Punch Lines

Jurassic Sweatshop: Scientists say they have found an 8,000-year-old pair of shoes in a cave in Missouri. They say a people who lived under terrible conditions made them. “So apparently they had Nike factories back then too.” (Jay Leno)

Leader of the Pack: Florida smokers charge in a billion-dollar suit that the tobacco industry is the king of concealment and misinformation. “No wonder President Clinton hates the tobacco industry. They’re after his title.” (Argus Hamilton)

Attitude: Johnson & Johnson is marketing the world’s first bifocal contact lens. “They say developing the optical technology was easy. The tough part was coming up with a way for users to peer disapprovingly over the tops of them.” (Steve Voldseth)

Spice Guy: Dennis Rodman made a singing appearance with Pearl Jam. “His next plans are to join the Spice Girls on tour, where he will be known as ‘Scarier Spice.’ ” (Joshua Sostrin)


Horror Movies: Failing to live up to its hype, “Armageddon” looks like it will not be a summer blockbuster. “Industry analysts say moviegoers became fearful of seeing it after CNN claimed to have irrefutable evidence that it’s a documentary.” (Bob Mills)

Everyone’s a Critic: “ ‘Armageddon’ ” is so loud, I had to get the people in the seats behind me to stop talking.” (Jerry Perisho)

Creative Cackles: The UCLA Division of Neurosurgery has discovered that an electrode touching a tiny patch in the brain made people laugh. “Finally, a way for many of us to enjoy ‘The Nanny.’ ” (Tim Leimert)

Space Junk: Russian space officials said the space station Mir will be allowed to break apart and reenter the atmosphere to burn or fall into the sea. “They got the idea from the U.S. World Cup soccer team.” (Alex Kaseberg)


The Real Truth: According to a new study of dangers in the workplace, 5% of working women say they worry about getting a sexually transmitted disease. “The remaining 95% say they’ve never even seen the inside of the Oval Office.” (Voldseth)

* 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.