Pinch Lines

Raindrops keep falling: Says Bob Mills, "Meteorologists measured the downpour in Beverly Hills at 1.3 inches--67% Evian, 18% Perrier and 15% Crystal Geyser."

Meanwhile, the Northeast got clobbered by a massive snowstorm. Hundreds of thousands lost electric power. Says the Cutler Daily Scoop, "The man who wrote 'Let It Snow' is now wanted in five New England states."

* Adds Jay Leno, "Good news and bad news for people in New England. The good news: They're assured of a white Christmas. The bad news: At this rate, they're also gonna get a white Easter, a white Fourth of July. . . ."


Toy stories: A woman who was working as a mall Santa in New York says she was fired because she's a woman. Says Leno, "I don't want to sound sexist here, but I think men do make better mall Santas: Men have bigger bellies, men are used to sitting for long periods of time, and men have lots of experience making promises they have no intention of keeping."

Across the nation, toy stores are selling out of the Tickle Me Elmo doll. Says Argus Hamilton, "It giggles and vibrates when you tickle it. Under the Communications Decency Act of 1996, they're not allowed to be sold over the Internet."

* Adds Alan Ray, "The furry little creature has already beaten the record set by last year's big seller, Spank Me Madonna."

* Adds Buddy Baron, "But you won't have any trouble finding plenty of these least-popular toys:

5) Nintendo 1

4) Tickle Me Bob Dole

3) Barfin' Barbie

2) Norfus, the Dorky Power Ranger

1) 101 Rottweilers.


In the news: The FBI reportedly has settled with former Olympic bombing suspect Richard Jewell. Says Cutler, "As part of the settlement, Jewell gets to make fun of Tom Brokaw's accent."

* Adds Paul Ecker, "Back to square one, the FBI is offering a reward: a gold medal if you know who did it, a silver medal if you think you know who did it, a bronze medal if you just have a clue."

David Gee says he watched Bob Dornan protesting his election loss on CNN the other night: "Luckily, my TV remote has a 'moot' button."

Los Angeles' new system lets residents toss all their recyclables into one blue barrel, no more sorting. Says Jenny Church, "If folks still want to sift through trash, they can always pick up the remote and channel surf."


Reader Randy Watts of Redondo Beach says his sister Denyse and her daughter, Nikko, 3, were in a toy store when Nikko saw a doll she wanted and asked her mother to buy it. Mom said no, explaining that Christmas was just around the corner. That seemed to satisfy her. But on the way home, a small voice came from the back seat:

"Mom, have we come to the corner that Christmas is around yet?"

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