MIAMI-- Now it's the telemarketers who are getting the calls, thanks to Dave Barry, humor columnist for The Miami Herald.
In his Aug. 31 column, Barry urged readers to call the American Teleservices Association and "tell them what you think" about telemarketers.
Thousands of readers responded with a flood of calls to the group's offices, causing the association to stop answering its phones.
Barry hardly sounded apologetic.
"I feel just terrible, especially if they were eating or anything," he said. "They have phones like the rest of us have phones. Their attitude seems to be if you have a phone, people are allowed to call you."
Elton John not still standing on tradition
LONDON -- It's a garage sale with attitude.
Elton John is doing a bit of house-clearing by putting paintings, chandeliers and leopardskin-print sofas up for sale later this month, auction house Sotheby's said Friday.
Sotheby's said more than 400 items from John's west London house were likely to raise more than $1.3 million when they're sold Sept. 30.
Items up for sale include a double bed with matching wardrobes designed by David Linley, nephew of Queen Elizabeth II; a bronze sculpture of Alexander the Great; a gilt-bronze and marble chandelier; and two busts of Napoleon.
John also is selling sculptures and paintings from his extensive art collection, including 17th-century artist Edward Bowker's "Portrait of a Lady with her Son," valued at $32,000-48,000.
The pop star, who also has a country home in Windsor, west of London, said he was selling the items so he could redecorate in a more modern style.
Chinese music awards go pop in fifth year
BEIJING -- Pop star Chen Qianqian and the electronic band New Pants were dubbed China's best new musicians Friday at the CCTV-MTV Music Awards.
Thousands of screaming fans waving green glow-sticks attended the event, in its fifth year, at Beijing's Worker's Gymnasium.
Chen, known for her up-tempo tunes, won the best new artist award, while New Pants, an underground favorite, was named best new band.
Han Hong's trademark love ballads made her China's top female artist, while Lu Yi took the top male prize.
The viewer's choice awards for the mainland went to Sha Baoliang (most popular new artist) and veteran singers Na Ying (most popular female artist) and Sun Nan (most popular male artist).
Martha Stewart featured by furniture salesman
BOSTON -- Far from shunning Martha Stewart for her legal troubles, two Boston-area furniture salesman known for their distinctive ads are featuring the queen of home decorating in new commercials.
Barry and Eliot Tatelman, who run the Boston-area chain Jordan's Furniture, brought in Stewart to boost her new line of furniture.
"Eliot and I aren't saying innocent or guilty," said Barry Tatelman, chief executive officer of Jordan's, which the brothers sold to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in 1999 but still operate.
"What we're saying is she's really good at what she does, and we love the furniture," Tatelman told The Boston Globe for a story in Thursday's edition.
-- From wire reports