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Off-Kilter

September 03, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | Times Staff Writer

Armageddon Etiquette: You've probably been wondering: When the Second Coming happens, how should I behave around Jesus? Fortunately, the Weekly World News supermarket tabloid has just published some frequently asked questions and etiquette guidelines:

* What if Jesus' table manners are odd? Don't be surprised if the Lord seems uncomfortable with a fork and knife. Because he was raised in ancient Palestine, he might not be familiar with modern utensils.

* How should I display reverence? Bowing or genuflecting is preferred. Prostrating yourself to kiss his feet could be problematic because unless you're extremely fit, it takes too long to get up--and hogging time with the Lord isn't fair to others.

* Is it OK to complain? You might be tempted to blame God for problems in your life, but before you shoot your mouth off, keep in mind that Judgment Day occurs shortly after the Second Coming and it's probably wise to stay on Jesus' good side.

* What if Christ tells a joke? The Lord has a great sense of humor, but don't feel compelled to laugh if you don't get one of his jokes. Jesus can spot a phony a mile away.

The Zoo World Order: Everybody's wigging out about the stock market, but it's going to be a moot point after Labor Day, when the worldwide animal conspiracy to destabilize and overthrow the human race takes hold. As we reported last month, the uprising is tentatively set for Sunday, during the AMC movie channel's "Planet of the Apes" marathon, which is foolishly being shown to monkeys at 19 U.S. zoos in honor of the film's 30th anniversary.

But minor skirmishes could erupt sooner, especially after today's visit to the L.A. Zoo by actor Roddy McDowall, who played Cornelius the ape scientist in the movie. Press materials say McDowall merely wants to "call attention to the plight of endangered animals."

Don't be fooled! He is a double agent, just like Joan Embery, the San Diego animal sympathizer who goes on talk shows to persuade humans that zoo residents are cute and furry, when in fact they are ruthless and diabolical and bent on world domination.

Experts say the animal invasion will make "Saving Private Ryan" seem like "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." The initial assault will be by air--killer bees and a global, real-life version of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." That will be followed by ground troops--ants, alligators and assorted carnivores. Needless to say, we're going into hiding for a few days. If the L.A. Times survives--and remains under human control--we'll be back Sept. 14.

Mark Your Calendars: In case you were wondering, September is National Gay Square Dance Month, National Subliminal Marketing Month (dnes yenom ot ffO-retliK), National Mushroom Month, National Baby Safety Month, National Chicken Month (an offshoot of Animal Uprising Month), National Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month, National Pediculosis Prevention Month, National Piano Month, National Children's Good Manners Month and National Food Safety Education Month. September also heralds the Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, a combo that pretty much cancels out the food safety thing, if you ask us.

Best Supermarket Tab Headline: "Record Number of Rich Americans Are Peeing on the Sidewalk!" (Weekly World News)

They're just practicing a little role reversal for when the animals take over.

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

Unpaid Informants: Matt Lait, Martin Miller, Chicago Sun-Times

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