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As a Public Service, These Products Will Preserve Matrimonial Bliss

May 12, 1999|ROY RIVENBURG

Altar'd States Bureau: Wedding season is just around the bend, which means advice columnists like Ann Landers and Dear Abby will soon be forwarding Off-Kilter all the questions they can't answer, such as "Is a revolver acceptable for a shotgun wedding or does it have to be an actual shotgun?"

Answer: Don't feel bound by tradition! Many of today's couples are not only writing their own vows, but also experimenting with unconventional shotgun-marriage weaponry, including guillotines, Tasers and NATO airstrikes.

Another question that frequently stumps the advice-columnist establishment is: "When asking for someone's hand in marriage, is it better to offer a diamond ring or something practical like a bug-zapper lamp?"

Answer: This is an age-old dilemma. On the one hand, although diamonds are a girl's best friend, they're useless against insects. On the other, bug zappers are a tad bulky when strapped to a woman's finger. Fortunately, a Minneapolis jeweler has solved the problem with new Bugs B Wear jewelry, which is designed to repel mosquitoes, gnats and flies.

Other commonly asked questions:

* "I am worried about global warming and its possible effect on the limousine ride after our wedding."

Answer: It's always good to have a backup transportation plan in the event of polar icecap meltdown and massive flooding. We recommend Hammacher Schlemmer's "authentic Venetian wedding gondola," which is handcrafted from eight types of wood and features a fiberglass coating on the hull. Price: $60,000.

* "My fiance and I are trying to negotiate our prenuptial agreement, but we can't come to terms on whether the toilet paper in our house should unroll from the top or the bottom of the spindle. Any suggestions?"

Answer: As you know, toilet-paper incompatibility is the No. 1 cause of divorce in America. But there is hope, thanks to a Texas inventor's Tilt-A-Roll TP holder, which features a rotating base that allows the user to switch toilet-paper directions at will.

Alarming Trends Bureau: A talking version of the King James Bible featuring the voice of Johnny Cash will go on sale in July for $130.

Bumper Sticker Patrol: "Adult Child of Alien Invaders."

Quote of the Day: Chicago columnist Zay N. Smith, commenting on an MIT report that eyeglasses might someday be equipped with tiny computer screens connected to hand-held keyboards so wearers can play games or balance their checkbooks: "People will probably drive cars while using these too."

Yo Quiero Guinness Record: A 3.7-ton burrito--big enough to crush hundreds of Taco Bell Chihuahuas--was assembled in Kennewick, Wash., last weekend in an attempt to set a new world record. The giant roll-up stretched the length of 14 football fields.

The only drawback was that organizers failed to also create the world's biggest bottle of Beano anti-gas medicine.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Woman Impregnated With Fertilized Egg From 500-Year-Old Mummy!" (Weekly World News)

Sounds like the premise for a Brendan Fraser sequel, "Son of the Mummy."

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, PR Newswire, Craig Cryer, Associated Press, Allie Borden (belated). Off-Kilter's e-mail address is Off-Kilter runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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