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True (mostly), weird holiday stories wanted


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POSTED: Thursday, November 20, 2008

One of the most bizarre Christmas stories I know happened while I was on the police beat many years ago. Just before Christmas, an enterprising street person decided to make one of those large Goodwill collection boxes his home for the holidays. He climbed in through the swingy door and began to enjoy his dry, comfy abode. An added bonus was that he got first crack at all the cool stuff people left in the box. Life was good until one night some Scrooge-like criminal broke into the box, beat up the street person and stole his watch. That just says so much about humanity.

Do you have a bizarre, amusing or funny holiday story? If so, you could be the winner of Honolulu Lite's Weird, Strange or Funny (Mostly) True Christmas Story Contest. The best stories will be printed in a special Christmas edition of Honolulu Lite on Dec. 23, richly illustrated by the paper's crack cartoonist and artist Dave Swann. (He's not on crack, he's just really good at what he does.)

The contest winner will receive a rare piece of Hawaii literary history: an autographed copy of one of the last 10 remaining copies of my first book, “;Hey, Tourist! Buy This Book!”; which sold out a mere 10 years after publication.

E-mail me your stories or submit them via the comments section at the bottom of the online version of this column. They should be funny, weird, amusing, strange and mostly true. And you have to have first-hand knowledge of the story. You can't just rip something off the Internet like I usually do.

For instance, I came across the poignant tale of five deer that somehow got on the roof of a five-story parking garage in West Virginia and then jumped to their deaths. Authorities thought they may have been attempting to emulate Santa's reindeers. That's kind of a funny story. Not “;ha-ha”; funny. OK, I guess you'd call it more ironic than funny.

What is funny is the story of Robert Schoff of Iowa, a

77-year-old man who spent one Christmas Eve stuck upside down in the opening of his septic tank. Schoff apparently was trying to unclog the septic tank when he slipped and got wedged in the opening, head first.

According to news reports, his wife eventually heard him screaming. “;I saw these kicking feet and ran out, but I couldn't get him out,”; Toni Schoff said.

He finally was rescued by sheriff's deputies.

“;It was the worst Christmas Eve I've ever had,”; he said.

I don't know which is worse, though, getting stuck in a septic tank or getting beat up and robbed in a Goodwill box.

Your entries in the Honolulu Lite Weird, Strange or Funny (Mostly) True Christmas Story Contest don't have to involve human degradation or the bizarre death of forest animals. They can be just the warm and fuzzy kind of funny stories that happen during the holidays like the first time our dog Boomer peed on our Christmas tree. He was just a year old, but his peeing on the tree eventually became a traditional event. In fact, Boomer still thinks we bring the tree in just for him.