Etc...

Hey, you think this is a picnic?

Earlier this week, 22 hungry people eased into padded wing chairs around a single dining table in Brussels, toasted each other, and then tucked into a gourmet meal. What's more, since the temperature - it was in the 60s F. - was comfortable, they sat in the open air, although under a roof with modernistic light fixtures mounted above their heads just in case the sunny skies gave way to rain. What's so unusual about that, you ask? Well, other than the fact that 22 is a rather large party to be dining outdoors, it could be that the table was suspended from a huge crane ... 165 feet above a busy center-city street. For safety, the guests, all restaurant chefs in professional garb, strapped themselves in, with their feet resting on thick steel plates that anchored the seats - and tried to act nonchalant as cars and trucks passed far below and photographers recorded the scene for posterity. The stunt, which cost about $125,000 and is believed to have been a first, was set up for its publicity value by a Belgian company that organizes bungee jumps and other extreme attractions for fun and profit. In case you were wondering, the main course was oysters.

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