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Laugh Lines

Punch Lines

July 31, 1996

Atlanta gold rush: What has seven heads, 14 arms and weighs 130 pounds? According to the Olympia Daily World, "The U.S. women's gymnastics team."

Shannon Miller won the gold on the balance beam. Says Argus Hamilton, "She suspended herself upside-down, did three flips and somehow rolled backward onto her feet. It looked like Robert Downey Jr. getting out of his car."

As bombing investigators review a deluge of video and photo evidence, the Cutler Daily Scoop says, "The suspect may be the only person at the Olympics photographed more than Dominique Moceanu."

Seen those commercials for the Olympic Gymnast Barbie doll? Says Buddy Baron, "Forget a broken ankle, she'd refuse to perform if she broke a nail."

Track star Michael Johnson flashed to gold medal victory in snazzy golden running shoes. Says Jay Leno, "Apparently they were from Nike's new 'Air Liberace' collection."

* Adds Alex Kaseberg, "Johnson is so fast, his opponents couldn't beat him even if Colin Powell ran with them."

Another Olympic athlete was disqualified after being tested for illegal substances, says Olympia. "He tested positive for Pepsi."

*

In the news: The White House forced TV networks to devote three hours a week to top-notch, original children's programming. Says Hamilton, "They said it would never happen. But thanks to Bill Clinton, Pee-wee Herman is working again."

* Adds Charlie Reinke, "Upon hearing that he'll get new competition, Barney the dinosaur is demanding $100,000 an episode."

TV stars are getting so cocky, says Olympia, "I was watching 'Wild Kingdom' and the lions refused to come out unless they got a percentage of the show and residuals."

Bob Dole praised "Independence Day" after seeing it in L.A. Says Hamilton, "He especially liked it when aliens destroyed New York and California. That's a 100-electoral-vote swing his way."

* Adds Alex Pearlstein, "During the previews, Dole turned to his wife and asked, 'Aren't these talkies amazing?' "

Microsoft and American Express are starting an online travel service. Asks Jenny Church, "When you buy a plane ticket, can you ask for a Windows seat?"

A truck full of Calvin Klein jeans was hijacked on a California highway and the company is offering $5,000 for information. Says Premiere Morning Sickness, "The bandits have been described as armed and extremely trendy."

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince has finally selected a new name, says Michael X. Ferraro. "It's Joe Klein."

*

Reader Ellen Bradford of Redondo Beach was trying to explain to her 9-year-old grandson why she felt he was too young and skinny to be in a hot Jacuzzi. "Just think what happens to an egg when it sits in hot water." He replied:

"Sure, it gets hard and tough."

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