Business briefs: Comedy writer Paul Ryan, on the resignation of Kmart CEO Joseph Antonini, after 31 years with the company: "He leaves with a golden parachute--and the rest of his wardrobe is even worse."
Adds comedy writer Alan Ray: "His severance pay was only half what he expected. It was calculated during a blue-light special."
Comedy writer Bob Mills, on the inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper winning a multimillion-dollar judgment against Chrysler: "The case kicked around the courts for 17 years, going back . . . and forth . . . and back . . . and forth."
Adds Premiere Radio's Morning Sickness: "He will receive a payment every five seconds for the rest of his life."
In the news: Comic Argus Hamilton, on House Republicans' plans to eliminate school lunches: "They say why should the federal government pay for lunch? That's what lobbyists are for."
Hamilton, on a Washington reception for supporters of Pat Buchanan: "They spent the entire evening sipping cocktails and asking each other if they'd burned any good books lately."
Ryan, on Buchanan's candidacy: "It makes the GOP race much more interesting. Now, Phil Gramm is the moderate, and Bob Dole is the liberal."
Comic Jenny Church, on the record number of telephone area codes that will change this year: "Nothing will change in New York. City residents will keep on punching the same three numbers: 911 ."
Cirque du O.J.: "What do you call it when Kato Kaelin appears before 12 people? Dinner theater. " (Jay Leno)
* "Pauly Shore took one look at Kato's performance and screamed: 'That's my act!' " (Hamilton)
* "Kato declined the use of an interpreter. Fortunately, Marcia Clark speaks Californian." (Cutler Rock Comedy Network)
* "Kato's testimony may not be that reliable. He was sworn in with his left hand on Spin magazine." (Mills)
* "When he left court, Kato stopped by the unemployment office to see if testifying qualifies as work." (Mills)
* "The woman claiming to be Johnnie Cochran's ex-mistress says he promised to pay her for life. She believed him? Thirty years together and she didn't know he was a lawyer?" (Cutler)
* "There was some trouble for the defense Tuesday when Robert Shapiro mistakenly referred to the knife in the mystery envelope as the spare ." (Cutler)
* "Shapiro says he is wearing the blue ribbon in support of police in part because of security they provide and threats on his life. And those are just from fellow members of the Dream Team." (Tony Peyser)
The son of a friend of Monterey Park reader Dorothy Howell was asked to be a ring bearer at a formal wedding. As the boy walked down the aisle, he turned and growled at the people on both sides. After the ceremony, his mother asked him why he behaved that way.
"Well," he replied, "you told me I had to be a bear."
* SEND US A LINE: Got a joke or funny story? Send it to Laugh Lines, a syndicated feature, by fax, (213) 237-0732, or mail, Life & Style, The Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, Calif. 90053.