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Laugh Lines

Punch Lines

July 05, 1996

President Clinton lit the fireworks at the White House last night, says Alan Ray. "But don't worry--he didn't inhale."

The Fourth of July celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "These days we wouldn't need a fancy declaration to split from England. We'd just have to cite 'irreconcilable differences.' "

Says Paul Ecker, "Marge Schott spent the holiday with no Reds, right-wing whites and the suspension blues."

*

In the news: Touring a "Taste of Chicago" food fest this week, the president sampled jerk chicken, fried lumpia, barbecued pork, a Polish pirogi, a cheeseburger, tandoori chicken, cheese corn bread . . .

* "Aides were forced to hang a 'Please Don't Feed the President' sign around his neck." (Cutler)

* "Officials at Procter & Gamble, makers of Pepto-Bismol, denied that it was a payback for their large campaign contributions." (Bob Mills)

Bob Dole snapped at Katie Couric during an interview on the "Today" show. Says Hy Faber, "You can't blame him for being a little cranky. They put him on right after Willard Scott wished him happy birthday."

Russian politics is weird, says Russ Myers. "Boris Yeltsin disappears for three days and then wins a lopsided victory. Who's going to be secretary of labor, Jimmy Hoffa?"

Utility officials are still trying to figure out why the lights went off across the West this week. Asks Cutler, "Why are power companies like the O.J. Simpson defense team? Neither can explain why the juice was cut."

And now O.J. reportedly plans to open a restaurant on Sunset Boulevard:

* "It'll have an unlimited alibi bar." (Faber)

* "But he won't be doing any cooking--the oven mitts don't fit." (William Nash)

Motorola announced it will fire any worker the third time it catches them smoking at some of its factories. Says Alex Pearlstein, "It's pretty obvious where they got the inspiration for the policy. They're calling it Three Lucky Strikes and You're Out."

*

The great escape: Speaking to an organization of teachers, Clinton called for a nationwide war on truancy. Says Jenny Church, "He announced his own policy: 'Stay in school. Beat the draft.' "

Cutler offers these sure-fire excuses for those caught skipping school:

* "As a citizen, I felt obligated to do what I could to reduce class size."

* "Keeping track of attendance violates the Freedom of Assembly clause."

* "Our teacher urged us to explore our inner child, and I think I left mine at the mall."

*

Reader Marion Owens of Lancaster says his wife was baby-sitting Hunter, 5. Walking out onto their patio, the boy noticed clusters of grapes growing from a vine. After staring at them for several moments, Hunter turned to her and said:

"When we get grapes, we don't hang them up."

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