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Etc...

Well, it was lunchtime

Pizza deliverymen have been known to take considerable risks to rush some combination of crust, cheese, tomato sauce, and other delicacies - like, say, pineapple chunks - to a hungry customer while still hot. Example: the British Army Air Corps pilot who recently diverted his helicopter from a training exercise to drop off a takeout pie for his girlfriend 30 miles away. The service says the mission wasn't compromised, but the pilot, a lieutenant, has been disciplined.

Well, it was lunchtime II

Then there's the fire department in Maroubra, Australia, a Sydney suburb, that couldn't respond to an alarm because one member was off using its only truck to pick up some you-know-what. A neighboring town's firefighters had to answer the call instead. "Unheard of," an indignant commissioner grumped. "It's being thoroughly investigated."

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In Houston, it's 'Get me to the gate on time' - or else

For air travelers who don't appreciate delays, the best major airport to start from is Houston's Bush Intercontinental. Named for the first President Bush, it boasts the best performance for on-time departures of any of the 31 busiest US airports. According to newly released data from the federal Department of Transportation, 87 percent of flights leave the gate on schedule. Arrivals, however, are another matter: Bush Intercontinental ranks seventh. (Denver International is No. 1.). Last in both categories: O'Hare Airport in Chicago, which has more takeoffs and landings per day than any other. The airports with the best on-time departure rates, by percentage:

1. Houston 87.1%
2. Washington Reagan 86.2%
3. Salt Lake City 86.0%
4. San Francisco 85.3%
5. Denver 85.1%
6. Los Angeles 84.9%
7. Portland, Ore. 84.7%
8. Minneapolis/St. Paul 84.7%
9. San Diego 83.9%
10. Tampa, Fla. 83.8%


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