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Laugh Lines

Punch Lines

November 21, 1996

Step on it! On this date in 1923, Garrett Morgan patented the traffic light. Says Jerry Perisho, "One day later, 10,000 people individually discovered 'running the yellow' and 'blasting the guy in front of you when the light turns green.' "

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In the news: The space shuttle Columbia blasted off this week carrying the oldest person ever to fly into space, 61-year-old Story Musgrave. Says Alex Pearlstein, "I'm not so sure about that. Wasn't Timothy Leary just a little bit older?"

WalMart has stopped selling tapes and CDs that contain nudity, swearing, lust, drunkenness, excessive violence and the glorification of death. Says Argus Hamilton, "So, I guess the 'Holy Bible on Tape' series is a goner."

Newly released White House tapes show that President Nixon considered resigning a year before he did. Says Bob Mills, "On another of the tapes, David Brinkley can be heard in the background calling Nixon a bore."

The FBI says CIA agent Harold Nicholson made $120,000 in unexplained bank deposits after visiting Singapore, India and Thailand. Says Hamilton, "That's funny. No one even knew he was running for president."

Teaching assistants at UCLA are on strike. Says Jenny Church, "They pulled all-nighters to type up their picket signs . . . double-spaced . . . with footnotes."

Reebok plans to offer a soccer ball labeled "manufactured without child labor." One more little detail, says Steve Voldseth: "The box will say 'some assembly required.' "

Pollution in Lake Mead appears to be causing "gender confusion" among the critters there. Says Church, "Biologists observed one male alligator with a matching handbag."

The California Angels are officially changing their name to the Anaheim Angels, with a new logo and colors. Says Jerry Perisho, "Oh, sure, the Yankees are impressive in their pinstripes. But wait till you see the Angels in their new periwinkle outfits."

A survey shows that 27% of girls age 12 to 13 have dieted. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "How bad is it? Lean Cuisine is now offering Happy Meals."

David Copperfield and Disney plan to build a magic-themed restaurant in Orlando, Fla. Says Bill Edwards, "It will feature roving magicians performing such tricks as pulling appetizers out of customers' ears and sawing a pot roast in half."

The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, tells all in her new book. Says Brian J. Hill, "Apparently it's quite good. The critics gave it a rating of 'two big toes up.' "

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Reader Mirek Plavee of Pacific Palisades says grandson Paul, 6, attends a private church school in Maryland, where some of the teachers are nuns. Asked about his teacher, he replied:

"Actually, I have three teachers--one sister and two humans."

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