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Laugh Lines

Punch Lines

September 14, 1998

A Smoky Survey: Health experts at UC Berkeley say smoking costs the U.S. $73 billion each year. "Of course, you must remember that what they smoke in Berkeley is usually more expensive because it's imported from Panama or Colombia." (Jerry Perisho)

Calling the Shots: Jerry West signed a contract extension as executive vice president with the Lakers for $3.5 million a year. "There's also an incentive clause, but West won't get any money out of it. To see a bonus, next year Shaquille O'Neal has to make two free throws in a row." (Perisho)

Medical Breakthrough: "Scientists think they have found the cause of Alzheimer's disease--a subpoena from Ken Starr." (Gary Easley)

Real TV: According to a new study, 28 children were killed by falling televisions between 1990 and 1997. "Gee, Mom was right, it is dangerous to sit too close to the TV." (Premiere Radio)

Sweet Feats: Dutch scientists are genetically altering sugar beets to produce a low-calorie sweetener to use instead of sugar. "They're calling the new product Nutra-Beets." (Jimmy McDonnell)

Urban Legends: Tim Forneris, the St. Louis groundskeeper who picked up Mark McGwire's 62nd home run ball, met President Clinton at DisneyWorld and traveled to New York City to appear with David Letterman. "He'll also be included in the Kato Kaelin Lucky Bystander's Hall of Fame." (Zack Taylor)

Albert's Secret: Sportscaster Marv Albert got married recently. "It was probably the first time that both the groom and bride were registered at Victoria's Secret." (Alex Kaseberg)

Tardy Tales: President Clinton showed up 10 minutes late to high school computer classes on the Internet. "The president apologized, explaining that he had to go through a maze of chat rooms first to lose Kenneth Starr." (Joe Kevany)

The Great Unknown: Rosie O'Donnell says that instead of all the usual celebrity guests, she's going to book people "no one ever sees." "In fact, did you see who she's invited for her first show? The cast of the movie 'The Avengers.' " (Steve Voldseth)

Kodak Moments: Bill Gates has acquired the rights to more than 25 million photos and images. "Things are really getting out of hand. Today, I got my vacation pictures back and discovered that Gates already owned the rights to them." (Paul Steinberg)

* SEND US A LINE: Got a joke? Send it to Laugh Lines by fax, (213) 237-0732, or mail, Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053.

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