In the news: Coca-Cola unveiled its new caffeinated citrus drink called Surge, aimed at ages 12 to 21. Says Alex Kaseberg, "It's for those poor teenagers whose attention span is still too long after music videos and computer games."
* "They were planning to call it Hurl, until teenagers explained what that meant." (Buddy Baron)
* "If it makes kids too hyper, their parents can buy an antidote--called Surge Protector." (Kaseberg)
State Farm is refunding $37 million to Ohio policyholders because of their low accident rates. Says Paul Ryan, "Now they'll be able to put gas in their cars and start driving again."
Cox unveiled a system of high-speed information access, with sound and image, some 50 times faster than using a modem and the Internet. Says Jenny Church, "It involves looking up from the computer screen and actually speaking to the person sitting at the next desk."
Dave Thomas, 64-year-old founder of the Wendy's burger chain, needs surgery for clogged arteries. Says Premiere Morning Sickness, "As Thomas was under the anesthetic, doctors heard him mumble, 'Beware the Big Bacon Classic.' "
The EPA reports that the nation's air is less polluted than it was 10 years ago. Adds Stan Kaplan, "Except in Beverly Hills--which still has high levels of smug."
A French author has come out with a book called "How to Fool Around Without Getting Caught." Says Steve Voldseth, "How'd you like to come home and find your spouse reading that one?"
The movie industry is studying ways to dispose of 15,500 tons of film waste that accumulates every year. Says Joshua Sostrin, "I thought they already had a program--called sequels."
Showtime is doing a movie remake of "Elmer Gantry," the mesmerizing evangelist with an eye for women. Says Argus Hamilton, "Producers haven't cast the leading role yet. Their first choice fell through when he got reelected last month."
Pamela Anderson Lee, who put the "babe" in "Babewatch," plans to leave the show to stretch herself artistically. Says Gary Easley, "After much study and hard work, she hopes to advance to abdominal-cruncher infomercials."
* Adds Bob Mills, "Her red bathing suit has been sent to the Smithsonian while her 'Baywatch' scripts will be put on display at the Lighter-Than-Air Museum."
Reader Pat Chandler of Garden Grove recalls that when niece Amber was in the first grade she participated in the Christmas play.
"What is your role?" Aunt Pat asked.
"I'm the star," Amber replied.
Now, now, Pat said, surely every child in the play has an important part. It's not right for you to consider yourself the star of the show. . . .
"No," said Amber, "I really am the star--the one that goes on top of the Christmas tree."