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Laugh Lines : Punch Lines

September 18, 1996

Good morning, class: A Carnegie report says four out of seven preschool programs don't meet quality standards. The Olympia Daily World offers five signs that yours flunks:

* Kids learn their numbers by counting the teacher's tattoos.

* For "show and tell," they bring in the guy who stocks the cigarette machine.

* Kids learn eye-hand coordination by playing "pin the tail on the Pamela Lee poster."

* It counts as a vocabulary lesson when the kids hear the janitor hitting his thumb with a hammer.

* A science project involves things kids find in their afternoon milk.

*

In the news: It's jury selection time in the O.J. civil trial. Says Alex Pearlstein, "You have to wonder about that jury pool. More than 95% of them listed their occupation as 'future author.' "

President Clinton and Bob Dole are pushing dueling approaches to the crime problem. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "Of course Clinton's tough on crime. He's put more of his friends behind bars than any president in recent memory."

Dole got some good news this week, says Alan Ray. "The tobacco industry has named a cigarette after his chances in November: Virginia Slims."

Clinton's plan for tighter airport security requires each bag to be matched to its passenger. Says the Funny Scheet, "He said the idea came to him while watching Al Gore walk through an airport with a piece of Samsonite."

Ross Perot won't get to be in on this year's presidential debates. Says Jenny Church, "The debates were just declared a no-gadfly zone."

* Adds Ray, "Perot is making another infomercial. Producing shows that he knows aren't going to make him a winner says one thing for the man: He may not get elected, but he has a job if he wants it at CBS."

In a survey, teenagers from 41 countries ranked their greatest sources of concern. After getting a good job, they worry most about their parents' health. Says Cutler, "No wonder. Mom and Dad are always talking about how 'sick and tired' they are."

Hy Faber says he's learning so much from PBS' latest epic miniseries, "The West." "For instance, I never knew that Davy Crockett once had to get a rabies shot after he put a live raccoon on his head."

This Friday David Letterman's show will be commercial-free. Says Michael X. Ferraro, "It's the first CBS show to go that route . . . voluntarily."

Exciting news! The Chipmunks are coming out with a Macarena album. Says Jay Leno, "Apparently some record executives felt the song wasn't quite as annoying as it could be. Having Alvin in there could be just enough to send people over that final edge."

*

Reader Ron Jue of Huntington Beach says daughter Kaitlin, 8, went to a story session at the library. City Manager Mike Uberraga was guest storyteller. He asked the kids if any of them knew what a city manager does. Kaitlin raised her hand and said:

"You're the one who makes sure the city spends more money than it has."

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