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LAUGH LINES : Punch Lines

February 13, 1996

In the news: Researchers at Emory University have learned a lot about human behavior by studying chimps. They say chimps will share food but will gang up on a chimp with too much food. Argus Hamilton says you don't have to tell this to Steve Forbes.

Forbes spent $4 million just in Iowa. Says Jenny Church, "This campaign is so expensive, voters are experiencing bumper-sticker shock."

The White House has agreed to cut the rate of Medicare spending to help balance the federal budget. Says Hamilton, "Somehow you knew this is how baby boomers would handle the deficit: We'd get our parents to pay for it."

Out of Iowa, on to New Hampshire. Many voters remain undecided. Cutler Daily Scoop calls them "Cuomo Republicans."

Now Reader's Digest plans to lay off 1,000 workers. Paul Steinberg says the company doesn't call it "downsizing"--it calls it "condensing."

In Florida, an 81-year-old man used a half-pound onion to fight off an attacker. As Premiere Morning Sickness tells it, he said "Lucky for him it wasn't Thursday. That's when I carry my rhubarb."

* Adds Hamilton: "Liberals are outraged. They want to require a permit before you can carry a concealed vegetable."

The U.S. government is serious about cracking down on Japan's pirating of compact discs. Joe Vogel says we're threatening to return Yoko Ono.

A study of lab animals shows that environment does affect IQ. The mice with the lower intelligence all came from similar surroundings, says Alan Ray: "Their little cages all had cable TV."

In Los Angeles, thousands of people queued up for as long as three hours to see the Smithsonian show at the Convention Center. Says Alex Pearlstein: "Little did they know they were all part of the 'Russian Bread Line' exhibit."

There's $400,000 at stake in that chess playoff between Garry Kasparov and the computer, IBM Deep Blue. Says Johnny Robish: "If it wins, the computer plans to use the money to buy Apple stock."

Passengers at Denver's new airport say the automated baggage system is hurling luggage into the air. Ray says the baggage handlers are upset. "It's just another example of how technology is replacing them."

*

When reader Elizabeth Kearney of Glendale visited a seldom-seen cousin in Maryland last year, they exchanged updates on other family members. About one mutual relative, a lifelong hypochondriac, Kearney was asked:

"Well, is Cousin Cleo still enjoying her poor health?"

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