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LAUGH LINES

Punch Lines

September 05, 1997

Little Known History: "Thursday was the birthday of Los Angeles, founded in 1781 as El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles de Porclunicula," says Jerry Perisho. "Roughly translated, that means, 'Have your girl call my girl, we'll do lunch.' "

* Also noted: 216 years ago, Los Angeles had the same number of NFL football teams as it has today. (Perisho)

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Around the Country: A federal grand jury convicted Arizona Gov. Fife Symington on seven felony counts of defrauding lenders in a real estate deal. "Kenneth Starr immediately flew to Phoenix to try to find out how they did it." (Bob Mills)

* "Never trust a politician named after a character on 'The Andy Griffith Show.' " (Cutler Daily Scoop)

Officials at a Tennessee state prison said two prisoners escaped in a golf cart. "I think this proves we've gotten way too easy on these inmates," says Jay Leno. "It seems to me if a guy is in for murder, you make him walk the whole 18-hole course."

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New in Sports: The new Oakland Raiders coach told the players not to use swear words. "And now he's working on their table manners," says Jenny Church. "When another team is visiting, chew 'em up and spit 'em out."

Disney has announced plans to buy cable TV's Classic Sports Network. "Expect changes," says Mills. "The games will all be released on video with action figures of the MVPs available at McDonald's for $2.99."

California will get a federal allocation of $189 million to create jobs, says Paul Ecker. "I know the perfect place to create jobs in California. Let's start with the Dodger bullpen."

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Attention Boomers: Social Security has reopened its Web site so taxpayers can calculate their retirement benefits. "It's simple," says Perisho. "They ask you if you were born after 1945. If you say 'yes,' the screen says 'YOU LOSE.' "

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Space Follies: "Russian space commission found two cosmonauts responsible for the Mir collision. Also, out of habit, Richard Jewell was brought in for questioning." (Brian J. Hill)

* "The cosmonauts were fined. Who cares? With the expertise they gained on Mir, they can come to America and set up shop restoring old Pintos." Bill Williams.

* "This just in: A meteorite has crashed into the Mir space station. Did over a million dollars in improvements." (Leno)

Reader Cissy Wechter's 4-year-old grandson, Daniel, calls at least once a day, often more. On a recent day, during his fifth phone call, Wechter reluctantly suggested that he not call any more that day because his grandfather wasn't feeling well and might be disturbed.

"What if I whisper?" Daniel asked.

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