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Laugh Lines

Punch Lines

September 11, 1996

In the news: The streets of Washington, D.C., are awash with muck and debris, says Alex Kaseberg. "But enough about campaign promises. Hurricane Fran caused flooding problems too."

* Adds Argus Hamilton, "President Clinton brought Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to look at flood damage. Big mistake. Babbitt took one look and declared Capitol Hill a protected wetland--which makes the slimy lobbyist a protected species."

The good news is that the cyst doctors removed from Clinton's neck turned out to be benign. Says Hamilton, "The bad news is, the cyst just signed a book deal with Random House. It knows everything!"

* Adds Charlie Reinke, "The president's doctor wants him to lose some weight. He's declared the White House a no-fry zone."

Wal-Mart is refusing to sell recordings by Sheryl Crow because one song suggests the chain sells guns to children. Says John Fox, "Come on, kids should be able to spend that 50 cents Kathie Lee pays them any way they want."

An English instructor for 10 years at an Inglewood high school turned out to be an impostor. Says Jenny Church, "He was just pretending to teach . . . to kids just pretending to listen."

Asked to comment on officials banning the Macarena from Raleigh, N.C., schools, says Kaseberg, "One student said 'Forget the Macarena. It's the lasagna that's going to kill somebody.' "

A man in Maine did $2,000 worth of damage to his apartment when he tried to clear away cobwebs with a blowtorch. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "Actually, it was a brilliant move. You think his wife is ever again going to ask him to clean?"

So many people are on a waiting list to check out Madonna's book "Sex" from the library in Kelowna, British Columbia, that some won't get to read it until 2002. Says Alex Pearlstein, "I can understand what they're going through. Sometimes it feels like I won't get sex until the next millennium either."

*

Emmy encores: In an effort to add more pizazz to the telecast, says Cutler, "Next year's Emmys will be hosted by Al Gore."

Tracey Ullman made a plea for TV directors to stop wearing their baseball caps backward. Says Shep Shepherd, "The truth is, they do wear them the right way . . . they just paint faces on the back of their heads so they don't have to look at whiny British actresses all day."

Angela Lansbury remains Emmy-less after 12 nominations. Says Cutler, "She and Susan Lucci are opening a Futility Clinic in Hollywood."

*

Reader Monica Fitzpatrick of Los Angeles recalls that when her son Bob was 2 1/2, he was threatened with a spanking. He raised his hand, traffic-cop style, and intoned:

"No! If I need a spanking I'll give myself one!"

(It will not surprise you to learn that Bob went on to become a lawyer.)

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