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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Ralphie marathon

Advertiser Staff and News Services

The phrase "You'll shoot your eye out!" has become as synonymous with the Christmas season as Scrooge's "Bah, humbug!" and Santa's "Ho, ho, ho!"

For 20 years, this warning has defined the holidays for doe-eyed 12-year-old Ralphie Parker in the movie "A Christmas Story," as his mother, his teacher and even Kris Kringle reject his plea for one particular Christmas present.

Over the years, the modest little movie has grown into a yuletide perennial and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with a new DVD, featuring reminiscences from now-grown star Peter Billingsley (pictured).

Meanwhile, this year marks the sixth annual marathon broadcast of the movie today on the TNT cable channel, starting at 4 p.m.

The vignettes in the film — war with the yellow-eyed school bully, the Old Man's gloating over a garish "leg lamp" in a fishnet stocking, the triple-dog dare of sticking your tongue to a frozen flagpole — were short stories from Jean Shepherd's 1966 collection "In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash."

A Christmas carol

Quick quiz: What's the most popular Christmas melody?

Answer: "Silent Night."

And "Silent Night" of every persuasion imaginable — Hawaiian, Norwegian, Japanese, German, Filipino and more — will be heard in a one-hour holiday special at 3 p.m. Sunday on Hawai'i Public Radio, KIPO 89.3 FM or hawaiipublicradio.org.

Keith Haugen, the producer-host, earlier did a two-hour show featuring nothing but "Silent Night," performed by the likes of the Carpenters, the Makaha Sons, Alfred Apaka, Genoa Keawe, Mahalia Jackson, and more. An abbreviated version will be rebroadcast, tapping a gamut of "Silent Night"-ers, ranging from Robi Kahakalau to Ferlin Husky, from Darlene Ahuna to the Singing Nuns. Versions include slack-key, 'ukulele, pan flute and trumpet.

Mice are stirring

Toy mice with big personalities could be the hottest holiday hit since Beanie Babies, or so hopes Jay Kamhi, creator of pop-cultured keychain dolls known as Spice Mice, toys that talk or sing when you squeeze them.

The mice pack ranges from Sinatra-suited Big City Mouse, who sings "Noo York, Noo York," to hip-hop mouse Lil' Spicy, who was tough enough to fight back when Eminem's handlers tried to ban him from store shelves. Spice Mice retail for $5.99-$7.99 at nationwide stores such as 7-Eleven and www.spicemice.com.

Get fit for a cause

Island police officers, firefighters and their spouses are being asked to participate in the 6th annual national public safety fitness charity event, the Pinnacle 911 Fitness Challenge. One team from each of four regions will win $5,000.

The challenge is to lose fat and gain muscle as a team. The Honolulu weigh-in/out location is at Fit for Life, 801 Dillingham Blvd. (phone 535-1550).

Teams must register before Monday. Proceeds benefit Shriner's Hospitals for Children. Applications are online at www.911fitness.com — go to Fitness Challenge, then click on registration application. Or call (305) 297-5328.