Punch Lines

Ho ho ohhhh: The Santa Claus at a Chicago mall receives benefits that include a physical, flu shot, health club membership and private lounge with leather recliner and a TV. Says the Funny Scheet, "Sure, he's pampered--now if only all the kids on Santa's lap were Pampered."

Chelsea Clinton is performing in "The Nutcracker" with the Washington National Ballet. Says Bob Mills, "The audience gasped when an overweight Secret Service agent's tutu suddenly became a three-three during one particularly strenuous pas de deux."

Steve Voldseth offers a holiday greeting to Chelsea's parents:

"He's making a list, checking it twice,

gonna find out who's naughty or nice

Kenneth Starr is coming to town!"


In the news: Federal officials are trying to determine the most efficient way to dispose of old plutonium forever. Says Jenny Church, "They could bury it, burn it, or check it as luggage."

Medicare HMOs have been ordered not to forbid their doctors from telling patients about more expensive treatments. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "Some HMOs want docs to say, 'Take one aspirin and call your insurance rep in the morning."

The Los Angeles County Jail has accidentally let five suspected killers go. Says Mack Dryden, "Of course, Hollywood is in L.A. County--so releasing mistakes is a time-honored tradition."

Dennis Rodman's weekly talk show debuted on MTV. Says Mills, "Reviews were generally favorable. Rodman was credited with 14 original jokes, 23 saves and nine rebounds."

Actress Sherry Stringfield quit the TV hit "ER" and gave up her $70,000-a-week salary to spend more time with her boyfriend in New York. Says Hamilton, "Maybe now the world will finally believe that the man shortage in L.A. is for real."


Cirque du O.J.: In the Simpson civil trial, the plaintiffs rested their case on Monday. Says Steve Tatham, "Soon the defense will rest . . . or chip golf balls . . . or take a shower. . . ."

Observers expect O.J. to hold nothing back in making his defense. Says Alan Ray, "He's ready to take the gloves off."

Producer Steve Tisch's next movie will be based on the case. Says Alex Kaseberg, "The working title is '101 Abominations.' "


Reader Judy Silk of Pacific Palisades went to the bank with daughter Isak, 3 1/2, in tow. The bank manager gave Isak two lollipops, one to eat right then and the other "to eat tomorrow."

The next day, Isak pulled out the second lollipop and declared, "I'm going to eat this tomorrow." Every day for two weeks she said the same thing.

Mom didn't have the heart to tell her that yesterday's tomorrow is today. And Isak never did eat the lollipop.

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