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BUT I WANTED TO STAY

Despite his best efforts to remain in jail, a Tulsa, Okla., man spent four days as a free man - each apparently more uncomfortable than the last. Michael Chambers served just 15 days of a six-month sentence for drunk driving. "They told me they had my release papers," he said. "I said, 'I know that's wrong.' They still let me go." Finally, he returned to court with his lawyer, hoping honesty would win him a break on his original sentence. It didn't. Given a second chance to consider the matter, a judge ordered him back behind bars for the duration.

DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE US OUT

Elsewhere, Americans gripe about the intrusiveness of the Census 2000 forms. Not in Jeddo, Pa. The hamlet's 121 residents are upset, too - but because they didn't receive their forms in the first place. Complaints to the Census Bureau brought an explanation: Jeddo uses post office boxes, not street addresses. So the forms will be hand-delivered.

Tired of high gas prices? Be glad you're not in Hong Kong

Compared to other parts of the world, fuel prices across the US aren't as severe as they may seem. While pump-it-yourself unleaded gasoline in the US costs about $1.46 a gallon, motorists in Hong Kong pay well in excess of $5. And London, at $4.83, isn't far behind, according to a new survey by Runz-heimer International, a Rochester, Wis.-based management consultant specializing in travel and living costs. At the other extreme, gasoline in Quito, Ecuador, costs just 50 cents a gallon. Here's a look at the highest and lowest prices across the world last month:

Most expensive

Hong Kong $5.24

London 4.83

Amsterdam 4.48

Oslo 4.38

Espoo, Finland 4.35

Least expensive

Quito, Ecuador $0.50

Jakarta, Indonesia .52

Kuwait City .76

Manama, Bahrain .82

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia .93

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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