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Punch Lines

May 20, 1996

In the news: The Disney Co. laid off 20 people in the California Angels' front office. "What a ruthless takeover," says Argus Hamilton. "Next, they're going to ask the government Base Closure Commission to shut down second and third."

Now that he's leaving the Senate, Bob Dole is planning to join the U.S. Olympic Team, says Joshua Sostrin. "He's hoping it will help his polls vault."

Democrats defend President Clinton as "a deficit hawk." Says Jenny Church, "True, his tax plan will eat up any nest egg."

An irate Dan Quayle angrily accused Clinton of attempting to censure him and others like him, says Alex Kaseberg. "Then it was explained to him that the president wants to limit dumb mines, not dumb minds."

UCLA revealed that it received a $45-million gift from a single donor. Says Brad Halpern, "Wow, there's one parent who really wants his kid to wear blue and gold."

A male murder suspect who surgically became a woman to hide from police was arrested after 17 years. Says Gary Easley, "She'll plead for leniency, telling authorities she's a changed man."

* Adds Charlie Reinke, "Kind of gives new meaning to getting caught in a police dragnet."

A clerk at a Safeway store in San Francisco reportedly attacked two customers with a broken bottle. Says Alan Ray, "Shoppers have never seen anything like it--a store clerk actually responding to someone."

In Washington, HUD has established an Internet help site for the homeless. Say Michael Kagan and Rick Sandack, "Now all they need are computers, modems--and someplace to plug them in."

Astronomers using the Hubble telescope have found evidence that the universe may be younger than its oldest stars. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "Much like the universe in those 'Star Trek' movies."

Kagan and Sandack say F. Lee Bailey was recently seen having lunch with G. Gordon Liddy, H. Ross Perot and F. Murray Abraham. Bailey made the introductions: "G, I'd like you to meet H. H, this is F. F, say hi to G. . . ."

O.J. Simpson's troubles with the IRS began when agents took a close look at his itemized deductions, says Ray. "They asked, 'Who is this Kato person? And what about these investigation expenses--greens fees, golf balls, cart rental. . . .' "

Civil rights groups are angry over the fall lineup announced by NBC. For the first time in years, there won't be any shows about minorities. Says Hamilton, "Apparently, NBC stands for Nothing But Caucasians."


Reader Roberta Malcolm of San Bernardino recalls that when her great-grandson was 3 years old he loved to go for evening walks. One night as she was walking him around the block in the bright moonlight, he started to swing on a small tree. She warned him to stop, saying, "Its arms aren't strong enough to hold you and it might drop you." They soon came to a much bigger tree.

"Look, Great-grandma, that tree has big, strong arms and big muscles too," he said, flexing his own.

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