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Stories You Missed While Reading About the Ballot Recounts

November 28, 2000|MARTIN MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Since election day, the battle for the White House has dominated media coverage to the exclusion of virtually all other news. As a service to our readers, our research staff has compiled this list of stories you might have missed:

Nov. 8

Hard-line communists in Moscow overthrew the fledgling government and immediately declared the capitalist experiment dead in Russia. The communist government vowed to raise a "shiny, new" Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe, point their nuclear arsenal at the United States and give Lenin a freshly tailored suit from Armani.

Nov. 11

Scientists predicted to a mathematical certainty that an asteroid the size of the Oklahoma panhandle is hurtling toward Earth and will annihilate the planet within the next two months. "It's going to be messy," said a scientist. "Now would be a good time to begin living in the moment.

Nov. 14

Bill Clinton's goodwill tour of Southeast Asia ended when Vietnamese officials kidnapped the U.S. president. The lame-duck president was abducted after being tricked into visiting the infamous "Hanoi Hilton," where he was promised the best "fried catfish and hush puppies in Indochina." Vietnamese interrogators, however, were unable to extract any information from Clinton, who befuddled his captors by asking them to define "war."

Nov. 15

Shaquille O'Neal quit the world champion L.A. Lakers to pursue his childhood dream of figure skating. "I found basketball to be aesthetically and spiritually unfulfilling," said Shaq, who admitted he can skate about as well as he shoots free throws. Shaq said Lakers coach Phil Jackson has agreed to teach him to skate backward, but then the dominant Laker center will have to find a new coach. "Bling, bling," added Shaq. "I'll see you in Salt Lake in '02."

Nov. 16

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University announced they have discovered the cure for cancer. Apparently, the cure is Pez.

Nov. 17

Conservative U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) stunned colleagues when he read the following statement into the Congressional Record: "I voted for Ralph Nader." In a tearful three-minute speech, Helms apologized for "all the mean things I've said about tree huggers."

Nov. 19

Red-faced scientists retracted their prediction that an enormous asteroid would blow the Earth to smithereens. "The asteroid will miss the Earth," said a scientist. "We don't know how we could have made such a mistake." However, an asteroid will smash into the sun, extinguishing its fire and warmth forever.

Nov. 20

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) led a daring nighttime raid on the Hanoi Hilton. "It's checkout time," said McCain with a wink as he tossed a hand grenade at his former captors. McCain triumphantly displayed his "blankie," which he'd left behind decades ago when he was a prisoner. "There's not a tear on it," said an ebullient McCain at a post-raid news conference. Also, he rescued Clinton.

Nov. 21

In its lowest closing ever, the Nasdaq finished at minus-1,014 points. Hapless investors who six months ago were residing on the proverbial "Easy Street" are now living on "Loser Street." "Investors whose stocks are in the negative zone now owe money to those companies," laughed one old economy insider who refused to jump ship to the nether world of the new economy years ago even though some Silicon Valley pipsqueak with pimples offered him millions in stock options. "I'm sticking with bricks and mortar."

Nov. 25

Scientists amended their previous predictions about killer asteroids yet again and said the Earth is in no immediate danger. Scientists explained their original data, which showed that a space rock was on a collision course with Earth, was correct. However, scientists misjudged the size of the asteroid. "It looks like a shoe box," said a scientist who hastened to add that if it struck a person it would "really smart."

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Roy Rivenburg contributed to this story.

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