It's payback time, pal

That was a memorable plane ride Joshua Gotbaum took from Honolulu to San Francisco last week, and bad weather had nothing to do with it. In fact, all appeared normal until he was spotted by the pilot of the Hawaiian Airlines jet before takeoff. Gotbaum's presence, the pilot said, made him "uncomfortable" and he'd prefer that he take another flight. Now, is Gotbaum a known troublemaker? Maybe he'd consumed too many adult beverages? Nope, he's the trustee overseeing the reorganization of the bankrupt carrier and has proposed cuts in the pilots' pension program as a means of saving money. Rather than argue and delay the flight, he caught a later one. He's thought to be the first passenger kicked off a Hawaiian Airlines plane.

Fire up the grill: It's time to celebrate hamburgers

If there's one aroma that Americans associate with summer - and especially with Independence Day cookouts - it's probably sizzling hamburgers. Some culinary historians consider this year the 100th anniversary of the hamburger because Texan Fletcher Davis, a concessionaire, helped to popularize it by serving ground beef patties between slices of bread at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair (aka the Louisiana Purchase Exposition). The hamburger, however, already had a hold on the palates of German immigrants. Results of a recent survey by Impulse Research Corp. indicate that 82 percent of Americans eat burgers at least once a week and that 90 percent prefer theirs charbroiled. Other survey results, indicating the preferences (in percentage terms) for what they have on and with their hamburgers:

Prefer (type of cheese):
American almost 50%
Cheddar 32%
Swiss 11%

Prefer (type of condiment)
Ketchup 48%
Mayonnaise 23%
Mustard 22%

Prefer (as side dish)
French fries 50%
Potato salad 19%
Onion rings 10%
Potato chips 9%
Beans 7%

- Hardee's Food Systems Inc.

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