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The Best Story Ever Written About Hacky-Sacks

The best stories contain elements that grab your attention, rip out your heart and stomp on it, then gently try to put it back in your chest cavity before you die. I'm on a quest to find stories that do just that.

You can't kill the rooster
You can't kill the rooster
Laurence Griffiths

Frank Sinatra Has a Cold is a great story. It's one of my favorites. As explained in Esquire:

"Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism -- a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction.

I have a copy and reread it every few years along with a few other stories I enjoy. David Sedaris wrote a story called "You Can't Kill the Rooster" in the 90's and I almost have it memorized. It's difficult to find a full copy online, but there is this recorded version on YouTube.

Warning:Don't listen at work, or in front of kids, or family or your rooster.

Stories like these set a foundation for me and serve as my compass. Someday, I want to write the best story ever. But I am also on a continuous search for greatness in other writers. A friend of mine sent me a contender this week. It's a story written in a San Francisco crime blog and I'd like to take a few minutes to rip your hearts out, stomp on them, and put them back in your chest cavities before you die.

Man acquitted in romantic bear-spray squabble

The title certainly grabs your attention and the author jumps right into the juicy.

A San Francisco man was acquitted Thursday of breaking into his ex-fiancée's house and assaulting her new lover before getting sprayed with bear mace by a shirtless neighbor.

Bear mace. Shirtless neighbor. I see potential in the first paragraph.

The "chaotic and confusing" night began on March 25 when Hall broke off his plans to marry his 34-year-old fiancée, said Deputy Public Defender Phoenix Streets.

The two had met in a hacky-sack circle in early February and announced plans to marry just two weeks later, Streets said. But the relationship quickly turned tumultuous, Streets said, and the pair broke up on March 25.

Chaotic and confusing to say the least, but who hasn't met the love of their life in a hacky-sack circle? It's amazing it took two weeks to decide to marry after meeting in a hacky-sack circle, but we all know the hacky-sack circle crowd can burn a little hot. Hacky-sack circle romances tend to burn bright like a falling star, then quickly fade away as they crash into the earth.

Exhausted from the white hot nature of the relationship, Mr. Hall did what any reasonable hacky-sacker would do. He took his possessions and moved into a tree.

Hall took his few possessions and moved out of his fiancée's home and into a tree at Mclaren Park. But as Hall climbed the tree and attempted to sleep that first night, he became cold and returned home, Streets said.

Of course Mr. Hall got cold. Who wouldn't get cold after weeks of intense hacky-sack love, only to have it taken away and be forced to move into a tree in San Francisco in late March?

Hall's former lover was not there, so Hall "curled up under a tarp under the woman's backyard bushes," Streets said.

Around 10 p.m., the woman, who had been at the movies with a "new male friend," returned home. The man "happened to be a former U.S. Marine with extensive combat training," Streets said.

Luckily there was a tarp in the back yard, but the foreshadowing of a U.S. Marine with extensive combat training seems ominous. This won't turn out well for Mr. Hall.

As the woman and her new friend talked in the kitchen, they heard noises outside and decided to investigate. The woman armed herself with a knife while the friend grabbed a frying pan, Streets said.

As the pair approached Hall, he looked up and began yelling and running after them, Streets said.

Damn straight the U.S. Marine with extensive combat training would grab a frying pan. He's gonna knock his ass out just like they do in the cartoons.

Hall opened the door and grabbed the Marine, demanding to know who he was. The pair fell backward and scuffled for 90-seconds, Streets said.

The Marine eventually put Hall in a headlock and encouraged him "to take deep breaths and relax," Streets said.


During the fight, the woman fled and told a neighbor that Hall was going to kill the Marine, Streets said.

The neighbor "ran out of his house shirtless and armed with an aerosol can of bear repellant," Streets said.

The group hauled Hall outside, and he kicked the door, prompting the neighbor to open the door and spray Hall in the face with bear mace, Streets said.

Apparently, the woman didn't really trust her new Marine friend's fighting skills so she ran to her shirtless neighbor's house begging for help. Fortunately, all shirtless neighbors in San Francisco keep a can of bear mace handy so they hauled his ass outside and sprayed him in the face. But Mr. Hall ain't no bear. He's straight up man, and he knew how to finish this battle royale.

Hall then picked up a rock and hurled it at the door before fleeing the scene, Streets said. He was arrested several hours later.


Luckily Mr. Hall was acquitted of the most serious charges (he was facing seven years in the pen) so he's free to search for love again in a hacky-sack circle. Because deep down, isn't that what we're all looking for?

Here's your heart back America. Hope you didn't die.