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LAUGH LINES : Punch Lines

January 05, 1998

Time to Diet: "The holidays are finally over. I know because all that's left in my bowl of gourmet mixed nuts are the peanuts." (Kenny Noble Cortes)

How You Really Know the Holidays Are Over: "My fruitcake has more green fuzz on it than my Chia Pet." (Alex Kaseberg)

A Modest Proposal: "Jerry Seinfeld is going to stop doing his show even though NBC offered to pay him $5 million an episode.

"Meanwhile, I announced I'm staying at my show even though NBC is going to start charging me." (Conan O'Brien)

In the Football-Free City: "I'm not sure when I will get used to writing 1998--probably when I run out of my 'Go L.A. Rams' checks." (Kaseberg)

Just Us and Our Puppy: The Clintons went for a vacation on the weekend. "It's a time for quiet reflection. You can't think in Washington with the shredder always on." (Alan Ray)

Clear Days in Saloons: California's ban on smoking in bars took effect on New Year's Day.

"A man can no longer offer a woman a cigarette as an icebreaker, but the air will still be thick with the pickup line, 'What's your sign?' " (Gary Easley)

Looks Alert: L.A. County health officials are urging the public not to make unnecessary trips to hospitals, which are jammed with sick patients. "This has caused a panic in Beverly Hills, where liposuction and breast-implant surgeries have been put off until February." (Mark Wheeler)

Toy Story: "The inventor of Tickle Me Elmo says he was investigated as a suspect in the Unabomber case. A few minor adjustments in the doll got the postal inspectors off his back--originally, he was Tick Tick Tick Elmo." (Argus Hamilton)

Is Ed McMahon on Board? "Northwest Airlines lost several million during its last quarter. You can tell the company is hurting. Instead of handing out magazines, the flight attendants now sell subscriptions." (Ray)

There's No Free Lunch: Burger King planned to give away an estimated 9 million orders of its "new and improved" French fries at its 7,400 restaurants nationwide on Friday. "There is a catch, however. You know those little packets of catsup? They cost $4.99 each." (Bob Mills)

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SEND US A LINE: Got a joke? Send it to Laugh Lines by fax, (213) 237-0732, or mail, Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053.

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