portraits were a little fuzzy, police said they would have been able to easily identify him because he was wearing cowboy chaps and a trench coat, the usual attire he wears around town.

Police are still working to recover the missing cameras but in the meantime they have arrested White on suspicion of grand larceny. The store is owned by Elko County Commissioner John Ellison.

Thanks to Out There readers Gail V., Jennifer S. and Shannon O.

Need a Hat? He's Got You (and 82,792 Friends) Covered

MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — Roger "Buckey" Legried could wear a different baseball cap every hour for nine years and not get through his collection.

Volunteers here counted 82,792 caps — more than enough for the Frost, Minn., man to set an unofficial world record — and then presented him with autographed No. 82,793.

Legried shipped the collection in two semitrailer trucks to Mitchell's Corn Palace for the counting. He said the Corn Palace is large enough for the job and its agriculture background fits with the theme of many of his hats.

The final count Saturday wasn't far off Legried's guess of around 83,000, which he's collected since 1970. On Saturday alone, he received another 80 caps that weren't included in the final count.

Legried said he'll have to mail paperwork and other documentation before his collection is recognized as a Guinness World Record, now listed at around 30,000.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

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