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Off-Kilter

October 22, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Weird Polls Department: Democrats apparently don't eat Campbell's soup or follow baseball, but they do suffer quite a few headaches and abuse their TV remote controls. That's our interpretation of a bizarre new survey sponsored by DiMassimo Brand Advertising, which found that 84% of loyal Campbell's soup customers think President Clinton should be impeached, as do 69% of those who closely followed the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa home run race.

In contrast, only 51% of loyal Advil users thought Clinton should be sacked and just 39% of channel-flippers had a low opinion of the president.

Other odd findings: 91% of people who are loyal to a cleaning product said Hillary Clinton should leave her husband, and viewers of Jerry Springer's TV show were the president's biggest fans, giving him a 73% approval rating.

Overall, the survey revealed that people who are loyal to a brand--any brand--tend to dislike the president. Fortunately for Clinton, just 22% of the public is loyal to even one brand.

Short Attention Spans Bureau: VH-1, the cable channel that calls itself a music station but keeps playing less and less music, is now premiering what may be the world's shortest TV program: just 60 seconds long.

"Midnight Minutes," a nightly series set to debut Wednesday, will feature recording artists singing abridged, 60-second versions of their songs. Alanis Morrisette will kick off the series. Other shows will spotlight Lyle Lovett, Duncan Sheik and balladeer Steve Fromholz, who will perform a tune called "I Gave Her a Ring, She Gave Me the Finger."

No word on how long the commercial breaks are.

Lunatic Fringe Revisited: When we wrote about the goofball who says getting a new area code can alter your telephone's personality, we figured most of you realized that numerology (like astrology) has been soundly disproved in scientific studies. But some readers were still distressed that we didn't print the full list of what types of calls a phone is supposed to attract, based on its numerological reading, which is calculated by adding up all the digits in the number, including area code. Once you have a sum, add the digits of that number together and keep adding the digits until you get a single numeral.

As you recall, if your phone is a "one," it will supposedly draw focused calls, twos bring in emotional confessions, threes get friendly gossip, fours are magnets for practical advice. Here are the rest: fives tend to attract telephone solicitors, sixes get heavy breathers, sevens draw lots of wrong numbers and . . . OK, not really. Here's the actual list: fives bring calls with plenty of "interesting news," sixes attract conversations about family matters, sevens get intimate talks, eights are great for business and nines have universal appeal.

Going Postal: Reader Wayne Terry writes: "Ordinarily, your columns are stupendously well-edited and researched, but I must point out an error that crept into Monday's Off-Kilter. You identified Patrick Swayze as 'actor' Patrick Swayze."

You're right, Wayne. We apologize for the error.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Sex-Crazed Gals Use Viagra to Sleep With Any Guy They Want! Ugly Sisters Spike Men's Drinks With Wonder Drug--Then Wait for Nature to Take Over!" (Weekly World News)

* Roy Rivenburg's e-mail address is roy.rivenburg@latimes.com.

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, Anne Flippin

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