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Laugh Lines

September 14, 1997

How You Know It Is the Late 20th Century: America Online is taking over CompuServe, says Zack Taylor. "There hasn't been this much excitement in the computer field since Deep Blue figured out the lyrics to 'Louie Louie.' "

Boeing has introduced the world's largest twin-engine jet, which can carry up to 550 passengers, says Bob Mills. "Industry experts point out it's so state of the art airlines will now be able to lose passengers' luggage on board."

"A former Russian general says Russia has lost track of 100 nuclear bombs. If they work as well as Mir, we don't have much to worry about." (Cutler Daily Scoop)

In New Scientist magazine, astronomers say they have evidence of the mysterious black holes from which nothing escapes. "They examined the funding and bookkeeping of the MTA subway project in Los Angeles," notes Jerry Perisho.

Car Culture: "Scientists have found new evidence of an 'exotic meson,' which exists for a trillionth of a trillionth of a second. Motorists have long known this as the interval between the light turning green and the guy behind you giving you the horn." (Norm Frisch)

In a recent poll about what bothers Americans most, being stuck in traffic was second only to crime. "Which is why carjacking makes us so mad," explains Joe Vogel.

Celebrity Watch: "The recent announcement that Bob Dylan will perform for the pope is less baffling than it seems," says Michael X. Ferraro. "It turns out that all these years Dylan has been singing in a perfectly comprehensible dialect of Polish."

"Martha Stewart Living" debuted on CBS. "It's the first TV show completely lit with hand-poured, scented beeswax candles." (Mills)

The Veep: "President Bill Clinton says he believes Al Gore acted legally when he made fund-raising calls from the White House," says Argus Hamilton. "Bill Clinton used to teach constitutional law in Arkansas. He's trained to make wild guesses."

* "The investigation could hurt Gore's presidential bid, though he'd be a shoo-in to be the next governor of Arizona." (Taylor)

* "You got to hand it to these Democrats. They're very smart. They go to the Buddhists, they say, 'Look, as long as you're giving away all your worldly possessions, why not give them to us?' " (Jay Leno)

* "I think Al Gore's feeling the pressure. I'm starting to feel sorry for him. Even the spotted owls are starting to distance themselves from him." (Leno)

Weird Facts: Francisco Rodriguez has been told he can't keep a tiger in his Philadelphia apartment. He says the tiger had its own bed, air conditioning and television with cable. "Favorite show? 'Roar' perhaps?" (Mark Wheeler)

Southern California set a record with seven months without rain. "The city of Beverly Hills considered water rationing," says Alan Ray. "Even days Evian. Odd days Perrier."

"The director of the U.S. Geological Survey announced plans to move the quake agency out of the Bay Area to Sacramento or Davis," says Johnny Robish. "If I lived in the Bay Area, I'd be a little concerned when a quake agency decides it's time to move out."


Reader Peter D. King's 6-year-old son, Petey, had only seen his dad in a coat and tie for special occasions. Petey played T-ball, and one of the coaches would come to practice directly from work wearing a suit and tie. When the coach was absent for a few days, Petey asked where he was. King asked him which coach he meant.

"The one who's always going to a wedding," Petey explained.

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