Monkey business

A small Japanese restaurant is booked out weeks in advance thanks to a member of staff — a monkey waiter.

Fuku-chan greets guests and takes them hot towels at the end of their meals at the Kayabuki restaurant, 60 miles north of Tokyo.

A diner told The Sun: "He has these airs and graces that make him look just like a waiter at a posh restaurant." Restaurant owner Kaoru Otsuka said: "It all started when 1 gave him a hot towel out of curiosity and he took it to the customer."

'Old lady' robs bank

Police are hunting a crook who got clean away with more than £10,000 after robbing a bank dressed as a little old lady. The bandit shuffled into the bank in Hamburg, wearing a headscarf, thick glasses and a long coat before pulling a gun on cashiers.

More than 100 police officers took part in a citywide search for the cross-dressing blagger - and arrested five real-life old ladies as suspects before letting them go. A cashier said they saw a smiling little old lady come up to the cash desk, but then she suddenly whipped out a gun, roared in a deep male voice to hand over the cash and then fled as quickly as an Olympic athlete.

Russians stole my homework

Justifications like "the computer crashed" have overtaken "my dog ate it" among excuses from pupils who have not done their homework.

Teachers in British schools hear 6.5 million homework excuses every week and roughly 1.3 million of those relate to the failure of technology according to a survey. The most popular included 'My computer crashed and I lost it" and "My Internet was down so I could not do any research".

Other inventive justifications include: 'My dad's computer was hacked by the Russians and they stole my homework" and "A burglar stole my printed-out homework along with the computer'.

The tooth fairy's financial problems

A new survey reveals the latest victim of the credit crunch - the tooth fairy.

The average amount left under a pillow for a tooth has dropped from £1.22 (€1.50) to 87p (€1.22) in the past six months. The figures also show that 38% of British children do not get any money from the tooth fairy. The "Pillow Index'; asked 1,000 parents in the UK what their children received after giving their teeth to the tooth fairy.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, said: "Hopefully the tooth fairy can weather the current economic climate and we'll see her return to top form soon."