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| Off-Kilter / ROY RIVENBURG

Where the Waves Part Miraculously When You Hit the Water Hazard

July 14, 1999|ROY RIVENBURG

My Tin Cup Runneth Over: Every time we read the Bible, we're always struck by the underlying themes of faith, redemption--and miniature golf.

That's why it makes perfect sense that Lexington, Ky., has a 54-hole miniature golf course based entirely on Scripture. On the Noah's Ark hole, for instance, players must putt around pairs of concrete animals. At the Jonah hole, they tee off inside a giant whale. And at the Christ's empty tomb hole, a motion detector activates a recorded voice that sings, "He's alive" over and over.

Other holes dramatize Moses and the burning bush (when the ball goes in the cup, a shrub lights up), Jesus turning water into wine (the green is shaped like a wine bottle with half the carpeting in blue, to symbolize water, and half in red) and the pillar of cloud and fire (which emits smoke when the ball rolls in).

Also on the premises are an ice rink and batting cages.

Auld Lang Syne of the Times: As noted a few weeks ago, the West Coast finally has a rival to the famous lighted ball that drops at Times Square every New Year's Eve. In San Francisco, a big electronic olive will plummet 32 stories into a monstrous martini glass at the St. Francis Hotel.

Faced with a surplus of prizes from previous contests, we asked readers to concoct ways for other cities to welcome the new millennium. As usual, members of the millennium police fired off letters whining about how the next century actually begins in 2001.

So we will explain this one more time: We're the media; we can say whatever we want and the public will believe us. For example, most people don't realize we lost the war in Yugoslavia. That's right, Milosevic kicked our butts. But if we printed that, the U.S. economy might collapse and, frankly, we've got too much money invested in the stock market to risk that. Also, during President Clinton's impeachment trial, the Senate actually voted him out of office, but since 97% of journalists are liberal Democrats, we reported otherwise.

Anyway, our judges have picked the winning New Year's ideas:

* Anaheim: Mickey Mouse is dropped onto a huge mousetrap. (Submitted by Grace E. Hampton).

* Australia: Drop a giant boomerang. The beauty of it, says reader Aubrey Compton Jr., is that every time the boomerang falls, it goes back up so they have to keep dropping it and the party never ends.

* Washington, D.C.: At about 11:55 p.m., put President Clinton and Lorena Bobbitt on top of the Washington Monument. Then just stand back and see what comes down. (David E. Brown)

* Boston: An electronic Paul Revere gallops through the city shouting, "The millennium is coming! The millennium is coming!" (Gabrielle Nicole Green)

* Egypt: Hollow out the Sphinx, fill it with candy and turn it into the world's largest pinata. (Jim Van Vorst)

* Brentwood: A white Ford Bronco drops into a large glass of OJ. (Wendy Maag)

* Florida: All the state's retirees line up at 11:59 p.m. and turn on their left blinkers. (Bill Williams, who also suggested that the Los Angeles Times, being a little off-kilter, could drop a columnist to celebrate the New Year.)

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Earth's Water Supply Came From Dinosaur Wee-Wee! A Pit Stop by Just One of These Huge Beasts Would Fill a Swimming Pool!" (Weekly World News)

Unpaid Informants: Houston Chronicle, Ann Harrison, Miles Harrison, Susanna Timmons. Off-Kilter's e-mail address is roy.rivenburg@latimes.com. Off-Kilter runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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