Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Off-Kilter

January 14, 1998|Roy Rivenburg | Times Staff Writer

California Dethroned: Scientific evidence is mounting that California is no longer the weirdest state in the nation. It has been upstaged by Texas. As proof, researchers cite a recent issue of Texas Monthly magazine, which documented a plethora of bizarre developments in the Lone Star State:

* Kleberg County adopted "heaven-o" as its official greeting after a resident pointed out that "hello" contains the word "hell."

* Nacogdoches County changed its prisoner uniforms from bright orange to black-and-white stripes because citizens kept reporting escapees who turned out to be joggers.

* A spokesman for Austin's Calvary Chapel told a group of college students that Christianity is the solution to UFO abductions: "To get rid of the pesky aliens, you need to find Jesus Christ."

* The resort town of South Padre Island banned the wearing of ties.

* When comic Rodney Dangerfield announced he would premiere his latest movie in the town of Daingerfield, the city council officially dropped the first "i" from its name for a week.

*

Alarming Trends Department: Chicago Sun-Times columnist Zay N. Smith reports that shag carpeting is making a comeback. And not just on William Shatner's head.

*

Luddite Update: Reason No. 1,244 why the Internet is evil: They're going to start using it to sell Girl Scout cookies.

*

Gullible Humans Department: The latest issue of Skeptic magazine reports that a junior high school student won first prize at an Idaho science fair for an experiment that showed how susceptible the public is to environmental alarmism. For his project, the student urged people to sign a petition calling for a ban on the chemical dihydrogen monoxide because it contributes to erosion, decreases the effectiveness of automobile brakes and can be fatal if inhaled accidentally. Of the 50 people he spoke with, 43 supported the ban, six were undecided and only one knew that dihydrogen monoxide is water.

*

Best Supermarket Tabloid Tall Tale: The Weekly World News has revealed that, just as we always suspected, "Ancient Stone Tablets Prove God Gave Moses 13 Commandments--Not 10!" Here are the missing edicts unearthed by archeologists:

* Honor the Earth, its plants, soil, water and air.

* Thou shalt not be neglectful and lazy, but keep thy mind and body healthy and disciplined.

* Thou shalt not enslave others, including thine enemies.

We are less amazed by the discovery than by the fact that the commandments are written in King James English. We also suspect that there are additional proscriptions yet to be uncovered, including: "Thou shalt not leave thy turn signal on after changing lanes," and "Thou shalt not dress up like a purple dinosaur and sing to children or thou wilt burneth in the eternal flames of hell." We hope.

*

Quote of the Day: ABC's Ted Koppel, on what qualifications are necessary to become a journalist in this country: "The correct answer is nothing." This column could be proof of that.

* Roy Rivenburg can be reached by e-mail at roy.rivenburg@latimes.com.

Contributors: Wireless Flash, Olympia Daily World, Hotline

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|