Punch Lines

It's a Card: September is Library Card Sign Up Month. This is the month to encourage your children to sign up for their own library card. "This is also Wash Your New Library Card in Your Jeans Month and Pay $2 for a Replacement Library Card month." (Jerry Perisho)

Extreme Conditions: "It is so hot in L.A., people are subjecting themselves to 'The Avengers' just for the theater's air-conditioning." (Alex Kaseberg)

Research 101: A California laboratory completed a study showing that duct tape does not seal ducts well. "My guess is it was a federally funded study." (Jerry Perisho)

Research 102: A Michigan mathematician spent 10 years and three gigabytes of computer memory to figure out that the best way to stack fruit in the grocery store is in a pyramid. "My guess is it was federally funded." (Perisho)

Symbolic Meanings: "House Speaker Newt Gingrich went up to the Portland, Ore., zoo and fed a baby elephant. Actually, it's very symbolic that the elephant is the symbol of the Republican party. Elephants live to be extremely old, they rarely mate and it takes years to clean up their mess afterward." (Jay Leno)

Page Turner: A new study estimates that 1.5 million pages are added to the World Wide Web every day. "Which sounds impressive until you consider that's how many pages Kenneth Starr adds to his report on President Clinton in an hour." (Joshua Sostrin)

What Ifs: Director Steven Spielberg says Steve McQueen was his first choice to play the Richard Dreyfuss role in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." "McQueen passed because the role called for him to cry on cue, which he couldn't do. If he'd have known about the residuals he'd be missing out on, he'd have cried like a baby." (Ira Lawson)

Deserted Island: "Gilligan's Island" star Bob Denver pleaded no contest to a marijuana possession charge. "He figured since he was smoking it by himself, it wasn't a contest." (Andrew Wisot)

Al Bore: Atty. Gen. Janet Reno has ordered a 90-day preliminary probe of Al Gore. "After that time, she will continue with a full investigation if they find any evidence of a personality." (Gary Easley)

* 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.

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