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Laugh Lines

November 25, 1998

Sticky Fingers: IRS employees allegedly stole $5.3 million in taxpayers' money over the last 2 1/2 years. "That's why people cheat on their taxes. They just want to cut out the middleman." (Alex Kaseberg)

Icky Fingers: Our military may once again be called to face danger in the Persian Gulf. "Such sacrifice! Pushing those launch buttons day after day! They are running the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome!" (LaMonte Laments)

Speaking of Soldiers: The Army is having trouble recruiting young people. "Hey, maybe if they let them wear their helmets backward?" (Laments)

Bang for Your Buck: Big Tobacco has reached a $200-billion settlement with all 50 states. "They'll raise the price of cigarettes to pay for the loss. Hey, if cigarettes get any more expensive, it will make crack cocaine cost effective." (Argus Hamilton)

Speaking of Cost Effective: Airline companies say it will cost millions to comply with an FAA recommendation that they rid combustible insulation from their passenger jets. "Here's an idea! Put a luggage tag on it." (Steve Voldseth)

Only in L.A.: According to a new study, the average motorist in Los Angeles wastes 76 hours a year in traffic. "And that's just in the driveway, deciding which car to take." (Voldseth)

Only in California: The population of the state of California is expected to grow by 17.7 million by 2025. "All but 26 of them will write TV sitcom spec scripts." (Jerry Perisho)

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The Essential David Letterman:

Top 10 Good Things About Living in a Really Small Town

10. If you get a busy signal, you can just yell out the window, "Get off your damn phone!"

9. No chance those whiny punks from MTV's "The Real World" will move in.

8. It takes Domino's more than seven hours to get here, so the pizza's always free.

7. We only had 16 muggings last year!

6. The mayor has no staff, which means he won't be getting in trouble with any interns.

5. You can walk around naked on your property, and the worst that can happen is nine people will see you.

4. If your wife gets flowers from some guy named Roger, you have a pretty good idea which Roger it is.

3. It's so safe, people leave their doors unlocked, which makes it easy for me to steal stuff.

2. If you open a burger stand, you can make your slogan "Best Burgers in Town," even if they really suck.

1. Just one speeding ticket can double the town budget.

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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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