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LONDON: Workers at a London auction house put a $158,000 painting by artist Lucian Freud into a crusher because they thought it was garbage. A spokesman for Sotheby's confirmed the painting had been accidentally destroyed. 'It is an extremely unfortunate situation and we have taken immediate steps to prevent it happening again'. he said. After the painting was delivered, workers thought the protective case containing the picture was in fact an empty box. They placed it in a garbage crusher. The Sotheby's spokesman refused to comment on the fate of the employees. ----------------------------------------------------------------- ROSWELL, New Mexico: It won't take a penny to get Ernest Spence's thoughts on the I-R-S. He was a penny short on his taxes and now the agency wants more than 286 dollars in penalties and interest. The businessman says he paid more than 28-thousand dollars in fourth quarter taxes. But the I-R-S says he should have forked over one cent more. Spence says his penny error was a math mistake--he didn't carry over fractions of a cent. He figures I-R-S agents don't have enough to do if they're going through all that effort to get a penny. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Wacky-But-True: A Pennsylvania man will spend 23 months in jail for making 5,000 phony 9-1-1 calls because he was bored. 20-year-old Thomas Crawley was also ordered to spend 100-hours telling children what he did and "how stupid it was" and pay the city of Philadelphia $100 a month for the next seven years. Crawley used the name Tommy Pain to report his fake fires, gunfights, accidents and other emergencies. He eventually worked his way up to 500 calls a day. ----------------------------------------------------------------- OSLO, Norway: An 80-year-old motorist almost collided with a plane after he made a wrong turn and ended up on a airport runway. Scandinavian Airlines System said the pilot of a plane traveling at 125 miles per hour saw the car, accelerated and took off early to clear the vehicle by a few feet. Airport authorities cannot explain how the man was able to drive through a normally locked gate, and onto the runway.


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