Hey, they meant well

Late one night recently, Bob Larrivee became aware of flashing lights outside his house in Foster, R.I. He assumed the commotion was a utility crew, perhaps removing a downed tree. But on the street the next day was a freshly painted pedestrian crosswalk. So? Well, it's a first for the rural town. But it serves no useful purpose. At one end is a tall hedge, and at the other a stone wall. Highway Department officials say a striping contractor hired by the state arbitrarily chose the location because of two nearby "Slow, Ped X-ing" signs erected decades ago. The crosswalk, which "would only be good for deer or wild turkeys or turtles," would cost $200 to remove. So it will be allowed to fade.

And now, the flip side of the coin: top screen fiends

On Monday, this space listed the top 10 movie heroes as ranked by the American Film Institute. More than one made his mark battling an equally (and occasionally more) memorable nemesis, and AFI's survey of 1,500 actors, directors, and critics also singled out the best in that category. The top 10 villains, who played them (in parentheses), and the films in which they appeared:

1. Hannibal Lechter (Anthony Hopkins) "Silence of the Lambs"
2. Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) "Psycho"
3. Darth Vader (played by David Prowse, voiced by James Earl Jones) "Star Wars"
4. The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) "The Wizard of Oz"
5. Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"
6. Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), "It's a Wonderful Life"
7. Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), "Fatal Attraction"
8. Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), "Double Indemnity"
9. Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair), "The Exorcist"
10. The Queen (voiced by Lucille LaVerne), "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" - Reuters

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