Friday, August 31, 2001        Edition: #2123
I missed my calling. My answering machine was full.

• If it rings, put it on hold.

• If it clunks, call the repairman.
• If it whistles, ignore it.
• If it’s the Boss, look busy.
• If it’s a friend, stop work and chat.
• If it talks, take notes.
• If it’s handwritten, type it.
• If it’s typed, copy it.
• If it’s copied, file it.
• If it’s Friday, FORGET IT!!!

TODAY marks the end of an era in children’s television as the last new episode of “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood” airs (it debuted in 1966) . . . TODAY the belly and tail section of the crashed Piper Comanche airplane in which country legend Patsy Cline died in 1963 go up for sale on eBay, with bidding starting at 100 grand (ironically one of her greatest hits was “I Fall to Pieces”) . . . Speaking of which, TODAY in Manhattan, a private funeral will be held for op singer/actress Aaliyah (a public memorial will also be held) . . . Meantime, sales of Aaliyah’s self-titled album are up 41% THIS WEEK (a conspiracy?) . . . Aaliyah’s voice may have to be dubbed by another actor for her next film “Queen Of The Damned”, because she finished the filming but not the voice-looping (if they used Robin Williams it would be hilarious . . . OK have we reached Aaliyah overkill yet?) . . . “American Pie 2” star Natasha Lyonne was reportedly on a booze binge with actor Vince Vaughn (“The Cell”) and her actor boyfriend Adam Goldberg (“Saving Private Ryan”) when she was busted for DUI in Miami early TUESDAY morning (see ‘Crash & Burn Game’ in BULL’S BITS) . . . And  Saddam Hussein is said to be building a new theme park in Iraq (different from regular theme parks because it will kill visitors — on purpose).

“O”, an update of Shakespeare’s “Othello” set in a high school and starring Mekhi Phifer, Josh Hartnett and Julia Stiles, and rated R for violence, a scene of strong sexuality, language and drug use (original release was put on hold in the wake of the Columbine High School shootings, so it was then sold to a 2nd distributor which delayed its release until now) . . . Gina Philips and Justin Long play a sister and brother whose road trip home from college goes wonky when they’re pursued by a supernatural force in the horror thriller “Jeepers Creepers”.

An exhibition of 78 different types of human and animal excrement has opened at the Tokyo Science Museum in Japan. ‘All the Poop’ allows visitors to get hands-on experience of dung at a ‘touch and feel’ table. Organizers say the display has an important lesson to teach about history, health and the environment. About 10,000 visitors have already seen the exhibition, highlighted by a 4,500-year-old fossil left by a stone-age man. Exhibition worker Midori Taguchi says, “There’s something for everyone here but most people are happy just to be able to say they touched the poop.” (Thanks to the neighbor’s dog, I have a dozen more ‘artifacts’ for them.)

American Bill Dorsey has completed a quickie tour of the world by flying 25,000 miles on commercial flights in just under 62 hours. Leaving from Pittsburgh, he changed planes in 6 different cities and slept for just 7 hours. Even more amazing — he didn’t lose a single piece of luggage. (Now there’s a record for you to break as a morning show stunt!)

Insurance companies in France have begun selling ‘bullying insurance’ to the families of school children, which covers everything from stolen property to injuries inflicted by a ‘bully’. (What’s the difference between this and the old ‘protection’ racket?)

A new Ipsos-Reid survey shows that 26% of Canadians are watching ‘somewhat’ less TV than we did 5 years ago, and another 27% are watching ‘much’ less. (The other 47% refused to quit Web surfing long enough to answer the poll.)

“Dilbert” comic strip creator Scott Adams has teamed up with design firm IDEO to come up with the ‘ultimate cubicle’ for oppressed office workers. Along with all the typical office equipment, it also includes a hammock, an aquarium, a personal cooler and a ‘boss monitor’. (If you ask me, the ‘ultimate cubicle’ would have no walls.)

The fad of dying hair weird colors like purple and green is apparently over. New figures show that fully 40% of hair dye sales are now in shades of ‘gold’, reflecting the global fashion of dying hair blond, even if it’s just for highlights. (Your green hair photos can now be relegated to the drawer of embarrassing mementoes to show your grandchildren.)

• An Australian man has survived a harrowing ride when the porta-john he was using was picked up by a truck and driven off. (He says that, though terrified, he was actually in the perfect position to deal with his body’s reaction to the incident.)
• An 83-year-old woman has been charged with assaulting 2 crew members on a Canada 3000 flight from Toronto to Manchester, England that was forced to land in St John’s NF. She’s likely the oldest person ever charged in an ‘air rage’ incident. (The crew members were taken to hospital suffering from gum marks.)

• ‘Rabbit Show-Jumping’ – Seems goofy but it’s a hot new sport in Sweden, where there are national jumping trials. Bunnies run a course, hopping over fences and walls, just like show-jumping with horses – only smaller. (But where do they find the teeny little riders?)
• ‘U-Scan’ –  The increasingly popular supermarket ‘self-checkout system’ where customers scan their own groceries. Not only a way to cut labor costs, but a way to buy condoms, laxatives, diet pills, pregnancy tests and other embarrassing products without having to face a store employee.


