etc.

NOW YOU JUST HANG ON TIGHT

The phone calls to police sounded urgent: A workman was dangling precariously from a ladder at a new outdoor billboard north of Slidell, La., and looked as though he needed help. So, would-be rescuers rushed to the scene ... and discovered they needn't have. There was no way the subject of the calls could have been hurt. Reason: He's a dummy, cleverly placed in a three-dimensional ad for a nearby hospital. The callers evidently hadn't noticed the wording on the board: "Trouble is never far away. Neither are we."

AN EXPLOSIVE SITUATION

On the other hand, police in Madrid were up against the real thing when they found - in a dumpster at a center-city construction site - three anti-aircraft missiles left over from the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. The trash bin was being used by workers renovating a building, although no one seems to know how the missiles got there. Said an official: They were "in good condition" and ready to go off, until defused by experts.

Hot or cold, cereal clings to No. 1 as a breakfast food

Despite the racks of muffins, donuts, and scones tempting customers in coffee shops nationwide, the largest percentage of Americans apparently is sticking with more traditional breakfast fare: cereal. Almost one-third of respondents to a new survey by Opinion Research Corp. of Princeton, N.J., said a bowl of flakes, or granola, or other hot or cold grain product is still their food of choice in the morning. The most popular breakfast foods, according to results of the Opinion Research poll, and the percentage who said they eat them regularly:

Cereal 27%

Eggs 20%

Bagels 12%

Pancakes 9%

Bacon 8%

Waffles 4%

Sausages 4%

Donuts or other pastries 4%

Hash-brown potatoes 3%

Muffins 3%

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