The honeymoon couple was covered in Chee-tos. But that didn't happen until their car flipped over and their wedding gifts were smashed. And then they got stuck on an absolutely hellish bus trip.

Lori and Ron Stagg of West Valley City, Utah, are grand prize winners of the fourth-annual Thrifty Car Rental Honeymoon Disasters Contest. Here's their story:After a blissful first night in Niagara Falls, the Staggs flipped their Subaru in a freak accident while driving through the wilds of Canada. The wedding gifts, including fine china, were smashed to bits in the crash. The Staggs were rescued and treated at a nearby hospital. They, however, were covered in day-glo orange from the Chee-tos they had been eating at the time of the accident.

Then they got on a cross-country bus bound for Chicago that turned into what Lori called "a 48-hour experiment on the amount of suffering a human being can endure." Among the troubles: no air conditioning in the August heat and a broken toilet. And, oh yes, there was the gospel singing group that insisted on rehearsing during the ride.

Now here's the good news: The Staggs have won a second honeymoon to the city of their choice anywhere in the continental United States that is accessible by a major airline. Included are air fare, hotel accommodations for three nights, and a four-day car rental (you'll never guess from which company).

Was your honeymoon disastrous, too? We hope not, but if it was, you might want to send your terror tale to Thrifty. Computer users can check out (www.-thrifty.com) and e-mail their entries by visiting the "Promotions" section. Others can write to Honeymoon Disasters 1998, c/o Thrifty Rent-A-Car System Inc., Corporate Communications Dept., CIMS 1020, P.O. Box 35250, Tulsa, OK 74153-0250. Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Entries must be postmarked by Aug. 31, and the winner will be announced on Valentine's Day 1999 or thereabouts.