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Section Gee! | Off-Kilter

Barbie Gets a Biker Make-Over

November 25, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Biker Barbie Bureau: For the Hells Angels on your Christmas shopping list, Mattel has rolled out a limited edition Harley-Davidson Barbie, dressed in black leather, helmet and boots. Price: $80.

Tattoos and methamphetamine-lab accessory kit presumably not included.

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G.I. (Blank): In other bizarre doll news, G.I. Joe is becoming a pregnant woman. No joke. As you may recall, Hasbro recently sponsored an online auction in which the top bidder would receive a G.I. Joe custom-made in his or her likeness.

The winning bid--$2,951--came from a Maryland woman, Sherry Pluche, who is in the Navy. She told Hasbro the doll would make a "cool memento" for her unborn child.

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Scratch and Sniff Memories: A British researcher claims he can restore long-lost memories in the elderly by treating them with the smells of bombed-out buildings. According to the Week magazine, when psychiatrist John Kinge re-created the aromas of wartime--including exploded buildings and the scent of a Royal Women's Auxiliary Service tea wagon--the odors triggered a burst of memories in patients in their 80s and 90s.

One man suddenly recited his old rifle number after whiffing a scent called "hospital." But Kinge isn't sure the method will work on future generations. "Food is cooked in the microwave," he said. "We live in such a sterile environment, there are virtually no smells to remember us by."

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Loser of the Week: Today's trophy goes to Santa Claus, for knuckling under to animal-rights weirdos. In this year's Macy's parade, he's dumping the white ermine trim on his jacket, pants and sleeve cuffs in favor of an Oleg Cassini-designed suit with a trim of fake fur dyed green.

Can liberating the reindeer be far behind?

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Language Barrier Bureau: To paraphrase Steve Martin, "It's like those British have a different word for everything." Just compare the reactions to last week's launch of a U.S. Tomahawk missile by a British submarine. Representing the English, Adm. Sir Michael Boyce, first sea lord and chief of staff of the Royal Navy, said: "Good show, very vivid."

The quote from the American missile test chief, Lt. Cmdr. Len Hamilton, was: "Totally awesome!"

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Tax Dollars at Work Department: The Library of Congress spends more than $60,000 each year to print a Braille version of Playboy magazine that is read by fewer than 1,000 blind people.

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Bizarre Quote of the Day: Designer Bob Mackie, reminiscing at a New York party about his work with Cher during the 1970s: "She has perfect armpits . . . [with a] smooth sculpted quality without any kind of wrinkle lines or fatty tissues."

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Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "2.2 Million Will Lose Their Jobs This Year--For Acting Stupid at Office Christmas Parties!" (Weekly World News)

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Roy Rivenburg's e-mail address is roy.rivenburg@latimes.com. Unpaid Informants: Scott Martelle, http://www.hasbrocollectors.com, John Wilcock, Wireless Flash News Service, Dennis Davis, Martin Miller. Off-Kilter is published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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