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Punch Lines

July 24, 1996

Olympic meltdown: How upscrewed are things in Atlanta? Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "Athletes are complaining they can't get around the Olympic Village, can't get around Atlanta, can't get around drug testing . . ."

* "In a first for these Olympics, a shuttle bus actually reached an event Tuesday." (Alan Ray)

* "Officials don't want to admit the Info '96 computer is slow but they're just now posting the gymnastics results--and Olga Korbut is winning." (Cutler)

Problems aside, the Games are rolling along:

* "As Coke is the official drink and Delta is the official airline, Dixie is the official specimen cup." (Bill Williams)

* "People are muttering that Irish swimmer Michelle Smith must be on steroids, but so far all she's tested positive for is Guinness." (Joe Kevany)

* "After the Dream Team squashed Angola, Shaquille O'Neal autographed his salary cap and tossed it into the stands." (Bob Mills)

* "You know what 'NBC' stands for? 'Nothing but Bob Costas,' 24 hours a day." (Jay Leno)

* "The U.S. managed to capture a silver medal in kick boxing, but only because Katie Couric caught Costas with a reverse instep to the larynx." (Mills)


In the news: A new book about Bob Dole says his campaign is confused and lacks focus, and that the candidate is too cranky and lacks a clear message, says Argus Hamilton. "The author is listed as 'Unanimous.' "

The Republican Party is so grateful that Colin Powell has agreed to address the GOP convention. Says Hamilton, "He's still recuperating from a recent accident. He was taking a walk and got hit by a passing motorboat."

A New York mugger made a big mistake when he assaulted the 94-year-old mother of reputed mob boss Vincent "the Chin" Gigante:

* "In a touching gesture, police chipped in to buy him a nice pair of cement booties." (Paul Ecker)

* "Instead of Miranda Rights, they read him Last Rites." (Ecker)

* "The mugger told the judge, 'I saw the whole thing and I'll testify against myself if you can get me into the witness protection program.' " (Kevany)


Cirque du O.J.: O.J. Simpson says he's trying to save his soul by becoming active in a local church. Says Valerie Marz, "That is, of course, if he can buy his soul back from Johnnie Cochran."

* Adds Gary Easley, "He said his main concern is getting into heaven. And since that requires confession of sins, he will now go on record about his lousy performances in those 'Naked Gun' movies."

* Adds Leno, "Is this really a good idea, O.J.? They don't have any lawyers up there to help you."


Reader Carolyn Z. Goldman of Laguna Beach says 4-year-old Pam watched as her grandmother applied cream to her face. "What are you doing, Grandma?" she asked. "Creaming my face." Why? "It's supposed to take wrinkles away," Grandma replied.

"Well," the child observed, "it's not working."

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