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Couples compete for Christmas custody of mutual acquaintance 

Following a thinly-veiled and passive-aggressive plea for Christmas companionship, a Tampa man found himself the subject of an intense bidding war. 

“Hi. I’m wondering if anybody knows a nice place that will be open on Christmas where I can hang out and not bother anybody. Thanks, guys.”

– Mark Hookey, with a picture of a puppy with big, sad eyes and a Santa hat via Instagram

Within seconds he received messages from Randy Spittler, a co-worker and Paul Freem, someone he went to college with.

“Hey man, you’re welcome to come over and hang out with us. We have plenty of room!”

– Randy Spittler and his wife Tanya

“We would love to have you come over. We haven’t seen you in a while!”

– Paul Freem, speaking on behalf of he and his wife Laura

Hookey proceeded to pepper both couples with a series of questions as he tried to decide which family to visit, such as:

  • What time?
  • Do I need to bring anything?
  • Who else will be there?
  • What are you going to watch on TV?
  • Like, specifically girls; will there be any girls there?
  • How big is your TV?
  • Single girls?
  • Could we watch single girls on TV?

Eventually he asked the deciding question, what kind of food would be available?

“Not sure. Something low key like sandwiches and a veggie tray probably. IDK.”

– Spittler

“We always do prime rib on Christmas. It’s a family tradition.”

– Freem

He then informed the Spittlers that he had suddenly remembered that he had plans and then told the Freems that he would see them tomorrow.

“Nobody should be alone on Christmas,” said Tanya Spittler. “Except maybe Mark.”

Clark Brooks

About Clark Brooks

Senior Supreme Executive Premium Content Editor for Tampa News Force. Comedian, writer and ordained minister. Twitter: @ClarkBrooks | Instagram:@ClarkBrooks54


  1. Avatar Debbie on December 25, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Go for the prime rib that’s my motto!
    Everyone should fight for you on the holidays Point, a built in professional comic, that’s bragging, right!!
    Enjoy your day! 🎄🎄🎄
    I don’t have a website to list below lol but if you ask me a good website is 😂