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LAUGH LINES

Punch Lines

August 27, 1996

President Clinton is headed for the Chicago convention aboard a whistle-stop train. Says Alex Pearlstein, "It's the first time in four years he has actually been on track."

* Adds Bob Mills, "The Republicans are delighted. They figure if anything can derail the Clinton campaign, it's Amtrak."

* Adds Paul Ecker, "Clinton was seen vigorously shoveling coal--to get in shape for his speech later this week."

The GOP says Clinton is attacking tobacco to distract the public from statistics showing increased use of amphetamines and cocaine. Says Argus Hamilton, "What's to hide? Clinton promised to get this country moving again."

Bob Dole reversed himself again and now says he supports Clinton's anti-tobacco stance. Says Mills, "Dole finally found something that is addictive: public opinion polls."

The Democrats snubbed Jimmy Carter by not letting him speak at the convention. Says Hamilton, "Carter will get the last laugh. Sooner or later, Bill and Hillary are going to need a house."

*

In the news: At the Citadel, where for the first time four women are enrolled with hundreds of men, this is "Hell Week":

* "Sign of the civilizing influence of females: This year it's being called 'Good Gracious! Week.' " (Jenny Church)

* "They call this 'Hell Week'? Just wait till the prom!" (Steve Tatham)

ASCAP wants to collect royalties from campers who sing copyrighted songs around the campfire. Says Will Couzin, "Great way to balance the federal budget! Let's charge everybody at ball games a fee for singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' "

Brazilian scientists have released yet another study that says red wine is good for your heart. They tested it on rabbits. Says Tatham, "Give wine to rabbits? If you think rabbits overproduce now, what do you think they're like at Hoppy Hour?"

A British inventor plans to market a red velvet armchair that can go 25 mph. Says Jimmy McConnell, "What good will that do? My coffee table only goes 15."

Police arrested Elizabeth Taylor's estranged husband, Larry Fortensky, last week on various charges including illegal parking. Says Steve Voldseth, "Apparently his 15 minutes ran out . . . again."

*

Reader Stacy B. Gleason of Hermosa Beach says her neighborhood seems to have an abundance of missing pets. Virtually every utility pole is plastered with lost-dog or -cat notices.

One day, while returning home from the store, daughter Kelsey, 7, asked, "Mom, why would someone want to tell a dog about a missing cat?"

That had Mom pretty well confused, until she looked where Kelsey was pointing.

Sure enough, she was pointing to a notice of a missing cat . . . posted on a fire hydrant.

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