Punch Lines

It's a wrap: Monday was the busiest day of the year at post offices. Says Paul Ecker, "At some, they actually considered opening a second window."

Baby boomers have passed through three stages of Santa Claus, says Argus Hamilton. "First, you believe in Santa Claus. Second, you don't believe in Santa Claus. Third, you discover you are Santa Claus."

A new survey shows that 9% of American adults believe in Santa. Asks Gary Easley, "Isn't that just about the same percentage Bill Clinton won by?"


In the news: President Clinton slipped while jogging and fell into a mud puddle:

* "You know you've been in politics too long when you start dragging yourself through the mud." (Alex Pearlstein)

* "Clinton's greatest concern was over tracking mud into the White House. After all, that's Hillary's job." (Mike Reeder)

A TV ratings plan is due this week. Says Bob Mills, "It's high time. Until now, kids had to watch a few minutes of each show to decide if it was violent enough."

Delta Airlines and Continental have called off merger talks. Says Alan Ray, "Negotiations never really got started. Neither side would show up when they said they were going to."

Clark Gable's Oscar was sold at auction for more than $600,000. Asks Reeder, "Frankly, does anyone give a damn?"

Anything bad happen to you on Friday the 13th last week? Says Rosie Figliolia of the Cutler Daily Scoop, "I don't have to worry about walking under the corporate ladder. . . . It starts above the glass ceiling."


Ovitz quitz: Disney will pay departing Michael Ovitz more than $90 million:

* "That's almost enough for a family of four to stay a week at Disneyland." (Charlie Reinke)

* ". . . or cover a 10-minute shopping spree at any Disney Store." (Cutler)

* "Insiders say he couldn't come back if he wanted to. He forgot to get his hand stamped on the way out." (Ray)

Meanwhile, Ovitz's old talent agency, CAA, has opened a new computer lab to help its clients understand and appreciate new technologies. According to Pearlstein, exhibits include:

--The Let'sDoLunchinator


--The CyberSchmooze


--The classic game "15 Percentipede"


Reader Lila Westbrook of Upland recalls a trip she took to Northern California with her daughter and grandson Cameron, 3. She appointed Cameron to watch for their landmark on I-5, a dairy with lots of cows. As they drew close, she alerted him, "Watch now, we're almost there. Here it is!" He took one look, turned to her and exclaimed:

"Nana, they're Dalmatian cows!"

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