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Punch Lines

November 29, 1996

Thanksgiving finale . . . "There was nothing more heartwarming than to hear relatives whisper those three magical words: Time to go!" (Alan Ray)

* "The Christmas shopping season starts today, and an estimated 10 million people will be fighting over the most popular item this year: a parking space." (Ray)

* "When President Clinton pardoned Carl, the White House turkey, on Wednesday, some called his act 'an annual tradition.' Others, however, said it was a 'preview of coming attractions.' " (Jerry Perisho)


Rearranging the deck chairs . . . Thirty-two artifacts from the Titanic went on display this week at a maritime museum in Norfolk, Va.:

* "At the entrance, everyone must get in line, but it's women and children first." (Bob Mills)

* "Some exhibits included dishes, furniture and, oddly enough, the wig and dress the captain wore to sneak on a lifeboat." (Premiere Morning Sickness)

* "The refreshment stand offers no soft drinks, only Icees." (Mills)


In the news . . . Steve Voldseth, on the Federal Drug Administration approving Prozac as a treatment for people with eating disorders: "You still eat like a pig, you just don't care anymore."

Argus Hamilton, on a survey showing that U.S. high school attendance rate is way up in 1996: "And why not? If where you worked had drugs, free condoms and cigarette breaks every 55 minutes, you wouldn't miss a day either."

Ray, on Visa suing American Express for trademark infringement: "The plaintiff's brief was 300 pages long. One page was the standard filing, while the rest were advertising inserts."

Mills, on the state Public Utilities Commission naming cities that will get the new 626 area code: "And after carefully reviewing his testimony, the PUC also changed O.J. Simpson's area code to 911."

Stan Kaplan on word that while California has 100,000 lawyers, the state has only 50,000 ambulances: "The bar association has ruled, therefore, that there shall be no individual chasing. It must be done by tag teams."

Gary Easley, on the Artist Formerly Known as Prince now wanting to be referred to simply as the Artist: "The marriage, the new kid and disappointing record sales have forced him to cut back."

Ray, on "Star Trek: First Contact" being No. 1 at the box office last weekend: "Release of the film spawned a cultural phenomenon. Several Trekkies actually got dates."


Reader Linda Renna of Tustin took her 80-year-old mother, Virginia, out for coffee and a muffin. While Linda waited in line, Virginia sat at a table. When Linda joined her, she asked why Mom was wiping away tears. Virginia pointed out two girls, ages 5 or 6, at a nearby table, who had been talking to another woman while waiting for their parents. One girl had asked the woman if she had any children. When the woman replied no, the other girl said:

"It's real easy. All you have to do is have sex."

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