Creepy cupcake
Gary Malerba  /  AP file
Cashier Laura Hosbach, prepares an order for a customer at The Milford Baking Co. in Milford, Mich., earlier this week. The store has been raking in the dough selling spooky snacks as investigators dig up a local farm seeking the remains of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa.
By Brian Tracey Business Editor

As FBI agents combed a Michigan farm looking for the remains of labor leader Jimmy Hoffa this week, a local bakery has decided to capitalize on the search with a cupcake apparently not only grave-digger can love.

Cupcakes aren't usually a best-seller at the Milford Baking Company. But since the addition of a plastic green hand emerging from the chocolate-flavored sprinkles and frosting meant to resemble dirt, the bakery can't make enough of the desserts.

As dozens of FBI agents, police and others invaded Milford Township, a small community 30 miles northwest of Detroit, more than 500 of the 95-cent cupcakes have been sold, with orders coming in from all over the Detroit area. One businessman even waited outside the bakery at 5 a.m. so he could treat co-workers, and an FBI agent ordered three dozen to take to those working at the dig site, co-owner Laura Helwig said.

The Hoffa cupcakes are the best single-day seller ever at the bakery, Helwig said.

The bakery has ordered an additional 700 green hands with the expectation that demand will remain high. The FBI has said the search, which began May 17 at the Hidden Dreams horse farm, is expected to last a couple of weeks.

"I never dreamed it would take off like this," Helwig said. "We're just trying to have fun with the whole thing."

We just hope no Sopranos-looking characters stop by to see if they can get a piece of the action.

Not-so-bad ideas

  • A British surgeon decided to bypass standard operating procedure when he decided to purchase essential medical equipment from the Internet auction site eBay, a hospital has admitted.

Dr. Kevin Murray had already ordered nearly $85,000 worth of equipment to set up his new operating room at the James Paget Hospital in Norfolk, according the the Daily Telegraph newspaper in the U.K.

But he forgot to order a surgical retractor, an essential item which holds wounds open during operations.

So in order to save time, he bypassed official channels and bought the retractor off eBay.

When hospital management discovered the purchase, the device was confiscated before it was used during surgery.

But after being checked and sterilized it has been returned to Dr. Murray, the hospital said.

Roy Haynes, director of human resources and operations at the hospital, said the instrument posed no threat to public health, which we're sure has patients feeling much better.

  • One of the best uses of the Internet is the technology's ability to draw together people who share unique or even obscure interests, and one Web site operator thinks he's found profitable niche: People who drive cars with manual transmissions.

"The human love affair with the automobile was born out of a yearning to take control and be free, and that is embodied in the very act of shifting," says Greg Bruder, manual transmission lover and founder of

Bruder notes that manual transmissions account for around 10 percent all cars sold in the United States and Japan. "Trends now indicate that manufacturers want to eliminate the traditional manual transmission in new cars and trucks," says Bruder. "Action now can prevent that looming extinction from happening."

And for only $19.95 a year, Shiftyworld members can band together to promote their clutch-popping passions, trade transmission tips and "read and/or post unforgettable and often humorous member stories of driving a stick shift."

We think that section of the site should be called Shift Happens.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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