Wednesday, December 4, 2002        Edition: #2435
If the Sheet Fits, Buy It!

TODAY Robert De Niro screens his new movie “Analyze That” for US troops at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base, 2 days before it opens in theaters . . . TODAY Elton John begins another sale (his 4th) of clothes, stage costumes and accessories to benefit his AIDS Foundation (“OK folks, do we have a bid on this pair of size 56 jockeys?”) . . . TONIGHT NBC-TV’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special features performances by Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow, Kelly Rowland, Carly Simon, and – oh no! – Barry Manilow (Warning! Warning!) . . . TONIGHT Whitney Houston – once famous for NEVER doing interviews – is scheduled to go one-on-one with Diane Sawyer on ABC-TV’s “Primetime” and answer questions about her bizarre antics . . . Buzz is Antonio Banderas has become so tired of wife Melanie Griffith’s jealousy and insecurity that he’s packed his bags and left! . . . No surprise here – the online bidder who promised $99.9 million for Eminem’s former Detroit home has backed out of the deal, and it’s expected the next-highest bid of $20 million will also turn out to be bogus (not his childhood home that’s also been up for auction, but the 5,000-sq-ft colonial Em’ sold for $475,000 2 years ago) . . . Word has it Ben Affleck has been kissing up to Moms Lopez, buying his future mother-in-law a top-of-the-line Mercedes . . . Does it ever stop? Now the Osbournes have agreed to ‘provide story ideas’ for an MTV cartoon series about themselves in a deal said to be worth in the neighborhood of – gulp – $15 million!

• ‘Thresholders’ – A new term for people in their early- to mid-20s. Demographic researchers say that many are confused and insecure, in part because they were highly praised during their school years, then shocked to find out they’re nobody special in the real world.
• ‘Bey Blades’ – Little plastic spinning tops with a ‘launcher’ and a ripcord that are the current rage among primary school boys. They even come with their own ‘stadium’, perfect for schoolyard competitions. (The POGs of 2002.)
• ‘Sports Car Menopause’ – The tendency of men to buy gadgets with lots of features, according to Paco Underhill, author of “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping”. (“I know it’s only an extension cord, but look – it has 2 switches and an LED read-out!”)
• ‘Telly Belly – A newly-identified syndrome in which people mimic the symptoms suffered by their favorite TV characters. (“Man that anvil on the head has really given me a headache.”)

Earlier this year, a political Website launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to get actor John Cusack (“Pushing Tin”, “Grosse Pointe Blank”, “Eight Men Out”) elected as the next President of the United States. Seems a lot of people don’t understand that it’s a joke – over 200 have volunteered to work on the campaign and 172 US colleges currently have organizations to ‘Elect John Cusack in 2004′. So far, no word from the man himself on whether he has any interest in running.

Financial expert Ginita Wall tells “Parade” magazine that consumers shouldn’t spend more than 1.5% of their annual gross annual income on holiday season shopping. (Let’s see, what’ 1.5% of squat?)

72-year-old German playboy and property tycoon Rolf Eden is offering $125,000 to any woman, from anywhere in the world, who can KILL HIM with sex. Applicants must be young, attractive and healthy. Transportation to Berlin for a couple of days of sexual activity will be paid, provided a woman is ‘really ready to work hard’. (And we’re taking local auditions after the show today …)

How do you entice holiday shoppers in one of the world’s largest and most polluted cities? The Paulista shopping mall in Sao Paulo, Brazil is offering – clean air! Yup, any customer who spends more than the equivalent of $10 gets 5 minutes in an oxygen mask. The mall has built a special ‘Oxygen Lounge’ where customers can sit down, breathe oxygen and listen to chill-out music. By the way, you can choose from pure, orange, lemon or eucalyptus ‘flavored’ oxygen.

A brief round-up of some recent landmark ‘discoveries’ –
• Scientists say – That frequent mountain-biking may reduce fertility in men. An Austrian study suggests the jolts and vibrations from cycling over rough terrain can damage male genitalia and lead to reduced sperm production. (Does that make your mountain bike a contraceptive device?.  “Its OK darling, I’ll just cycle down the stairs and be back in a minute!”)
• Scientists say – That if your shoes smell bad, you can remove the odor by filling them with kitty litter. It’s supposed to freshen them up overnight. (Unless you own a cat, of course.)
• Scientists say – That soothing music and encouraging words while under anesthesia may help ease patients’ recovery after surgery. (Please, no – if you play Barry Manilow, I swear I’ll walk to the light at the end of the tunnel!)

• Canada’s Auditor-General predicts the amount spent on the federal gun registry program will reach a billion bucks by 2004 – more than 10 TIMES the original estimate!
• Every year about 5 million tonnes of salt are spread on Canadian highways, roads and sidewalks. One of the side effects of all that salt involves birds. Studies show they can become intoxicated from eating road salt and fail to get out of the way of oncoming traffic!
• A brand new poll shows that about 39% of Canadians would agree to a law preventing parents from smoking at home when children are present, and that includes 28% of smokers!
• Breathing the air in Bombay, India is the equivalent of smoking 10 packs of cigarettes a day.
• The fastest recorded speed of a sneeze is about 100 mph, giving it the same force as a Category 2 hurricane.


