Punch Lines

In the news: In his visit to the Lockheed-Martin missile plant, Bob Dole received a model of the Hubble telescope. Says Paul Steinberg, “It was appropriate. The Hubble has vision problems too.”

President Clinton called a meeting about the epidemic of fires at black churches. Asks the Cutler Daily Scoop, “What’s he gonna do? He can’t even put out all the fires at the White House.”

Hillary Clinton’s press secretary has resigned. Says Alex Pearlstein, “She wanted to try out a less stressful job. Unfortunately, the Acapulco Cliff Divers weren’t hiring this year.”

The FAA has grounded all ValuJet airplanes. Says Jerry Perisho, “So if you’re driving down the freeway and you see a DC-9, let him have the fast lane.”


Heat-sensitive CIA satellites were used to help contain a 37,000-acre forest fire in Alaska this month. Says Bob Mills, “Unfortunately, the CIA gave in to old habits and tried to put out the fire by injecting it with poison darts.”

A new study shows women living longer, an average of 79 years. That’s seven years longer than men. Says Cutler, “Men are trying to break through the glass coffin.”

Campbell’s is introducing 19 new kinds of soup. Says Jay Leno, “They’re trying to attract a hipper, high-tech customer. The alphabet soup now has spell check.”

Heinz, the catsup people, is giving $450,000 to the National Endowment for the Arts. Says Steinberg, “The gift will come out veeeery slowly . . . a dollar a year for the next 450,000 years.”

Members of the X-rated video industry descended on Sacramento to lobby against stricter regulations. Says Michael X. Ferraro, “It was a scene straight from ‘Day of the Lowcuts.’ ”

Biologists say birds in Florida are building nests out of garbage. Says Alan Ray, “This is quite different from human behavior. They put their trash on tree limbs--we put ours on TV.”

On this date in 1893 a Massachusetts jury acquitted Lizzie Borden of the ax murders of her father and stepmother. Says Cutler:

“Lizzie Borden took an ax,


gave her parents 40 whacks

When she saw what she had done,

she blamed it all on Mark Fuhrman.”



Rhythm method: More thoughts inspired by news that a guy in Hungary invented a musical condom:

* “Instead of ribs, it has frets?” (Bill Williams)

* “It’ll play various songs, but most guys will have to settle for Randy Newman’s ‘Short People.’ ” (Paul Ecker)



Reader Lawrie Hamilton says her friends’ son, Mark, 4, of Rosemead, was talking with his preschool teacher. She asked him to name various body parts as she pointed to them. He eagerly complied, correctly identifying her nose, hand, elbow, neck, etc. Then the teacher pointed to her thigh. He hesitated, long enough for her to wonder if he knew the word “thigh.” At last he smiled and said: