Going around the world for weird news
We go out of our way here at the worldwide offices of Honolulu Lite to bring you the news you won't see anywhere else. For instance, did you know that the Danish Air Force scared Santa's reindeer Rudolf to death?
It's a story that the mainstream media is too timid to publish. But we happen to think that you should know when a national military power knocks off a beloved Christmas figure.
Apparently Rudolf, a reindeer that belongs to part-time Santa Olavi Nikkanoff, was peacefully grazing in a central Denmark field when two F-16 fighter jets screamed overhead at low altitude, causing the poor creature to die of a heart attack.
Olavi complained to the Air Force, seeking compensation since he now is down to only one reindeer to pull his sleigh this winter.
"We got a letter from Santa complaining about his reindeer's death and looked into it seriously," Air Force spokesman Capt. Morten Jensen told a news service. After making sure it was not some kind of a stunt staged by an eccentric Santa-phile, the Danish Air Force paid the farmer about $6,000 so he can buy a new reindeer in time for Christmas.
I suspect Olavi will get more dough out of Disney when it buys the film rights to this heart-warming seasonal tale: "Rudolf, the Red-Nosed Cardiac Case."
While we are on that side of the Atlantic, it is a good time to check in with the nerds at the Cornwall Record Office in England, who seem to be living in a Monty Python sketch.
Apparently not overburdened by actual work, researchers there have compiled 1,000 silly names found in actual birth, death and marriage records.
"My all-time favorites are Abraham Thunderwolf and Freke Dorothy Fluck Lane," said archivist Jene Jackaman. Why someone named Jackaman would think Thunderwolf is a silly name, I don't know. But I'm with her on Freke Dorothy Fluck Lane.
Other silly names discovered include Boadicea Basher, Philadelphia Bunnyface, Faithful Cock, Susan Booze, Elizabeth Disco, Edward Evil, Truth Bullock, Charity Chilly, Gentle Fudge, Obedience Ginger and Offspring Gurney.
Jackaman's spelunkers of silliness also unearthed unlikely marriages between Nicholas Bone and Priscilla Skin in 1636; Charles Swine and Jane Ham in 1711; and John Mutton and Ann Veale in 1791.
If only Freke Dorothy Fluck Lane would tie the knot with Philadelphia Bunnyface.
Finally, on an issue closer to home, the makers of Japan's popular "Cup Noodle" ramen plans to shoot a television commercial in space.
It's part of Nissin's "Cup Noodle No Border" campaign. I knew there was a group called "Doctors Without Borders" but never suspected noodles were also in the vanguard for world peace.
A high-definition camera was to be sent to the International Space Station on a Russian rocket on Saturday to capture a Russian cosmonaut eating ramen.
The Japan Space Agency won't say how much the commercial will cost, but if you take how much it would cost to rent the Diamond Head Studio sound stage for a day and then add about 40 zeroes to that figure, you're probably pretty close.
I doubt that seeing a stinky Russian cosmonaut wolfing down noodles will spur saimin sales in Hawaii. But the camera will be left on the space station to allow other commercials to be shot there. That means the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau could launch a new promotion, like, "Hawaii: It's Out of This World!" or "Islands Without Borders (or Renters)." Or not.
Charles Memminger, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists' 2004 First Place Award winner for humor writing, appears Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org