Don't Despair--There Is a Way to Bury Your Troubles

Life getting you down?

Is the boss on your case? Did your lover just dump you? Is a relative not paying back a loan? Is your diet flunking? Is your favorite team on a losing streak?

For these and 29 other potential traumas, Diego Cienfuegos of La Mesa, the self-styled "Doctor of Despair," has a cure: a Rest in Peace kit, $9.95 retail, plus $1.95 shipping and handling.

Cienfuegos says he hit on the idea after seeing all the people moping around and not knowing what to do.

"I realized we had to fashion a tool to help people vent their anger," he said.

So the 51-year-old engineer and instructor at National University invented his R.I.P., an easily assembled hand-sized cardboard casket.

It comes with 34 paper strips called "trauma inserts" and instructions for a "funeral" to help bury your troubles without resorting to violence or psychotherapy.

Cienfuegos offers an example of the R.I.P. in action: "It would be perfect for boys in high school. If you have a bad relationship, just bury it and go on to the next lady."

It could also be a group exercise in stress relief: "If a company goes belly up, the workers could bury the company and start life over."

Soon, if all goes well, the R.I.P. kit will be hawked on various television super-stations (WTBS, WGN, etc.) by the same advertising/marketing firm that brought the world the Pocket Fisherman and the Ginsu Knives.

Cienfuegos has invested $11,000 in materials and advertising. He's arranging an 800 number for his firm, Focus Technology, for what he expects to be a tidal wave of purchase orders.

Think of it: If even a fraction of disappointed Padres or Chargers fans seek Cienfuegos' invention for succor, R.I.P. will be booming success.

Cienfuegos foresees people staging funerals and consigning the caskets to a back-yard burial or maybe cremation in the fireplace or perpetual storage in the garage.

Inside the casket would be the appropriate trauma insert: Divorce Decree, Car Is a Lemon, Bank Loan Not Approved, Got Evicted, No Snow on Snow Trip, etc.

"People need a way to get rid of negative energy," Cienfuegos said. "They need Rest In Peace."

The Ultimate Race

Take a look.

* San Diego mayoral long-shot Jim Turner (still fighting to get on the ballot) has challenged his opponents to a decathlon: starting with chess, tennis and golf, and ending with horseshoes.

Turner is 69 years old but confident he can outdo his younger rivals: "I'll bet it'll be mighty lonesome pitching those shoes all by myself."

* Asked by a San Diego reporter if he'd ever bounced a check, Vice President Dan Quayle said no.

Asked if his wife, Marilyn, had ever bounced one, Quayle only laughed and moved on.

* David Dillon of Escondido says now that investigators know where Amelia Earhart's last flight ended, maybe they'll tackle even a tougher mystery: Where did her luggage go?

* For the two-part story of his life and times that begins Thursday in the San Diego Reader, fallen financier C. Arnholt Smith was paid $5,000, plus $1,000 for the use of old-time photographs.

* Bumper sticker seen outside the Vista courthouse: "My Child Was Citizen of the Month at Juvenile Hall."

Horsin' Around

A horse, a bet, a mother.

Start with the fact that Bruce Andrews Jr. has a racetrack tip sheet called Deuce Bruce. He learned handicapping from his father, Bruce Sr., a San Diego bus driver.

One recent day Bruce Sr. had an idea for an $80 Trifecta bet (first-, second- and third-place finishers in the 9th race) at the Del Mar satellite wagering shop.

His wife, Karol, a secretary for the Police Department, was going to Del Mar to claim a winner from the previous day, so she agreed to place Bruce Sr.'s bet. Once there, she decided to place a Trifecta herself.

A familial dilemma then arose: Bruce Sr.'s bet was one way. Deuce Bruce suggested another.

Karol decided to place $16 on the Deuce Bruce picks.

Result: Bruce Sr. finished out of the money, Deuce Bruce hit right on, and Karol won $606.60.

"A mother's faith in her son has no limits," she explained.

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