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LAUGH LINES

Punchlines

June 02, 1997

Ancient History: A new fossil discovery has pushed back the first recorded presence of a human-like species in Europe by maybe 300,000 years. Anthropologists are buzzing. "This means it's been an additional 300,000 years since anyone changed the sheets in a European hotel." (Alex Pearlstein)

* Upon hearing the startling news of the fossils, Princess Di exclaimed, "Yeah, and Queen Elizabeth was there to greet them all," says Paul Ecker.

* "And furthermore," opines Bob Mills, "the discovery may provide the missing link between Neanderthal man and Pauly Shore."

*

More From Overseas: "A moderate was elected the new leader in Iran. A moderate? How so? Mohammad Khatami calls America 'The Mediocre Satan.' " (Cutler Daily Scoop)

* Britain's new prime minister, Tony Blair, must deal with a divided House, turmoil between factions and declining power. "That royal family is a real pain." (Alan Ray)

*

Around the Country: Starbucks is featuring Oprah Winfrey's book club selections in their coffee shops. "The stores will also feature the new Oprah Latte: Fat content may vary week to week." (Bill Williams)

From Jay Leno: "In my home state of Massachusetts, members of the Kennedy clan are gathering in Boston to celebrate what would have been John F. Kennedy's 80th birthday. The Kennedys are kind of like those dinosaurs in 'The Lost World.' They've got the big teeth, they breed like crazy and wherever they go, women are running and screaming."

Arco hired George Bush to make a speech in China promoting the company's new billion-dollar gas project. "The former president charges $100,000 to talk to these groups. His topic? Free speech." (Argus Hamilton)

A 13-year-old Brooklyn girl copped the National Spelling Bee with "euonym." "The runner-up was eliminated when he spelled 'hype' S-P-I-E-L-B-E-R-G." (Mills)

Researchers studying napping cats discovered a brain chemical leading to a new sleeping pill for humans. There's only one catch, reports Stan Kaplan: "Test subjects slept soundly but tended to lick coffee, chase birds and leap into the laps of elderly ladies."

Reader Frankie Lee writes: "While my 76-year-old mother was baby-sitting yesterday, she took out her dentures to show my 3-year-old son, Cody. When I returned they were playing 'Star Wars.' Cody suddenly exclaimed to my mom:

"Surrender Darth Vader! Give me your teeth!"

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