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Off-Kilter : Snacks of the Stars: Celebrities Chew Off More Than the Scenery

May 14, 1999|ROY RIVENBURG

Alarming Trends Monitor: A company called Famous Fixins is planning to sell a line of Erik Estrada Tortilla Chips and Olympia Dukakis Greek Salad Dressing.

Doomsday Underwear Bureau: Just in time for the Y2K apocalypse, a Japanese lingerie company has introduced a high-tech bra that warns its owner of incoming missiles.

According to the Times of London, the "Armageddon bra" is equipped with a sensor on the shoulder strap that detects objects falling from the sky.

Too bad the Chinese embassy in Belgrade didn't have a few pair.

Weird Polls Department: In honor of National Don't Do the Dishes Day, which is Monday, the Dixie paper plate company has released a survey showing that the average senior citizen leaves a dirty dish in the sink 36 hours before washing it, whereas the typical Generation X person waits three days. Also, 11% of those surveyed admit they've thrown out a perfectly good dish simply because they didn't want to clean it.

Bard Overdose Bureau: Enough with the Shakespeare junk already. Ever since "Shakespeare in Love" won best picture, we've been pestered to no end by companies touting some sort of Bard connection.

The tie-ins include Shakespearean magnetic poetry for refrigerators, a "Midsummer Night's Dream" makeup collection from Max Factor, a six-CD boxed set of Bard readings, and a British university that now offers management courses based on plots and characters from Shakespeare's plays.

But that's just the tip of yon iceberge. The only angles not covered--yet--are Shakespearmint gum and Shake(speare) 'N Bake chicken.

On the other hand, it's probably better than the coming onslaught of "Star Wars" merchandise.

Quote of the Day: From Quick Takes in the Chicago Sun-Times: "If you were Saddam Hussein, wouldn't you be tempted to invade Kuwait about now?"

Going Postal: Our recent item on a San Francisco grocery store that plays a recording of thunder before turning on its produce misting device drew a shower of mail about other markets that use the gimmick. So from now on, we'll be impressed only by stores that have a miniature Gene Kelly dancing across their vegetables to the tune of "Singin' in the Rain."

* In other mail, reader Jimmy Thornton of San Diego complained that Off-Kilter has been so obsessed with a possible animal revolt that it missed a more insidious menace: killer plants. He forwarded an Associated Press story about harmful chemicals that are spewed into the air by grass and crops when they are mowed or harvested.

The threat is so serious that even some animals are worried about it disrupting their plans to overthrow the human race. According to an Associated Press story from Fall River, Mass., police are searching for a pit bull that has killed 30 trees by sharpening its teeth on their bark.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Couple Says, 'We're Giving Away Our Baby--So We Won't Make Our Poodles Jealous!' " (Weekly World News)

They also don't want to upset the lawn.

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, U.S. News & World Report, Zan Dubin, Deborah Neikirk, Kathryn Krumm, John Schiermeier, Scott Martelle. Off-Kilter's e-mail address is roy.rivenburg@latimes.com. Off-Kilter runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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