Fountain of bananas

Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez-Blazquez of Grand Island had to wait more than 112 years for his 15 minutes of fame as the World’s Oldest Man, an achievement he attributed to eating a banana and taking six Anacin every day.

Then, in less time that it takes to open a child-resistant cap, scientists at Insight Pharmaceuticals got started (or maybe not) on developing “Bananacin” – a banana-flavored Anacin tablet.

“Forget the fountain of youth – ‘Bananacin’ could be a game-changer for life expectancy,” noted Jennifer Moyer, the company’s vice president for marketing, somehow managing not to giggle. “If nothing else, ‘Bananacin’ sounds delicious!”

Anacin, invented in 1916 and 15 years younger than Shorty, provided a mock-up – emphasis on the word “mock” – of a prototype for the new box, should Bananacin ever make its way to market.

Hey, if it worked for Shorty ...

Big-time maniacs

With all the big-time developers on the Buffalo Place board, some might say their meetings are a little maniacal. But this week’s meeting took that to a different level.

During a discussion about the summer concert series at Canalside, Executive Director Michael Schmand talked about the recent performance of the 10,000 Maniacs.

“They’re not what they used to be,” said Rocco Termini. “I think there are only 5,000 Maniacs.”

To which Schmand responded, “There’s only one maniac left.”

Not to be outdone, Carl Paladino explained where they went.

“I think there’s a bunch of maniacs at the school board meeting tonight,” he said.

Laughing at $349 million

Those who showed up to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s big casino revenue announcement in Niagara Falls this week were probably wondering what the state would do with the $349 million check the Senecas presented.

Cuomo jokingly put to rest any speculation.

“I’m now going to go on vacation to an undisclosed location,” Cuomo said to laughter. “If you can’t find me, it was nice knowing you.”

There wasn’t quite as much giggling when Cuomo joked that the state would deduct surcharges and handling fees from Niagara Falls’ $89 million check.

Even though Cuomo was kidding, someone said that seemed to roll off the tongue all too easily.

Sisters’ cuddling sisters

In the intense competition over baby deliveries in Western New York, Sisters Hospital has a weapon that Women & Children’s can’t match: hugging nuns.

Jackie Ball, a registered nurse in Sisters’ neonatal intensive care unit, brought up the cuddler program, where volunteers come into the unit to hold premature infants.

Two of the regular volunteers, Ball said, are nuns, including Sister Mary Grace, who lives at the hospital and will show up even when she’s not on the schedule.

“We have called her many times, and she says, ‘I’ll be right there,’ ” Ball said.

Case of conspicuous stains

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas hasn’t lost enthusiasm for her work, even though she spends much of her day dealing with criminals.

Joseph J. Trusello of Lewiston recently pleaded guilty to third-degree robbery for the $5,000 stickup of the M&T Bank branch in Lockport March 8.

“Is this the case where the dye pack exploded and he changed his clothes but not his underwear, and the dye was found on his underwear, on his boxers?” Farkas asked.

“Yes, Your Honor,” Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann said.

“I love this case,” Farkas replied.

Trusello, who could be sentenced to 3½ to seven years in prison, might have a different viewpoint.