Punch Lines

The Surge Urge: Coca-Cola introduces a caffeinated citrus drink called Surge aimed at 12-to-21-year-olds and meant to compete against Pepsi's Mountain Dew.

* "Now California teens will be able to get doctor-prescribed marijuana to soothe their caffeine jangled nerves," says Bill Williams.

* "After New Coke, I'm sure Pepsi is really scared." (The Daily Scoop)

* "Reporters will try to interview a test market subject as soon as one lands." (Bob Mills)

Show Biz: E! Entertainment has fired Stephen Eskridge, the actor who played O.J. Simpson in its reenactment of the civil trial. "The producers now feel that a non-actor would probably be able to deliver a more true-to-life portrayal," says Mills.

A new film, "Emily the Cow," will tell the true-life story of a cow that escaped a Massachusetts slaughterhouse. "Finally, a kids' movie that won't offer fast food tie-ins," says the Daily Scoop.

In the news: "Shaquille O'Neal's L. A. Lakers played Michael Jordan's Bulls this week in Chicago. The battles were fierce: " 'Space Jam' versus 'Kazaam,' Nike versus Reebok, Gatorade versus Pepsi. There was so much big money on the floor, for a second the crowd thought they were back at the Democratic National Convention." (Alex Pearlstein)

It has been revealed that in November a U.S. truck carrying nuclear bombs overturned and skidded off a Nebraska highway.

* "It sounds suspiciously like Joseph Hazelwood just answered an ad for truck drivers," says Argus Hamilton.

* "Fortunately, the Army long ago gave up its practice of towing nuclear weapons behind Pintos." (The Daily Scoop)

Sen. Strom Thurmond will take the Senate oath for the eighth time. "Waiting for Strom Thurmond to retire is like leaving the porch light on for Jimmy Hoffa," says Hamilton.

"President Clinton plans to have a longer inaugural address than in 1993," says Gary Easley. "It's not that the text will be longer, but he has to say 'thanks for your support' in so many languages."

A man who works in a factory that produces stamps for the Postal Service has been charged with stealing and selling misprinted Richard Nixon commemorative stamps. "At a news conference, he told the press, 'I am not a crook.' " (Paul Steinberg)

Flight Response: Tuesday marked the 93rd anniversary of the day Orville and Wilbur Wright completed the first machine-powered flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. "They were in the air for 12 seconds--time enough for Orville to serve Wilbur two bags of nuts and rent him headphones for $3," says Jerry Perisho.


Reader Howie Baral of Agoura took a recent camping trip at the YMCA camp in Cambria. Meals were prepared by the staff. After finishing dinner one night, daughter Romy, 6, came running with the sad news that there would not be any ice cream for dessert. He tried to calm her by saying it really didn't matter. But that's not how Romy saw things:

"I ate for nothing!"

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