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Punch Lines

February 15, 1996

In the news: Texas Sen. Phil Gramm bows out of the race:

* "This is doubly good news for Pat Buchanan. He's now expected to capture all of the bad comb-over vote." (Alex Pearlstein)

* "President Clinton greeted the Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys by saying, 'Sen. Gramm was right--somebody from Texas did make it to the White House.' " (Cutler Daily Scoop)

* "I think the real reason Gramm's campaign never took off is because we already have a president who sounds like a NASCAR driver." (Russ Myers)

For the Oscars, says Alan Ray, "One film up for several awards tells the tale of a short-lived love affair in Iowa: 'The Steve Forbes Story.' "

South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond is 93 but on Wednesday he kicked off a campaign for reelection:

* "He's not the only senator who's a little hard of hearing, but he's the only one who can blame it on Yankee cannonballs." (Argus Hamilton)

* "After all, now he can buy votes using his senior discount." (Jenny Church)

* "Thurmond said, 'A couple more terms and maybe I can get a date with Anna Nicole Smith.' " (Cutler)

New FBI data show Las Vegas has the poorest crime-solving record among America's large cities. Says Bob Mills, "Vegas police say they have the most difficulty recovering shirts reported lost by tourists."

The Mayo Clinic is having a tough time finding a research subject willing to gain lots of weight for $1,000. Church says they might do better if they change the name of the place to the Extra Mayo Clinic.

They're fine-tuning the V-chip. Says Neal Leibowitz, "TV insiders blame problems with objectionable material leaking through on an early batch of chips made with olestra."

Speaking at an all-black college, Johnnie L. Cochran urged students to promote better race relations. Adds Alex Kaseberg, "But when it comes to the race card, he cautioned, 'Don't leave home without it.' "

Of 951 male freshmen who started at the Citadel with Shannon Faulkner, 97 have quit so far. Says Cutler, "See? She did exhibit leadership qualities."

An Italian man survived six organ transplants. Says Ray, "His doctors say the most critical period lies ahead: They aren't sure he'll be able to pay his bill."

A survey reveals that most retirees are happy with life. "Why not?" asks Gary Easley. "They've finally paid off their student loans."

In France, Jeanne Calment will release a rap album at the age of 121. Says Cutler, "She got interested in music as a young girl, listening to the Rolling Stones."


Reader Don Paquette of Glendora told his daughter, Danielle, 4, he needed to go into the office one recent Saturday to catch up on some work. When he returned that afternoon, she asked:

"Did you clean up the catsup on your work, Dad?"

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