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The Odd Truth, Dec. 13, 2002

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by CBSNews.com's Brian Bernbaum. A new collection of stories is published each weekday. On weekends, you can read a week's worth of The Odd Truth.

Soup Slinger Sentenced

SINGAPORE - A Singapore man was sentenced to six months in jail for slinging a ladle of seafood soup at his boss in a fit of anger, local media reported Friday.

Lim Hang Heng, a 43-year-old cook at a soup stall in Singapore's red light district, faced charges of inflicting pain after hurling the soup during a shouting match on June 25, the Straits Times newspaper said.

Lim's boss suffered minor burns to his chest, shoulder and arm, the report said.

"His foolish misdeeds were a result of a sudden provocation by the victim," Lim's lawyer was quoted as saying at the sentencing in a Singapore district court Thursday.

Court officials could not immediately confirm the report.

Guess Who Won't Get Any Presents This Year?

VIENNA - Some Austrians want Santa Claus to get lost. They don't like the American style Santa and say the jolly ol' elf is a symbol of commercialism. The activists are posting anti-Santa stickers around Vienna, showing a diagonal red bar across Santa's fluffy white beard. One of the organizers of the movement says Christmas should be about the Christ Child, not advertising.

Mormon Station Serves Breasts For Breakfast

SALT LAKE CITY - No, the bare-breasted babes weren't part of the newscast at KSL TV in Salt Lake City. A technical glitch at the local cable company caused a risque HBO comedy show to replace the morning news the other day. Some viewers complained they were seeing topless women, while hearing the newscasters. KSL is an NBC affiliate owned by the Mormon church. The station doesn't even carry "Saturday Night Live." AT&T Broadband spokeswoman Barb Shelley is apologizing for the goof. Shelley says the cable company was testing new equipment and the video feed was switched incorrectly. HBO's "Mr. Show with Bob and David" replaced the newscast for about 25 minutes.

Get Your Very Own Parking Meter

MERRILL, Wis. - Looking to raise some pocket change?

The city of Merrill is selling more than 400 parking meters for $50 each. The city council voted in October to remove them from downtown streets because of complaints that they deterred shoppers.

More than 100 meters have been sold, Mayor Doug Williams said.

He said people have put them in basements or dens, and that one man put a meter in his driveway — where his in-laws park.

Parents Upset By The Truth About Santa

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — Much to the dismay of some parents, officials at an elementary school will not discipline a substitute teacher who told kindergartners that there is no Santa Claus.

The teacher, Fabiola Mehu-Pelissier, was reading a holiday storybook to students at Forest Hills Elementary School on Tuesday when the group began discussing the existence of Santa Claus, school board spokesman Kirk Engelhard said.

"No policies or rules were violated, but she obviously used poor judgment," Engelhard said.

Melissa Shea, whose 5-year-old daughter Hayley is in the class, said school officials refused a request made by some parents that Mehu-Pelissier not be allowed back in the class.

"I feel like no matter what I do or say now, the seed of doubt has been planted in Hayley's head," Shea said. "I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to undo it, and Christmas is everything in my family."

School officials said they would send a Santa Claus, complete with a natural, full, white beard, into the classroom Friday to make up for the teacher's poor judgment.

600-Pound 'Ghost Pig' Terrorizes Town

GREENWICH TOWNSHIP, N.J. - A New Jersey town has gone hog wild over sightings of an enormous pig.

The 600-pound porker has been spotted wandering the streets of Greenwich Township -- digging up gardens and being chased by dogs.

One woman says the pig ate some broccoli from her brother-in-law's garden.

Another tells The Press of Atlantic City newspaper that when she and her dogs encountered the pig one morning, the dogs gave chase. And she says the scary part is that the pig ran as fast as the dogs.

She described it as being white "like a ghost pig" and having football-sized ears.

The town's clerk says "if anybody has a big barbecue, we'll know who captured it."

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