This One's on Us, Kids

Administrators of a tony prep school near Washington, D.C., were embarrassed to reveal last month that pupils had been served drinks — real, grown-up drinks.

"Dear Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade Parents," began a letter, signed by Alexander Harvey IV, head of Alexandria Country Day School (search), "it is with great regret that I tell you that your child may have been exposed to alcohol today at lunch."

The letter was sent home with students Sept. 10, reports the Washington Post.

It turns out that following a party for staff, faculty and trustees at the Alexandria, Va., school, a pitcher of leftover margarita mix had been placed in a cafeteria refrigerator.

Two days later, cafeteria workers thought it was limeade, and poured it out into small cups for children to drink.

Fortunately, 8-to-11-year-olds don't have much of a taste for tequila. Several students took sips and found it "gross."

Former Rep. Bill Paxson (search), R-N.Y., who has two kids at the school, told the Post that his third-grader was "very excited about it."

"Her words were, 'Something really fun and illegal happened today at school.' Then she proceeded to say what happened. She said it was gross and disgusting stuff," he said. "She said she tasted it and it was so disgusting she couldn't drink it."

When the mistake was discovered, the cups were quickly taken back from the children, who were observed for signs of nausea or drunkenness. None developed any.

"While it's true procuring alcohol for someone under the legal age of 21 is illegal," said Commonwealth's Attorney S. Randolph Sengel, it sounded like this was "an innocent mistake."

Headmaster Harvey told parents, who pay tuition of between $14,200 to $15,600, that alcohol was immediately banned from the premises and that future faculty parties would be held off campus.

"We ask the students to be honest and admit their mistakes, and we should do the same," his letter read.

— Thanks to Out There reader Kris P.

Beer Drinker Fights for Right to Drive

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) — A man who lost his driving privileges after his doctor reported to police that he drank a six-pack of beer a day is taking his fight to a higher court.

Keith Emerich, 44, asked Commonwealth Court to overturn the state Department of Transportation's decision to revoke his license.

A Lebanon County Common Pleas judge upheld the decision, but ruled that Emerich may obtain restricted driving privileges as long as he uses a device that tests his blood-alcohol content before starting his car.

Emerich, 44, a printing company employee, was notified in April he would lose his license, about two months after he disclosed his drinking habit to doctors treating him for an irregular heartbeat.

A Pennsylvania law from the 1960s requires doctors to report any impairments in patients that could compromise their ability to drive safely.

Emerich has said he does not drive drunk and argued that he has reduced his beer drinking to weekends and has a clean driving record apart from a drunk-driving conviction when he was 21.

Get Me a Drink or Else

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A woman put a Lower Paxton Township supermarket employee in a headlock after the employee refused to leave her post to fetch iced tea and lemonade, police said.

Police said a shopper at a self-checkout lane at Giant supermarket (search) insisted Tuesday that the clerk retrieve jugs of lemonade and iced tea for her. The woman started arguing after the clerk said she couldn't leave her post at the U-Scan register, police said.

A second woman entered the store and told her friend to hurry up. When the first woman explained the clerk wouldn't help her, the second woman jabbed her finger into the clerk's head, struck her in the shoulder and placed her in a headlock, police said.

Other customers broke the fight up and the clerk escaped injury, police said. The two women ran out of the store but police said they expect to make arrests.

Flowers and Dinner Must Not Have Been Enough

EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — A man staged a fake home invasion so he could impress his wife by chasing off the supposed bad guys, police said.

On Monday night, a 27-year-old man and his 31-year-old wife reported that two males in ski masks broke into the house, bound her hands with duct tape and put her in the bathroom.

The man was not home at the time.

He told police he came home and scared the men away, hitting one of them with a two-by-four.

Police spokeswoman Glynda Chu said the invaders were a juvenile and an 18-year-old man, who had been told it was a practical joke by the woman's husband.

One told his parents what happened, and they notified police.

Chu said the homeowner told police it was a hoax when he was questioned Tuesday. He told police he was trying to convince his wife he was a hero, and had asked the two teenagers to stage the break-in, police said.

No arrests were made and police did not release the names of the people involved.

Ablaze With Jealousy

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) — A man who set his wife's pants on fire because he believed she was having an affair accidentally torched his mobile home and has been charged with arson, police said.

Officers said Leroy Brown, 19, perceiving that his wife had been with another man, set fire to the pair of pants he thought she was wearing at the time of the affair.

The burning pants started to singe Brown's fingers so he dropped the pants and the mobile home caught fire, Pine Bluff police detectives James Golden and Kelvin Hadley said.

Brown was detained on an arson charge after Tuesday's fire, pending a formal review by the Jefferson County prosecutor's office.

Snake On the Loose at Multiplex

HOUSTON (AP) — In a case of life imitating art, a Houston movie theater has shut down while workers hunt for an 8-foot snake spotted by a maintenance worker.

Among the movies playing at the 16-screen Tinseltown theater is the horror-thriller "Anacondas."

Terrell Falk, a spokeswoman for Cinemark USA Inc., said the worker saw a snake about a week ago that he described as thick as a man's arm slithering along a wall.

"As soon as he saw it, he left," she said. "I think everyone who was working left."

When theater owners heard of it, they closed the place and brought in snake experts.

"We have looked throughout the theater and we haven't found a snake yet," Ramon Cardenas, owner of Critter Control (search) of Houston, a company that specializes in wildlife control, told the Houston Chronicle.

It's unclear if the animal escaped or remains inside. Based on the description provided by the janitor, the snake people believe it could be a Burmese python (search).

Cardenas said he set up temperature-controlled traps in hopes of capturing the reptile. Snakes prefer warm temperatures and are sensitive to vibrations, office manager Michelle Pustejovsky said, so the heat has been turned up in the building.

Houston animal control officers searched the place Wednesday and couldn't find any trace of it.

"Just because we didn't see one doesn't mean it's not there," Houston Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Kathy Barton said.

Pustejovsky said it was unlikely a python would have just wandered in, and probably was brought in by someone or let loose nearby.

Falk said the theater was losing money by being closed, but said the safety of customers and employees is more important.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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