Tough Talk Snaps Man Out of Coma

A tough boss is credited with saving a man's life in Boston.

Bill DiPasquale, an amateur crossword-puzzle maker and sometime actor, lost his job at the upscale Abe & Louie's steakhouse (search) in November, reports the Boston Herald.

The 44-year-old waiter's drinking problem had made him unreliable, and he was let go after six years.

Sinking into a deep depression, DiPasquale locked himself in his apartment and drank himself into a coma. He was found by relatives Dec. 2.

Doctors told the family all hope was lost — until a friend decided to call DiPasquale's former boss.

"You tell him to wake up, get out of bed, and get his a** back to work," Charles Sarkis recalled saying.

A co-worker passed on the order and whispered in DiPasquale's ear: "Charlie says to get out of bed and get your a** back to work."

About five minutes later, DiPasquale uttered his first words in over two weeks: "I've got to get to work."

Relatives call the Dec. 18 incident a Christmas miracle, but Sarkis dismissed that.

"I don't make miracles," the gruff restaurant manager said. "Only one guy makes miracles."

Naughty Kids' Gifts Sold on eBay

HOUSTON (AP) — An online casino that bought a cheese sandwich said to bear the Virgin Mary's image and a cane sold to banish a young boy's fear of ghosts has struck again — this time paying a man $5,300 for his naughty children's Christmas gifts.

The Pasadena man said last week that he decided to auction the three Nintendo DS game systems because his sons, ages 9, 11, and 15, had misbehaved.

The family's decision made national headlines, intriguing (search), casino spokesman Monty Kerr said.

"Everybody knows Santa doesn't come to naughty kids," Kerr said Sunday.

The Antigua-based casino agreed to bid on the game systems as long the family promised to donate the proceeds to charity, he said. The family told him it will buy a new heater for its church and do other renovations.

The casino plans to donate the game systems to a needy Houston family, Kerr said.

The father, who has been identified only by his eBay seller name magumbo_2000, could not be reached for comment.

The casino has paid about $108,000 for eBay oddities in just more than a month.

Water Touched by Elvis Sold on eBay

BELMONT, N.C. (AP) — Wade Jones is a fan of Elvis Presley (search), but says he's not a fanatic.

That's why — after a grilled cheese sandwich said to bear the image of the Virgin Mary sold on eBay for $28,000 — he decided to sell three tablespoons of water from a cup that Jones said was used by Presley during a 1977 concert.

"It's one thing to be an Elvis fan, but then you tell them you have this cup of water and they think you're a fanatic," he said. "I'm not like the people bidding on this water."

The water fetched $455 Saturday at the online auction.

Jones was 13 when he watched Presley perform in February 1977 at the Charlotte Coliseum, now the Cricket Arena (search). He says he watched Elvis drink from the cup while he introduced the band.

After the show, Jones went to the stage to snag a souvenir — perhaps a scarf that Presley would throw to his audience. When police wouldn't give him one, he asked for the cup and water. He stored the cup in a deep freezer for eight years, then melted the ice and transferred the water to a glass vial.

As proof of the water's authenticity, Jones provides photos of Presley during the concert in which several plastic foam cups can be seen on a stand behind him. Another photo shows Presley holding a cup.

"I'm kind of attached to the cup," Jones said. "I thought it was a little quirkier to sell the water."

The Boys Who Stole Christmas

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — It wasn't tough for police to thwart two would-be Grinches — they just followed the telltale trail of wrapping paper.

Two unidentified boys, ages 14 and 12, were charged with burglary after they were accused of stealing Christmas presents from a family home, police said.

Authorities say Stanley Adams discovered someone had broken into his Columbus home late Friday. Two juveniles who lived nearby were suspected.

Police followed a trail of paper, ribbons and gift tags that led them to one of the boys' houses. One boy told authorities that he stole the presents. The gifts — which included an E-Z Bake oven, a set of Legos and a Pac-Man video game — were returned.

"It being Christmas and all, I took this kind of serious," officer L.C. Cockrell said. "It just didn't seem right for this family not to have their Christmas."

Alleged Drug Fiend Tries to Give Self Early Christmas

JONESBORO, Ark. (AP) — A burglary suspect broke into a house, tore open gifts under the Christmas tree and began preparing a batch of methamphetamine (search) before he was caught, investigators said.

A sheriff's drug dog found the suspect, 27-year-old Christopher Shawn Gower, hiding under a pile of clothes in the home.

The homeowner called police early Dec. 16 when he arrived home and saw someone inside. Deputies said they noticed a strong odor of ammonia and saw a makeshift meth lab fueled by a can of propane fuel.

"What's so odd about this thing is that he was apparently cooking dope in the residence he broke into," said Craighead County sheriff's investigator Gary Etter. "You don't really see that happen much."

Deputies said Gower had apparently been in the final stage of producing methamphetamine, but authorities found no finished product of the drug in the house.

Gower struggled with the dog and ran through a glass door. Officers arrested him outside. He was taken to a hospital, where he was being treated for numerous dog bites.

The dog, "Kilo," wasn't hurt.

Compiled by's Paul Wagenseil.

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