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January 07, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | Times Staff Writer

Pizza Poll: Now we know why Domino's wants its pizzas delivered in 30 minutes or less. The drivers need time to answer weird questions that the company asks throughout the year. Here are some of the findings of the latest Domino's "Pizza Meter" survey:

* The day after Howard Stern's movie "Private Parts" opened, 62 women nationwide answered the door bare-chested.

* Pizza orders fell 11% on the night that Mike Tyson chomped Evander Holyfield's ear.

* The week after the final episode of "Beavis & Butt-head" saw a 44% drop in prank phone calls to Domino's nationwide.

* Tipping rose 45% nationwide in the week after Ted Turner donated $1 billion to charity--except in Atlanta, which recorded a tipping decline.

* The top fake names given when ordering in 1997 included Marv Albert, Janet Reno, Dr. Kevorkian and Frank Gifford. Of those using Albert's name when ordering, half answered the door wearing an obvious toupee.

Weird Epitaphs Department: An atheist's tombstone in Tulsa, Okla., is inscribed with, "Gone to see for myself," according to Solitude in Stone, a newsletter published by cemetery buff Clyde Chamberlin.

Bumper-Sticker Bump and Grind: What is it that compels people to alter fast-food bumper stickers into sexual innuendoes? First, it was the folks who edited "In-N-Out Burger" stickers to read "In-N-Out urge." Now they're doing it with Carl's Jr.'s "Eat Meat" bumper decals. As if the slogan weren't suggestive enough already, some motorists insist on slicing off the last two letters. A Carl's spokeswoman didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

Barbie and Ken Split Up: Thanks to a secret time-travel machine at Caltech, we are now able to bring you tomorrow's news today. This is the first report from our time-traveling journalist, who returns with news from March 1998. . . . "After a 20-year marriage, Barbie and Ken (they have no last name) have finally called it quits. A spokesman for Mattel says Ken was distraught over Barbie's recent redesign, which included a reduction in the size of her chest. However, close friend Chatty Cathy claims the marriage had been on the rocks since Ken began a clandestine affair with GI Joe in 1989. The breakup ends one of the toy industry's longest partnerships. Barbie and Ken met in 1961, then lived together for six years, unable to marry until Mattel manufactured the Barbie Wedding Ensemble in 1967. Under a proposed divorce decree, Ken will keep the Malibu Beach House, while Barbie will live in the Mattel Dream House. The couple is disputing custody of the Barbie Motor Home."

Trendy Religions Department: The January issue of Us magazine reports that the recent embrace of Tibetan Buddhism by some in Hollywood is typically shallow and self-serving. Quoting Newsweek religion editor Kenneth Woodward--who labels Buddhism "the religion du jour for people who don't really want one"--Us notes that Westerners schooled in Judeo-Christian tradition often erroneously believe that Buddhism comes with few rules or judgments. In reality, the faith is "even more conservative than Christianity." Almost all forms of Buddhism forbid sex during the day and oral sex and masturbation at all times.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Animal-Rights Nuts Want Snake Charmers to Use Rubber Cobras" (Weekly World News)

* Roy Rivenburg can be reached by e-mail at

Sources: Wireless Flash

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