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LAUGH LINES

Punch Lines

June 09, 1997

Our Galaxy: There are reports that a new planet was discovered beyond Pluto. Either that, or it's a rest stop for the Heaven's Gate ship. (Cutler Daily Scoop)

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Strom: In Washington, the Smithsonian is having a weeklong exhibit of amber fossils that date back 20 million to 30 million years. And included in the exhibit are some rare charred baby pictures of Sen. Strom Thurmond. (Brian J. Hill)

* Sen. Thurmond is mad. After writing the foreword to a book by a former aide, "The Day After Roswell," he's just finding out the book is about the government using alien technology from the supposed UFO crash to win the Cold War. The book also claims UFOs visited Earth's ancient civilizations. But Thurmond says he was there the whole time and didn't see a single flying saucer. (Daily Scoop)

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Crimes and Misdemeanors: Three people were arrested and gear discovered from a stolen FBI SWAT truck. "They're the nation's top crime fighters, and they haven't heard of the Club?" (Daily Scoop)

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Down Time: A new study says Americans have more leisure time than ever before. The only problem, says Gary Easley: They spend all this extra time rushing somewhere to spend it.

* So, what does a civil servant call lounging? Another day at the office. (Alan Ray)

* The Postal Service wants to raise first-class postage by two cents. Most customers won't experience the hike until next year. Says Ray, it will take them that long to reach the front of the line.

* Congress, meantime, may consider pushing back the April 15 tax deadline by two months. Good idea, according to Stan Kaplan; that will give taxpayers more time to ask for more time.

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TV Land: Larry King had angioplasty for a blocked vein. And there's even more good news . . . he asked three of the nurses to marry him, says Hill.

Some senators want a clearer TV rating system. But the ratings are clear as a bell, says Argus Hamilton: If a show contains violence, sex and profanity, it'll say ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox before the opening credits.

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Higher Education: The University of California may start a marijuana research center. Says Jay Leno: "Actually, I thought the University of California was a marijuana research center."

Reader Anne Riffenburgh was making dinner while the kids played and watched "Jeopardy" in the other room. Suddenly, her 5-year-old, Ryan, came running into the kitchen with this exciting announcement:

"Mom, did you know that Paul Newman doesn't just make salad dressing? He's an actor, too!"

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