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Laugh Lines : Punch lines

August 21, 1996

In the news: The Reagans have put their Santa Barbara ranch up for sale. Says Bob Mills, "It's a working ranch that comes complete with a tractor, hay bailer, Iran-Contra documents shredder. . . . It even has its own water source, Trickle-Down Creek. . . . The name, Rancho del Cielo, is Spanish for '26 years of no property taxes.' "

Jack Kemp spent Monday moving into his new campaign office in Washington. Says Argus Hamilton, "The decor is very futuristic. Everywhere you look there are signs that read 'Kemp 2000.' "

Republicans beware! The Democrats have found someone who can enthrall a convention audience even more completely than Elizabeth Dole, says Mills--"Binti the gorilla."

It will cost $5 million to convert Chicago's United Center from a basketball arena to a convention hall for the Democrats. That seems high, says Hamilton. "Usually, all a political convention needs is what Bulls just naturally leave behind."

Ross Perot announced that he will participate in the federal matching funds program. Says Larry Swerdlow, "Great! When do we get the money?"

Drug use among teenagers is on the increase. Says Alex Kaseberg, "The experts were right: Excessive use of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Barney the dinosaur did lead to the harder stuff."

A survey shows that our most common worry about aging is fear of ending up in a nursing home. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "I thought it was 'fear of sounding like my mother.' "

Brazil is putting a male birth-control pill on the market. It's taken years to make it user-friendly, says Steve Tatham. "It's beer-flavored, so men will remember to take it. It's easy to use, so they won't have to ask for directions. And it's so fast-acting it goes to work in seconds--just like men do."

It's rumored that Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn will wed. Says Steve Voldseth, "I understand Fox already has plans to turn the wedding into a TV series. They're calling it 'Married . . . to Children.' "

The movie "Escape from L.A." is about a guy with legal problems who has to bust out of a jail in downtown Los Angeles. Says Voldseth, "The really amazing part--he has to do it without Johnnie Cochran."

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Think globally: Officials of the Miss Universe pageant are threatening to dethrone the title holder unless she loses 27 pounds within two weeks:

* "She might forfeit that title for a new one: Miss Expanding Universe." (Jenny Church)

* "She's gained so much weight, she had to get a one-size-fits-all crown with a Velcro strap." (Hy Faber)

* "Either she slims down or next year's pageant will contain a new talent competition: all you can eat." (Tatham)

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Reader Nissen Davis of Rancho Palos Verdes took daughter Chelsea, 8, to the Hollywood Bowl. To see better, she climbed onto his lap. After a while she started wriggling, so Dad asked if she'd like to change positions.

"You want to sit on me?" she asked incredulously.

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