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Dec. 10, 2008 at 6:00 AM
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Giver drops fake $100 on Salvation Army

GREENVILLE, S.C., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Salvation Army members in South Carolina were happy when someone dropped a $100 bill in their kettle until they realized it was counterfeit.

"Whenever we receive $100 bills there's a big woo-hoo among staff," Maj. Paul Egan told WXII-TV in Greenville. "That high feeling fell fast as soon as we determined this Ben Franklin was a fake because we knew we had less money to do our job."

Egan said a counterfeit bill is unusual, but the Salvation Army is used to getting everything from buttons to foreign coins in the kettles. He said some donors also fold regular bills into origami.

The Salvation Army hopes to raise $200,000 from its Red Kettle appeal in Greenville during the holiday season. Egan plans to keep the counterfeit $100 bill in hopes that someone will replace it with a genuine one.

Hairspray sets off fire alarm

PALMERSTON NORTH, New Zealand, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Student dancers getting their hair up for a ballet number set off the fire alarm at a New Zealand theater, forcing a brief evacuation.

About 1,500 people were in the building for the Maureen Ax School of Dance show Sunday night when the alarm went off, the Manawatu Standard reported.

Maureen Ax said 20 students had just completed a hip-hop number with their hair down and were frantically trying to re-arrange their tresses into proper ballet buns. The result was a cloud of hairspray.

"The kids were getting ready for the next act and they actually had their hair down for the previous dance ... so they had been furiously spraying their hair to get it back into the right place," Ax said.

Ax described the students, some only 4 years old, as "seasoned troupers." The 200 young dancers involved in the production filed out of the building, which was completely emptied within 3 minutes, waited outside for the all clear and then went on with the show.

Updated Christmas play upsets parents

BEXLEY, England, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- An updated Nativity play where wise men bring Jesus gifts that include Adidas and Burberry clothing has angered the parents of students at a British school.

The play at the Oakwood School in Bexley also has Joseph and Mary breaking into a garage because there is no room at the inn, The Sun reported.

The school is for students with emotional and behavioral problems.

School officials say that the play is not the school's official Nativity presentation, which will be more traditional. They said students in a drama class were using the play to study the use of language.

"This is definitely not the kind of language that the school would ever encourage or endorse," the school said in a statement. "The school apologizes for any upset this confusion may have caused."

London hotel bans Slade Christmas tune

LONDON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A London hotel has banned the Christmas tune "Merry Xmas Everybody" by the glam rock band Slade after guests complained it was annoying.

The Holiday Inn in the western part of the city said the 1973 Christmas hit was deleted from the hotel's play list after "a large proportion" of customers told employees the song was irritating, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.

"When it became apparent that the Slade hit was not being well received by a large proportion of our guests, we decided the best way to keep everyone's spirits up in the countdown to Christmas was to remove it from the play list," hotel spokeswoman Eleanor Conroy said. "It's currently the only song to have been withdrawn by public demand. But if there are any more Christmas turkeys that guests want to ban, we will be listening out for any serious requests."

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