Punch Lines

Seismologists reported a 3.2 earthquake shook Newport Beach early Christmas morning. Says Joshua Sostrin, "Actually, by sheer coincidence hundreds of children in that city opened and tried out their Tickle Me Elmos at the same moment."

* Adds Bill Williams, "Now it's a few days after Christmas and kids who received those $400 Tickle Me Elmos are asking, 'Is this all it does, Dad?' "

Thursday was Boxing Day--"The day Christmas bills start hitting you like Evander Holyfield," says the Cutler Daily Scoop.


In the news: A CNN poll named President Clinton the most admired man in America, finishing ahead of Pope John Paul II and the Rev. Billy Graham. Says Argus Hamilton, "It proves that, as much as this country loves religion, comedy will always be No. 1."

Researchers at Oxford University say there's no evidence that garlic prevents heart attacks. In fact, says Bob Mills, "It can be a real stumbling block in case the victim requires mouth-to-mouth resuscitation."

Fortune magazine says the top 25 philanthropists in America gave away $1.5 billion in 1996. Says Hamilton, "It would have been a lot less if they hadn't counted Ed McMahon and Dick Clark."

The Turkish government plans to pull out of the humanitarian mission in northern Iraq and introduce a code-named mission. Says Jenny Church, "Turkey's gone? Then it's time for Dessert Storm."

Here's an interesting science fact: The male emperor moth can smell a female emperor moth up to seven miles away. Says Steve Voldseth, "Wow--now there's a not-so-fresh feeling."

Anheuser-Busch has pulled its beer ads from MTV:

* "So much for the 'Beavis and Budweiser' campaign." (Cutler)

* "As soon as the news was announced, a job discrimination suit was filed on behalf of the frog division of the Screen Actors Guild." (Mills)

The 1997 Super Bowl will be seen on Fox. While the game is on, other networks will air "Hard Copy" and "Tales of the Highway Patrol." Says Hamilton, "So there's a chance you can catch the Dallas Cowboys on every channel."

The new Albert Brooks movie "Mother" provides an uncanny portrayal of the mother-son relationship. Says Mills, "They won't even let you in unless you're wearing a warm sweater."


Reader Helen Ross of Claremont recalls that when her niece Patty was 11, she got a new pair of shoes.

Her sister Gwen, 9, was horribly jealous and proceeded to criticize everything about the shoes: They were ugly, the color wasn't pretty, the heels were too high, on and on.

Patty took it good-naturedly, much to Gwen's frustration.

Finally, in desperation, Gwen challenged, "Well, what have you got that they go with?"

Still cool, Patty answered:


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