Times Staff Writer

A Shining Starr?: What a disappointment. Kenneth Starr had a great opportunity for comedy last week and totally missed it. Wrapping up four years and at least $35 million worth of effort, he should've stolen a bit from the movie "The Shining" by delivering to Congress 445 pages and 36 boxes of material that said, over and over, "All work and no play makes Kenny a dull boy."

Likewise, President Clinton should have skipped the sappy prayer breakfast speech, where he kept biting his lower lip to appear contrite. Instead, his lawyers could've worked around the clock to issue the following, painstakingly crafted rebuttal to Starr's report: "I'm rubber and you're glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you."

Or maybe: "I know you are, but what am I?"

Quote of the Day: Comedian George Carlin, at the Comedy Store in Hollywood: "White people should never, ever be allowed to sing the blues. What do white people have to be blue about? Banana Republic ran out of khakis? The cappuccino machine is jammed? No, white people ought to realize that their job is to give other people the blues."

Happy News Department: It's easy to get depressed sometimes over things like worldwide poverty, starvation and poor health care. So occasionally we try to focus on positive news, such as a recent report that scientists have finally conquered the terrible problem of tartar buildup in cats. Yes, Friskies has just introduced a dry cat food designed to reduce feline dental plaque by 25%, and Pounce has debuted a crunchy, chicken-flavored "tartar control" product.

For dogs, a New York store recently introduced six styles of canine trench coats at prices up to $575, according to the New York Times. There's also a Gucci dog bowl for $750.

Meanwhile, in Vienna, a new animal shelter has begun pampering stray pets with heated floors, an outdoor swimming pool and personalized stereos that play classical music in each animal apartment. Rooms are painted in special colors designed to soothe the animal residents (pink for cats, blue for dogs, and green for monkeys and crocodiles). The shelter's amenities were built in consultation with animal psychologists.

More happy news: The previous shelter is being converted into a home for senior citizens.

Most Expensive Bathrobe Department: The flowing red robe worn by Charlton Heston in "Ben-Hur" is expected to sell for $6,000 at an online auction being held this week by Universal Studios.

Loser of the Week: Tori Spelling is already well on her way to membership in the Losers Hall of Fame, but she deserves special recognition this week for a magazine interview in which she admits to fantasizing about participating in a menage a trois with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.

As if that weren't more than we wanted to know, she then goes on to rate her mother's size DD breasts right up there with Madonna and Pamela Anderson as Hollywood's best cleavage.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Eating Dirt Is Good for You!" (Weekly World News)

Plus, it might qualify as something to sing the blues about.

* Roy Rivenburg's e-mail address is

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, Susanna Timmons, Arizona Republic

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