TRENTON – Not so long ago, Toys ‘R’ Us workers left with little or no severance pay when the retailer shut down; it was owned at the time by two private equity firms, KKR and Bain Capital. It soured a lot of folks on that “I don’t wanna grow up” Toys ‘R’ Us jingle. The silver lining is that some New Jersey state lawmakers were so ticked off that they set about strengthening New Jersey labor laws. The upshot, NJ Spotlight explains, is that today is D-Day in the State House for a measure that would enact some of the strongest legislative protections in the country for workers who face the prospect of losing their jobs to a mass layoff or corporate bankruptcy. So, who’ll be humming when that key vote is taken?

HADDONFIELD – Ho! Ho! No! Sexy waitresses need not apply for holiday jobs at a Kings Highway restaurant that's accidentally advertising: “Hot Servers Wanted.” The discount coupons, arriving in 30,000 Haddonfield-Cherry Hill mailboxes, should really say: “Holiday Servers Wanted.” But, oops, they don't. This eatery’s embarrassed owner-chef tells the Philadelphia Inquirer this silly mistake is not a prank or an “obscene publicity stunt.” He simply proofread the coupon, in a really big hurry, on his cellphone, during the holiday rush, before quickly approving it. Now he has issued an Instagram apology, saying: “Hopefully, everyone gets a laugh out of this.”

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CLIFTON – You may recall back in the spring, when a local resident created a racy Easter display with mannequins. Well, he’s back with his latest form of holiday “self-expression.” The Record says Christmas may never be the same, as he has been slowly unveiling his “12 Babes of Christmas Display.” There’s some wacky stuff there, like the mannequin in red-lace lingerie trying to tempt Cookie Monster. You can also see two female figures in garters and candy-cane stockings, as they frolic in a fountain. At the Record’s last count, the guy has four more mannequins to go, as the number of visitors continues to mount. With all this cold weather coming, expect the mannequins to be – um – perky.

UNION TOWNSHIP – Four guys probably weren’t going holiday shopping when police stopped their car, finding three loaded handguns, some ski masks, latex gloves and four stolen credit cards. Hmm ... up to no good? Hey, that’s just what Street Crime Unit cops Chris Lensi and Earl Biddy thought when they arrested this car’s occupants at Maple and Springfield avenues last week. Patch.com says the cops also allege these men were smoking weed and drinking “sizzurp,” a high-octane cough syrup-soda concoction, apparently. Three of these men, all in their 20s and from Essex County, now await arraignment in the Union County lock-up. A fourth man, who actually gave cops his real name before fleeing the scene, is still at-large, at least for the moment.

BRIEFING BREATHER: Cap’n Crunch’s full name is Horatio Magellan Crunch.

SOUTH JERSEY – Future historians will either one day regard Rep. Jeff Van Drew as an agile politician with the ability to read the political tea leaves, or as another sycophant who piled on the rickety bandwagon of one of the most ethnically corrupt Presidents in history. Only time will tell if the congressman made the right decision to leave the Democratic Party and declare himself a Trump Republican, after a direct appeal at a Trumpian meeting in the Oval Office, NJ.com reports. Van Drew has been against the impeachment process, earning Twitter praise from the “real” Donald Trump. Interesting to see if South Jersey Republicans will welcome him. Certainly the Democrats have had enough.

GREEN TOWNSHIP – In our latest “only in Sussex County” series, the former CFO of a local construction company is accused of embezzling millions of dollars to purchase luxury items that included six donkeys. First, how can you steal so much cash from some small company in Sparta and realistically expect no one to notice? And then, why would you spend your ill-gained windfall on donkeys? What an ass.

IN OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS

FORT LAUDERDALE – Wearing a very revealing flasher’s costume to her school job and a Halloween office party just got a bawdy Broward County school administrator suspended without pay for seven days. It is a lighter penalty than her bosses and staffer wanted, asking for this 46-year-old purchasing director to get demoted and take a $44,000 pay cut. The Sun-Sentinel says her co-workers got upset when she showed up at school wearing “a black coat and hat, with tight fabric underneath replicating a naked female body.” Coworkers also claim she “flashed children, staff and colleagues” in an outfit so realistic they could not tell if she was or wasn't a crazy flasher in a black raincoat. The purchasing director told the school board: “I look forward to just getting back to work.” (Perhaps wearing actual clothes.)  

ON AIR – It sounds like a corny story from the Hallmark Channel. But it is actually a real story about the Hallmark Channel. Here’s the plot: Following some complaints, the channel decided to pull some ads from Zola, a wedding planning site, because it showed – gasp – two brides kissing at the alter. But then Hallmark Channel viewers rose up, threatening a boycott on social media and destroying Christmas for all. So, after some “agonizing,” the Hallmark Channel CEO has backpedaled and agreed that – yes – Zola can run ads on the station. Was the decision because it was the right thing to do, or the guy just didn’t want the backlash? Stay tuned for the next episode of “Shallow CEOs Protecting Market Share.”

THIS DAY IN HISTORY

It was this day in 1982 that the savior arrived in East Rutherford, as Bill Parcels is named head coach of the mediocre Giants.

WORD OF THE DAY

Fructify – [FRUK-tə-fye] – verb

Definition: To bear fruit

Example: Will the Giants be able to fructify a bold new plan for next season?

WIT OF THE DAY

“A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

― Eleanor Roosevelt

TODAY'S TRUMPISM

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don't think she would get 5% of the vote.”

- Donald J. Trump

WEATHER IN A WORD

Snow-ice-rain

THE NEW 60
A Jaffe Briefing Exclusive
by Andy Landorf & John Colquhoun