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Punch Lines

July 22, 1996

The gold rush: To kick off the Olympics, says Jenny Church, "Many Americans took part in the Opening Ceremonies: opening their refrigerator, opening a beer, opening a bag of chips. . . ."

* "They've added new events like beach volleyball, synchronized swimming and freestyle salad-shooting." (Hy Faber)

* "Drug testing has become so commonplace at the Olympic Village, officials may elevate blowing up a balloon to a sanctioned event." (Bob Mills)


In the news: Today is Bob Dole's 73rd birthday: Says Jay Leno, "At his party, instead of a stripper jumping out of the cake, they're going to have a registered nurse jump out of a giant bran muffin."

Some prominent conservatives are suggesting that Dole step aside and let the GOP choose a different candidate. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "No way. If we had to endure the primaries, they're gonna have to stick with the results."

The author of "Primary Colors" has been identified. Says Alan Ray, "The novel is loosely based on Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. Sort of like his past four years in office."

The White House has been testing its aides to see if they used drugs. The test they use is very accurate, says Argus Hamilton. "They show you a picture of Cheech and Chong. If you can tell which is which, you're out of there."

Medical dramas dominate this year's Emmy nominations, with 15 for "Chicago Hope" and 17 for "ER." Says Mills, "Even Hillary Clinton's health care reform plan managed to capture three."

There's a new book out called "Test Your Cat's Intelligence." Says Leno, "Here's a very simple way to test your cat's intelligence. If you buy the book, your cat is smarter than you are."


Meanwhile, back at the Shaq: After the Lakers signed Shaquille O'Neal to a $120-million contract, they hiked ticket prices. Says Hamilton, "There's no such thing as a free throw in this town."

* "Thank goodness this was offset by the minimum-wage hike." (Joe Kevany)

* "In the movie 'Kazaam,' the boy asks Shaq for enough gold to buy Lakers tickets . . . but even a genie has his limits." (Gary Easley)

* "In 'Kazaam,' a little boy learns a valuable message about a genie. To get him to dump the magic, you pay him $120 million." (Ray)

* "Shaq's catching so much criticism in Orlando, he's started referring to the place as 'Diss Me World.' " (Joshua Sostrin)

* "He's also guaranteed an extra $15 million just to shoot hoops at the sultan of Brunei's next birthday party." (Mills)

* "Shaq will replace Lakers center Vlade Divac. Here's something you never see: An American taking a job away from an immigrant." (Leno)


Reader Adrienne Reaser of Hawthorne was driving and had her 3-year-old twins, Allison and Amy, in the back seat. As they waited at a stoplight, two motorcycle police officers crossed in front of them. Allison piped up:

"Look, Mom--twins!"

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