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Off-Kilter

September 22, 1998|ROY RIVENBURG | Times Staff Writer

Underground Attic Department: New York may have alligators in its sewers, but Britain has 15-foot boa constrictors, lawn mowers, dentures, mattresses, toupees and an occasional motorbike, according to the London Guardian.

Many of the objects were flushed down toilets, but some were crammed down manholes, said the report. The search of Britain's 212,500-mile underground sewer system also uncovered pornographic photos, a 5-foot toy gorilla, jail keys and live eels and frogs.

Lunatic Fringe Bureau: A Washington author predicts that homing pigeons will soon replace telephones in order to ensure the privacy of messages. That's fine with us, but only if the birds are equipped with the same features we've grown accustomed to with phones, such as Pigeon ID (which tells you where the pigeon came from so you can screen out messages from salesmen), Pigeon Waiting (so you don't miss any incoming birds), Conference Pigeoning (so you can send or receive messages from several birds at the same time) and Emergency Roadside Pigeons (for when you break down on the freeway).

Sacramento or Bust Department: Ignore the polls. The only reason that Gray Davis and Dan Lungren are leading in the race for governor is that we haven't unveiled our TV ads. Unlike their commercials, which address such vague themes as character, education and crime, ours will focus on real-life issues, such as requiring movie theaters to install electric razors at each seat so you can shave the head of anyone who sits in front of you with big hair. We also promise to have police hunt down those people who stick fliers on your car windshield at the mall and feed them to British sewer system boa constrictors.

Bizarre Business Bureau: New products you probably can't use:

* Road-kill babies, a twisted answer to the annoying Beanie Babies trend. These stuffed, smushed critters come in four models--Flat Cat, Dog Gone, Bunny Bump and Strewn Raccoon. Available for $10 at http://www.roadsidepets.com.

* NFL booze. Alcohol-free wine in bottles featuring various football team logos. Available for $60 at (800) 64-WINES.

* "Treasure of the Titanic." A massive $100,000 bottle of wine (equal to 36 regular bottles) that went on sale this month at a Las Vegas casino.

* Tailgate-party recipes. A new cookbook by football commentator John Madden, with such dishes as "turducken," a boneless duck stuffed inside a boneless chicken stuffed inside a boneless turkey. From Viking Books.

Socks Under House Arrest?: In answer to Off-K's recent report on the disappearance of Socks, the White House cat, we heard from another journalist whose insider sources tell her that "the Clintons never liked Socks and they keep him in the White House basement." Honestly.

We're not sure how the first feline fell from grace, but maybe it has something to do with the unexplained reappearance of Hillary Rodham Clinton's missing Rose Law firm records awhile back.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Audience Kills Magician When He Accidentally Saws Woman in Half!" (Weekly World News)

Another correspondence school-related death.

* Roy Rivenburg can be reached by e-mail at roy.rivenburg@latimes.com.

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, Deep Throat

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