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| Off-Kilter / ROY RIVENBURG

An Honest Night's Sleep With Abe and Other Celebrity Dream Guests

May 19, 1999|ROY RIVENBURG

The Jung and the Rested: When Americans fall asleep, what do they dream about? According to a new survey by the Company Store, many hobnob with celebrities.

The most common dream guest stars are Abraham Lincoln, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jack Nicklaus, Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King Jr., Pamela Anderson, Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Cindy Crawford, Mel Gibson and Superman.

Other recurring themes include winning the lottery, being elected president, meeting the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, world peace, the 18th century and "my boyfriend coming home from jail."

This raises an important question: Do famous people dream about other famous people (for example, does Superman dream about Jerry Seinfeld?), or do they dream about ordinary Americans (i.e., do the Sports Illustrated swimsuit models have recurring dreams in which they go to a bowling alley and make out with a beer-bellied aerospace engineer named Bob?)?

Also, do nudists have nightmares about walking down the street fully clothed?

Medusa 1999: One reason the crime rate continues to drop is that police keep refining their methods for identifying suspects. In Phoenix, for instance, authorities have issued an all-points bulletin for a "very ugly woman" suspected of robbing seven banks.

A police sergeant explained: "She's been described by every victim who has seen her as a very ugly woman."

Polly Want Call Waiting?: Britain's songbird population is dwindling because the animals are imitating cellular phones and car alarms instead of learning mating calls, according to the Sunday Times of London.

In related news, officials from AT&T have confirmed several cases of cellular phones mysteriously building nests and laying eggs. And Maya Angelou has written a new book, "I Know Why the Caged Car Alarm Sings."

Alarming Trends Bureau: Las Vegas recently hosted a competition for Liberace impersonators, 20 of whom entered in the "advanced professional" category.

Bonus Alarming Trend: At the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Philadelphia, one researcher proposed growing plants in laundry lint.

Nose Holiday: National Sense of Smell Day is Saturday. In honor of the event, which is sponsored by the Olfactory Research Fund, 18 museums (including the Los Angeles Children's Museum) will hold "smelling bees," in which visitors can sniff everything from roses to stinky shoes.

For those who can't attend, the Olfactory Research Fund maintains a scratch 'n' sniff Web site.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Story: Speaking of National Sense of Smell Day, you should probably be extra careful around people who ask you to "pull my finger," especially if you are in Germany, where, the Weekly World News reports, a Bonn man has been forced to wear an airtight suit in public because his flatulence is so deadly that "one whiff could kill anyone within three city blocks."

Oscar Fienberger, a 44-year-old bachelor, apparently suffers from a rare medical disorder. According to WWN, his bodily exhaust is "not particularly loud or offensive in smell--in fact, it is almost undetectable. It's the ultimate case of silent but deadly."

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, Reuters, Chicago Sun-Times. Off-Kilter's e-mail address is roy.rivenburg@latimes.com. Off-Kilter runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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