Friday, December 19, 2003        Edition: #2691
Only 6 More Sleeps Till Xmas!

TOMORROW pop singer Clay Aiken graduates from the University of North Carolina and even though he’ll sit with classmates and won’t be singing, guests have been forced to apply for tickets to the ceremony so it wouldn’t be overrun by fans . . . Almost 3 years after Rankin Family singer John Morris Rankin was killed after driving into a pile of road salt, Nova Scotia’s Attorney General & the driver of a Department of Transportation salt truck are being sued for an undisclosed sum . . . Actor Alec Baldwin has written a letter to Pope John Paul II asking him to condemn the ‘shocking cruelty to animals on factory farms’ (the pope responded, “Who the hell’s Alec Baldwin?”) . . . The Vatican confirms that the pope has seen Mel Gibson’s controversial film “The Passion”, about Christ’s final hours, and was reportedly ‘moved by it’ (actually moved to face the screen – he was staring off into space) . . . Mel Gibson ranks as the overall ‘favorite movie star’ in a new Harris Poll, just ahead of Julia Roberts (Johnny Depp only made 10th!) . . . Reports say Michael Jackson has become a member of the ‘Nation of Islam’, led by outspoken firebrand Louis Farrakhan (well, that oughta contribute to his popularity) . . .  The final episodes of “Friends” will end with the wedding of ‘Phoebe’ & ‘Mike’ and possibly a reunion of ‘Rachel’ & ‘Ross’, according to reports in British tabloids . . . The US Justice Department has filed a complaint against the distributor of the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, claiming the company ships unordered products to customers, then charges for them (ohmygawd, a company that takes pics of naked amateurs has no scruples?) . . . And Chrysler Corp has apparently seen the light and dumped plans to sponsor a Super Bowl Sunday pay-per-view football game featuring – underwear-clad models.

“Mona Lisa Smile” (Drama/Comedy): Julia Roberts plays an independent, liberal-minded new art history teacher at Wellesley College in 1953 who encourages her female students to embrace life and use college as a place to find themselves, not a husband. Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles & Maggie Gyllenhaal co-star as students. One critic has dubbed the film “Dead Poets Sorority” due to its similarity to the Robin Williams’ movie “Dead Poets’ Society”.

Canada’s Air Transport Security Authority is asking travelers not to pack fruitcakes in carry-on luggage if they want to avoid delays at airport security checkpoints during the holiday season. All fruitcakes will be scanned because they’re apparently so dense they could camouflage a weapon. (The ARE a weapon! They lay you out on a couch after a single slice.)

A new brand of wallpaper that depicts life-size, ordinary-looking people in everyday poses has become a big seller in Germany. It seems singles have been snapping it up – so they won’t feel lonely during the holidays. Designer Suzanne Schmidt admits her paper friends aren’t very talkative, but they will always be there when you need them and they’re guaranteed not to argue. (Yeah, but they’re all a bunch of stuck-ups!)

New lampposts that bend on impact are being installed on British roads in order to reduce traffic accident deaths. Rigid metal lampposts can prove fatal if hit by a car, but the new flexible lampposts will actually bend underneath vehicles, causing far less damage. The material buckles because it has 90% less stiffness than steel. (Coming soon – the Nerf fire hydrant.)

The new credit card-sized ‘Drink Spike Detector’, launched THIS MONTH, can tell you if your drink has been tampered with while you were away from your table. You just smear a drop or two on a pink spot and a green spot on the card. Each pair of spots identifies 2 popular illicit party drugs – ketamine and GHB, also known as the ‘date rape drug’. If neither spot turns dark blue, the drink’s been spiked. The kit, with 4 test cards, retails for about $8.

48-year-old Sharon Smith was happy to be elected mayor of Houston BC, and to celebrate she had her husband take pics of her wearing her new mayoral chain of office – and nothing else. Shortly afterward her kids threw a party and, lo and behold, the digital pictures suddenly appeared on the Internet!

Smoking may be declining in the West but it sure isn’t in China. The country now accounts for a 3rd of all cigarettes smoked in the world. 2 out of 3 Chinese men smoke, and they’re being joined by rising numbers of teenage and women smokers. According to some estimates, smoking claims 1 million lives a year in China — a figure forecast to hit 3 million when today’s population of young men hits middle age.

• The average adult sheds about 2 pounds of skin a year.
• The Internet now boasts a global community numbering 679 million.
• 52% of pet owners say they include news or a photo of their pet in their holiday cards.


1972 [31] Warren Sapp, Orlando FL, 300-lb NFL DT (2003 Super Bowl-Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

1974 [29] Jake ‘The Snake’ Plummer, Boise ID, NFL QB (Denver Broncos)

1972 [31] Alyssa Milano, Brooklyn NY, TV actress (‘Phoebe Halliwell’-“Charmed” since 1998)

1980 [23] Jake Gyllenhaal, LA CA, movie actor (“Moonlight Mile”, “The Good Girl”)  COMING UP: Co-stars with Gwyneth Paltrow in the drama “Proof”.

