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Laugh Lines

November 06, 1998

Strike Out: Union technicians held a work stoppage at ABC this week. Network officials report that key positions were filled by management employees, and, for the most part, no one could tell the technicians were gone. "In other words, the suits screwed up just as much as the union guys do." (Ira Lawson)

In the Beginning: Vice President Al Gore reportedly refused an ABC News interview because its camera operators had joined the strike. "Electronic transmission is an issue close to his heart. He worked his way through college as a telephone pole in Connecticut." (Argus Hamilton)

Best Bet: California voters OKd Indian casinos opposed by Las Vegas hotels. "Voters read the ballot, weighed the issue and voted for the side offering the loosest slots." (Hamilton)

Sue City: Jerry Seinfeld is being sued by a former friend who says that Seinfeld created the character George Costanza after him. A lawyer says that, like the TV character, his client is "short, heavyset and bald." "So I guess we can expect to see millions of middle-aged men go after Seinfeld as well." (Andrew Wisot)

Going Once . . .: A judge ruled that O.J. Simpson's belongings can be auctioned to help pay off his multimillion-dollar judgment. "Some items are valuable: furniture, paintings, his Heisman trophy. Some items are worthless: old golf clubs, his reputation, Kato Kaelin." (Jerry Perisho)

The Big Bite: Mike Tyson will return to the ring in January, fighting South African Francois Botha. "Maybe they should conduct mental tests on Botha. He's the one crazy enough to get in a ring with Tyson." (Premiere Radio)

Strikebound: FedEx pilots are threatening a Christmas strike. "So your presents will 'Positively, Absolutely, Maybe' get there." (Bill Williams)

Follow the Liter: The soft drink company Coke may break into the bottled water market. "The new product will reportedly be called 'Dansani'--a word meaning 'if people are stupid enough to pay two bucks for a bottle of water, why shouldn't we cash in?' " (Premiere)

The Trump Tribune: Ivana Trump may soon publish her own magazine. The name and price are still to be worked out, "but front-runners include '(Ex-Husband's) Money,' and the price--$2.50 an issue for the first three years, after that half of what the subscriber earns. (Gary Easley)

Hamlet in Hollywood: Kenneth Branagh, who may be best known for bringing Shakespeare to the screen, is nearing the end of a lease on an L.A. home. "He must now decide whether to renew by determining if his stay in Southern California is to be or not to be." (Easley)

Got a joke? Send it to Laugh Lines by fax, (213) 237-0732, or mail, Southern California Living, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053.

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