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April 20, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | Times Staff Writer

Weird Polls Department: According to an Internet survey by TeenPeople magazine, more people admire the marriage of fictional cartoon characters Marge and Homer Simpson than the marriage of real-life cartoon characters Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The Return of Chicken Little: A month ago, we told you about a journalist who was upset when scientists shot down reports that a giant asteroid was going to slam into Earth in 2028. The writer had hoped that an actual date for global doom would cause people to stop worrying about retirement plans or cholesterol and instead focus on having fun. So we asked readers for their theories on what might happen if scientists predicted a planetary fender bender in the near future.

For example, Paul S. of La Habra Heights wrote to say, "I'd have sex with anything that moves. What would you do, Mr. Off-Kilter?" Uh, we'd try not to move. Here are some other forecasts:

* Ken Layne penned a Pollyanna-ish newspaper headline for the event: "L.A. Nuts Swear Asteroid Will Improve Traffic."

* John Munce also sought to make the best of a disastrous situation by having Michael Bolton and Kenny G duct-taped to the top of Mt. Everest so they'd be "the first to go."

* Ross Drews offered a similar plan, but with a happier payoff: Obliterate the asteroid with a kamikaze spacecraft carrying Kenny G, John Tesh, Alanis Morissette and assorted daytime talk-show hosts.

* Jack Zidell, 87, of Beverly Hills said he and his wife would take turns standing watch at night so they wouldn't miss the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. He also said he'd postpone his appointment with Dr. Kevorkian until a week after the asteroid.

* Stanford Jones of Laguna Beach vowed to start a cult that promises the world won't end.

* Meanwhile, John Roehrig was completely unfazed by the asteroid threat. He wrote, "If the Earth weighs 6.6 sextillion tons and has a surface area of 197 million square miles, then colliding with a 6-square-mile asteroid would be the equivalent of having a bug hit your windshield at 65 mph."

Statistic of the Day: According to the Beachcombers Alert newsletter, up to 4,756,940 Legos will wash ashore on Eastern seaboard beaches this summer. We think that's absurd. Our prediction is 4,756,928 Legos, tops.

A Game to Di For: Somewhere on the Internet (it's been moved to a secret location after lots of unfavorable press) is a computer game called the Diana Tunnel-Racer, in which players drive a Mercedes through a tunnel while being hounded by paparazzi. Fork Unstable, the German American company behind the game, says Tunnel-Racer was created to satirize the "shameless" exploitation of Princess Diana's death by the media and merchants selling various Diana products. But Fork Unstable is known for provocative material based on current events. In another of its games, players shoot down warplanes over Bosnia.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Animal-Rights Nuts Call for Ban on Werewolf Hunting!" (Weekly World News)


Roy Rivenburg can be reached by e-mail at

Contributors: Wireless Flash News Service,, London Mirror, Olympia Daily World, Chicago Sun-Times

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