How cold was it? As a blizzard buried the East Coast under snow . . .
* "In New York City alone, 47 cab drivers were treated for severe frostbite of the middle finger." (Alex Kaseberg)
* "Even Ted Kennedy won't go outside without pants." (Paul Ryan)
* "Jehovah's Witnesses have switched to door-to-door phoning." (Gary Easley)
* "Levi's was offering free emergency road service to help customers thaw the rivets on their 501s." (Bob Mills)
* "Richard Simmons was seen putting on a pair of long pants." (Jay Leno)
* "The East is cold, white and cut off from the rest of the world. I guess now it truly is 'Pat Buchanan country.' " (Alex Pearlstein)
* "Washingtonians were in luck: Congress leases twice as many snowplows during an election year." (Mills)
* "Even Hazel O'Leary stayed grounded." (Cutler Daily Scoop)
* "The only essential employee in Washington is one with a snow shovel." (Ryan)
* "It's zero visibility. Now everyone in Washington has the same vision as Congress." (Ryan)
Also in the news . . . The IRS announced it has created a Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Cutler says it includes: "Freedom to assemble--assemble all your money and give us half."
The Bay Area calls its subway BART. Thomas Bratter says, "With all the trouble L.A. has had, maybe we should call ours Ren & Stimpy."
Most people older than 40 are immune to this year's flu strain because the same virus was active 40 years ago. Aaron Shure says there are only a few changes. "It now has a little virus potbelly, a virus bald spot and a desire to date 18-year-old bacteria."
That transplant of baboon bone marrow was so successful, Argus Hamilton says, "Many Americans would like to see the front ends of horses sent to Washington for final assembly."
The journal Nature reports that myrrh is a natural painkiller. Cutler says it can just hear the Virgin Mary telling the Wise Men: "Great, where were you when I was in labor?"
A university study revealed that the Earth's temperature has risen nearly a full degree since the early '90s. "In other words," notes Jerry Perisho, "the world has gotten hotter since 'Baywatch.' "
Reader Allen Mostow of Winnetka says his 9-year-old fourth-grader, Alexandr, was preparing to perform with the chorus in a school program. "If you like," Dad offered, "I can stand right next to you and sing with you tonight."
"No thanks," Alexandr replied. "I'd have to sue you for child embarrassment."