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LAUGH LINES

Punch Lines

June 23, 1997

Crime Blotter: Two interior decorators who work for the Cali cocaine cartel in Colombia were arrested in the U.S., accused of money laundering. "The cartel has to put all that money somewhere," says Argus Hamilton. "They're really raking it in ever since they switched to coffee."

* "They're charged with laundering $30 million in drug money," says Jerry Perisho. "How does an interior decorator launder $30 million? 'You know that shag carpet you wanted? It's going to cost you $28,000 per square foot.' "

*

New in Sports: "The Women's National Basketball Assn. began play Saturday. It's really nothing that new. A group of women do the same work as men and get paid a lot less." (Alan Ray)

"Billionaire Paul Allen is buying the Seattle Seahawks. He will transport a familiar stationary item to the new arena--the offensive line." (Ray)

*

Show Biz: " 'Cats' is now Broadway's longest-running show," says Alex Kaseberg. "I believe that. When I saw it, I didn't think it was ever going to end."

Martha Stewart is getting her own radio show. "Day One's topic: utilizing your time stuck in traffic to complete a perfect flower arrangement. Oh, you don't have a chauffeur? Too bad. . . ." (Cutler Daily Scoop)

* "If you don't own a radio, Martha will teach you how to make one out of dry leaves, crushed flowers, an old Mason jar and a cat's whisker." (Bob Mills)

Ray explains the breakup of Brad Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow. "She knew it wasn't going to last when, on his knees, he popped the question--'How's my lighting?' "

*

Business World: "The problem with the new Jerry Garcia credit card," observes Kaseberg, "is that you can be charged twice if it has a flashback."

R.J. Reynolds is suing the FDA for what it calls "politically motivated harassment." We all know about Joe Camel. Now R.J. Reynolds is saying the military's popular Uncle Sam character induces kids to commit adultery." (Bill Maher)

So Merrill Lynch pays $30 million to Orange County and admits no wrongdoing, no Merrill Lynch executives do any time and everyone but the victims go on with their lives. Who's Merrill Lynch's lawyer? Johnnie Cochran?" (Rob Cox)

Sen. Al D'Amato wants to crack down on ATM charges by banks. "They are devious," says Hamilton. "Last week I was completing a withdrawal and the machine asked me if I wanted to go double or nothing."

Reader Janet Krause Jones' 4-year-old son, Jason, was learning about different countries at his preschool. After a day dedicated to Ireland, he excitedly told her:

"Guess what. I even kissed the Barney Rock."

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