1945 [56] Van Morrison, Belfast N IRE, classic rock/blues singer (“Moondance”, “Brown Eyed Girl”)

1949 [52] Richard Gere, Philadelphia PA, movie actor (“Dr T & the Women”, “Runaway Bride”)/”People” magazine’s ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ 1999/Cindy Crawford’s ex-/Dalai Lama pal NEXT FILM: The sci-fi thriller “The Mothman Prophecies”, coming in FEBRUARY

1966 [35] Jeff Frye, Oakland CA, MLB infielder (Toronto Blue Jays) who this season became 2nd Blue Jay to ever hit for ‘the cycle’, after Kelly Gruber

1972 [29] Chris Tucker, Atlanta GA, movie actor (“Rush Hour 1 & 2″, “Money Talks”)/stand-up comedian/1999 MTV Movie Award for ‘Best On-Screen Duo’ with Jackie Chan in “Rush Hour”  NOTE: Signed a 2-picture, $45-million deal with New Line Cinema in 1999 that included $20 million to co-star in “Rush Hour 2″ and $25 million to co-write, direct and star in “Mr President”, coming NEXT YEAR

1973 [28] Scott Niedermayer, Edmonton AB, NHL player (NJ Devils)

1977 [24] Jeff Hardy, Cameron NC, WWF wrestler/brother and tag team partner of Matt Hardy NOTE: July 22, 2001 at ‘WWF Invasion”, he lost ‘WWF Hardcore Championship’ to ECW Star
Rob Van Dam when he attempted to use his finishing move, the ‘Swanton Bomb’, and missed
his intended target allowing ‘Mr Monday Night’ to hit him with the ‘Van Daminator’ for the pin and the victory (be still my heart!)

1939 [62] Lily Tomlin, Detroit MI, movie actress (“9 to 5″, “Nashville”)/stand-up comedian QUOTE: “I’ve always wanted to be somebody but I see now I should’ve been more specific.”

1946 [55] Barry Gibb, Manchester ENG, falsetto pop singer (Bee Gees-“Stayin’ Alive”)

1957 [44] Gloria Estefan (Fajardo), Havana CUB, Latino/pop singer (“1-2-3″) NOTE: Her husband since 1978, Emilio Estefan Jr was her first and only boyfriend (their 23rd anniversary is SUNDAY)

1975 [26] Scott Speedman, London ENG [grew up in Toronto], TV actor (Ben Covington-“Felicity”) NOTE: His ‘show biz’ debut – CITY-TV’s “Speakers Corner”

This is “National Veterinary Week”, to promote the ‘professionals who pamper and protect our pets’. So here’s some . . .
• Big sign in waiting room says, ‘No pets allowed’.
• Diploma looks a lot like menu from Chinese restaurant.
• First question — “What ails your varmint?”
• Scratches self with her left foot.
• Has a lot of posters advertising cockfights.
• Wears one of those big funnel-shaped dog collars.
• Sends you card every spring: “Time for your dog’s annual neutering.”
• Two weeks later, your dog coughs up a rubber glove.
(Source: “Late Night With David Letterman” 9/30/92)

TODAY and tomorrow is the annual “World Championship Barbecue Goat Cook-off” in Brady TX. What’s the proper wine to serve with goat?
PHONER: 915-597-3491

Labor Day is celebrated on the first MONDAY of September in Canada, the USA and Puerto Rico to honor all workers. It was inaugurated September 5, 1882 with a NYC parade by the Knights of Labor and became a legal holiday in 1894. In most other countries around the world, Labor Day is May 1st.

1999 [02] Sarah McLauchlan’s 3rd and final “Lilith Fair” tour winds down with final femme concert in Edmonton

1954 [47] 1st storm with a name (‘Hurricane Carol’ hits New England)

1955 [46] 1st ‘sun-powered automobile’ is demonstrated (so why is it again that we’re still paying through the nose for gasoline?)

1971 [30] 1st ‘driver’ on the Moon (Astronaut David Scott finds no one to ‘flip the bird’ at)

1946 [55] 5,000 Boston Braves’ baseball fans sit in freshly-painted seats (certainly not a planned attempt at a record, but a record none-the-less)

1976 [25] Ottawa’s Carallyn Bowes completes then-fastest run across Canada by a woman – Halifax to Vancouver in 133 days (record broken in 1994 by Burlington ON’s Jo Wells, who finished in 112 days)

[Sun] Molson Indy Vancouver
[Tues] Newspaper Carrier Day
[Wed] Be Late For Something Day
[Thurs] Toronto Film Festival begins
[Thurs] MTV Music Awards
[Thurs] Bell Canadian Open begins (Montréal)
Be Kind to Humankind Week
Harvest Month


A long-running contest where callers pick who they think the next celebrity will be to ‘crash and burn’ – go into rehab, get charged with DUI, get arrested, etc. After you get a 100 or so guesses (with names & phone numbers of listeners) in your data bank, monitor the news for the first celebrity to run into trouble — shouldn’t take more than a week or so. Whoever guessed correctly wins your prize. Another option is the less tasteful ‘Dead Pool’ where listeners pick the next celeb to kick. (I’ll take Bob Hope, who’s 98 and in a Burbank hospital with pneumonia.)

2 phone contestants compete to list the most things from a category you stipulate. Start with one contestant, give out the category, then start the clock. Total the score, then give your other contestant a new category and see if they can beat the total. A few suggested categories –
• Lies parents tell their kids.
• Rules your Mom made.
• Things people steal from work.
• What your Dad taught you.
• The first signs of divorce.
• Annoying habits people have.
• Things Queen Elizabeth would never do.
• Stupid songs to play as the bride walks down the aisle.
• Weird things to take into the bathtub with you.
• Embarrassing things to buy at a store.

Lottery — a tax on people who are bad at math.

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