Punch Lines

Code of Silence: “Have you heard about the new Susan McDougal doll? Pull the string, nothing happens. Comes with handcuffs and chic orange jumpsuit. Ball and chain not included.” (Kenny Noble Cortes)

Here’s the Buzz: Because of El Nino, killer bees could arrive in Southern California sooner than expected. “The good news is, their buzzing might drown out the leaf blowers illegally operated by gardeners.” (Earl Hochman)

Making the Grade: Virginia high school teacher Philip Bigler has been crowned 1998’s teacher of the year. “In a related story, Seattle teacher Mary Kay LeTourneau won Miss Congeniality for the second year in a row.” (Steve Voldseth)

Ellen-mentary: ABC has canceled “Ellen.” “They will replace it with ‘Two Girls, Another Girl and a Flannel Shirt Store.’ ” (Alex Kaseberg)


Dino-Mite: Barney’s creator says she’s not intimidated by the Teletubbies. “Barney’s comment was, ‘OK, kids, today we’re going to learn the word ‘carnivore.’ ” (Andy Waits)

Security Blankets: The 55-year-old San Diego mother of quads has sparked controversy. “She’ll be collecting Social Security before the kids are out of grammar school.” (The Daily Scoop)

Mr. Fix-It: Sources say Tim Allen and co-star Patricia Richardson of “Home Improvement” have advised ABC that they will not be back after the 1998-99 season. “A new series is already planned for Allen, which will be called ‘Recovery Home Improvement.’ ” (Johnny Robish)

Rocket Man: John Glenn will rocket into space again and will be allowed to pre-board before the other astronauts. (LaLa Land Letter)


Nerd Alert: “There’s a new tell-all book coming out about Bill Gates. Apparently, it tells about how he went from being a dork to being a geek.” (Voldseth)


Premiere Radio’s Top Signs You’re Hooked on Jerry Springer:

* Halloween is the only day your daughter’s not dressed like a hooker.


* You’re married to a nude sumo-wrestling hermaphrodite!

* You go to toy stores in search of DNA paternity test kits for Beanie Babies.

* You can’t understand a word you say due to the constant bleeping!

* SEND US A LINE: Got a joke? Send it to Laugh Lines by fax, (213) 237-0732, or mail, Life & Style, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053.