1946 [57] John Spencer (Speshock), NYC, TV actor (4 nominations and 1 Emmy Award as ‘Chief of Staff Leo McGarry’-“The West Wing”)

1966 [37] Chris Robinson, Atlanta GA, rock singer (Black Crowes-“Hard to Handle”, “She Talks With Angels”) who’s now pursuing a solo career/Mr Kate Hudson since 2000

1970 [33] Travis Green, Castlegar BC, NHL center (Boston Bruins)

TODAY, the 3rd Friday of December, is “Underdog Day”, saluting all the unsung heroes and #2 people of the world. Famous ‘second bananas’ have included Batman’s Robin, Sherlock Holmes’ Dr Watson, The Lone Ranger’s Tonto, Captain Kirk’s Mr Spock, etc. As part of his leadership program, Yale University’s David Berg contends there’s not just a shortage of leaders these days, but a real shortage of followers. ‘Followership’ requires courage, he says, because followers push their leaders’ boundaries and help cover for their blind spots. Ask listeners for other followers who’ve been under-appreciated.

TODAY at sundown “Chanukah” begins, the 8-day “Festival of Lights” that celebrates the victory
of the Maccabees and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple. Its earliest observance occurred in the year 165 BC. Some of the best known symbols of Chanukah are the dreidel, a 4-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side, and the menorah with 8 candles, one for each night of Chanukah. Traditional Chanukah foods include potato latkes, homemade cinnamon applesauce, beef brisket braised in wine, honey cake, and doughnuts covered in powdered sugar.

Hey kids! TODAY is “E-Mail Santa Claus Just in Case He Didn’t Get Your Letter Day”. It’s also “National Clean Out Your Closet to Make Room for New Toys Day”!

THIS WEEK is “Tell Someone They’re Doing a Good Job Week”, when you’re encouraged to compliment someone’s work effort each day. And hey boss, toss in a Christmas bonus, would ya?

SUNDAY is “Games Day”. The best-selling board game of all time? “Monopoly”, with over 200 million games sold in 80 countries and in 26 languages since 1935. The top-selling board games of 2003 include “Cranium”, “Operation”, “Trouble”, “Connect Four”, and the old favorite, “Battleship”.

SUNDAY is “I’ve Got My Big Fat Pants On Day”, a day to wear anything you want as long as it’s comfortable and roomy. (Wouldn’t this be better celebrated AFTER the holidays?)

MONDAY is “Winter Solstice” as winter officially arrives at 2:04 am ET. The shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere is the excuse for the tongue-in-cheek observances “Look At The Bright Side Day” and “National Flashlight Day”. In pagan times, it was the beginning of the celebration “Yule”, source of the ‘yule log’.

1997 [06] All-time movie box office champ “Titanic”, starring Leonardo Dicaprio & Kate Winslet, opens in theaters (eventually grosses over $1.8 billion worldwide)

2001 [02] “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” opens in theaters (#5 all-time, grossing more than $867 million worldwide)

1857 [146] 1st ‘bathroom tissue’ marketed (50 cents for 500 sheets – about the same as now)

1917 [86] 1st ‘National Hockey League’ games played (5,500 fans watch Montréal Canadiens beat Ottawa Senators 7-4, while 700 soldiers get in free to see Montréal Wanderers defeat Toronto Arenas 10-9)

1970 [33] 1st ‘disposable razors’ go on the market (and 1st wife borrows her husband’s to shave her legs)

1922 [81] 24-year-old Theresa Vaughn is tried for bigamy in England after it’s found she has accumulated 62 husbands – in only 5 years!

1984 [19] Scotty Bowman becomes NHL’s all-time winningest coach (retires after winning 2002 Stanley Cup with Detroit Red Wings, his 9th in a 34-year career that includes records for 1,244 regular season victories & 223 playoff wins)

[Sun] Humbug Day
[Mon] Los Posadas (Mexico)
[Wed] Christmas Eve
[Wed] National Egg Nog Day
[Thurs] Christmas Day
[Thurs] “Peter Pan”, “Cold Mountain” and “Cheaper By The Dozen” open in movie theaters
This Week Is . . . International Language Week
This Month Is . . . Bingo’s Birthday Month


Schizophrenia: “Hey, Do You Hear What I Hear?”
Multiple Personality Disorder: “We Three Kings Disoriented Are”
Dementia: “I Think I’ll Be Home for Christmas”
Narcissistic: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me”
Manic: “Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and …”
Paranoid: “Santa Claus Is Coming to Get Me”
Personality Disorder: “You Better Watch Out, I’m Gonna Cry, I’m Gonna Pout, Maybe I’ll Tell You Why”
Depression: “Silent Night, Holy Night, All Is Flat, All Is Lonely”
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: “Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock  …”
Passive-Aggressive Personality: “On the First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me (And Then Took it All Away)”
BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER: “Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire”

Can you come up with the seasonal song based on these convoluted descriptions?
• “Our Desire Is Your Yuletide Cheer” [“We Wish you a Merry Christmas”]
• ”Season Without Color” [“White Christmas”]
• ”Listen, The Heavenly Messengers Harmonize!” [“Hark!, the Herald Angels Sing”]
• ”Soundless Nocturnal Period” [“Silent Night”]
• “The Yuletide’s Dozen 24 Hour Intervals” [“The Twelve Days of Christmas”]
• “Loyal Followers Advance!” [“O Come All You Faithful”]
• “The Manikin Of Crystalline H2-O” [“Frosty, the Snowman“]
• “Omnipotent Supreme Being Tells Happy Males To Relax” [“God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman”]
• “Delight For This Planet” [“Joy to the World”]

“What have you overheard from your office cubical that you’re sorry you overheard?”

Today’s Question: 18% of people surveyed say they’d consider breaking up with their partner during the holidays because of THIS.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: Getting cheap or thoughtless gifts.

Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquillity.

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