1940 [62] (Lady) Barbara Amiel, sometime magazine columnist (“Maclean’s”)/Mrs Conrad Black (or as he’s now known – Lord Black of Crossharbour)

1949 [53] Jeff Bridges, LA CA, movie actor (“K-Pax”, “The Mirror Has Two Faces”)/son of actor Lloyd Bridges & brother of actor Beau Bridges  UP NEXT: Co-stars with Tobey Maguire in the racehorse drama “Seabiscuit”, coming in JUNE

1955 [47] Brian Prout, Troy NY, country singer (Diamond Rio-“Beautiful Mess”, “One More Day”)

1964 [38] Marisa Tomei, Brooklyn NY, film actress (“What Women Want”, Oscar-“My Cousin Vinny”)  NEXT FILM: The comedy “Anger Management“ with Jack Nicholson & Adam Sandler, opening APRIL 11

1969 [33] Jay-Z (Shawn Carter), Brooklyn NY, producer/composer/rap artist (w/Beyonce Knowles-“03 Bonnie & Clyde”) who’s worked with Missy Elliott, Mary J Blige, Mariah Carey, etc etc

1973 [29] Tyra Banks, LA CA, 34C-23-35 fashion model (“Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show”, “Sports Illustrated” swimsuit edition)/sometime movie actress (“Halloween: Resurrection”, “Coyote Ugly”)

1981 [21] Lila McCann, Steilacoom WA, country singer (“Come a Little Closer”, “To Get Me to You”)

TODAY is “Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day”, a day for bosses to generously pass out ‘attaboys’. (Thereby saving on Christmas bonuses.)

TODAY is “St Barbara’s Day”, patron saint of firemen, architects, mathematicians, fireworks, miners, sailors, and against lightning, fire, explosions, and sudden death (whew!). Tradition has it that girls should place a cherry tree twig in a glass of water on this day. According to the old custom, if it blooms by Christmas Eve, they’ll marry in the next year.

TODAY is “Wear Brown Shoes Day” for some unknown reason. To get the full effect, make sure you wear ‘em with something black.

TODAY a “Total Eclipse of the Sun” will be visible in the Southern Hemisphere. The shadow will begin in the South Atlantic, cross southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, then sweep through southern Australia where the eclipse will end at sunset.

THIS WEEK is “Cookie Cutter Week”, a good time to note that the most popular shape for Christmas cookies is ‘Christmas tree’, followed by ‘Santa’, ‘star’ and ‘bell’.

20 YEARS AGO . . .
1982 One of the holiday season’s hottest sellers is ‘Deely Boppers’ (or ‘Bobbers’), colorful but goofy-looking antennae worn on a headband

1909 [93] 1st “Grey Cup” game (University of Toronto 26, Toronto Parkdale Canoe Club 6)

1920 [82] 1st American professional football playoff game (Buffalo 7, Canton 3)

1930 [72] Vatican 1st approves ‘rhythm method’ of birth control (unfortunately white people can’t get the hang of it)

1982 [10] 1st man killed by a bowling ball (hernia?)

[Thurs] VH1 Big In 2002 Awards
[Thurs] International Volunteer Day
[Fri] St Nicholas Day
[Sat] Miss World (take 2 in London)
[Sun] 2002 Kennedy Center Honors
[Mon] 2002 Billboard Music Awards
This Week Is . . . Deaf Heritage Week
This Month Is . . . Art & Architecture Month / Bingo’s Birthday Month


Toys that are expected to be ‘the most impossible to find’ this holiday shopping season –
• ‘Harry Potter Slime Chamber Play Set’ – Kids will have tons of fun loading and dumping slime out of a snake’s jaw. (Comes with list of recommended upholstery cleaners for your furniture.)
• ‘FurReal Friends’ – Plush electronic cats, that supposedly mimic a real cat. (Hairballs not included.)
• ‘Barbie As Rapunzel’ – Yup, it’s Barbie with long, ‘growing’ hair and a gown. (Special PMS switch allows her to turn into ‘Barbie As Godzilla’ once a month.)
• ‘Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Cards Booster Pack Collectors Tin’ – Allows card collectors to pack their decks with booster packs to increase complexity and power during monster duelling matches. (Wha’? I think I lost track of all the stuff after Hot Wheels. Does this come with a dictionary?)
• ‘Chicken Dance Elmo’ – Oh boy, another ‘Elmo’ doll! This one sings and dances while dressed as a chicken. (Teaching children appropriate behavior for future wedding receptions.)
• ‘Bratz Funky Fashion Makeover’ – After giving her ‘Bratz’ doll a funky new look, a girl can give herself a makeover, too – with real make-up! (With optional thigh-high boots and hotel room key.)
• ‘Barbie Wireless Video Camera’ – Wow, a pink video camera! (So you can catch Ken & Skipper in the act, then bribe them by threatening to show Barbie the tape!)
Source: “Toy Wishes” magazine
(I’m saving money this year by wrapping up batteries for Christmas with a note – “Toys not included.”)

BS Q & A:
Q: You’d probably guess soccer is the most-played sport in the world, but what’s the 2nd-most-popular sport?
A: Badminton. It’s hugely popular in the Far East – China, Indonesia and Malaysia, in particular. It’s also popular in England and Denmark.
Source: ”Globe & Mail”

Contestant must complete the next line to these popular holiday season songs –
• “Ten pipers piping, Nine drummers drumming …” [“Eight maids a-milking, Seven swans a-swimming.”]
• “We three kings of orient are, Bearing gifts we traverse afar …” [“Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder star.”]
• “Don we now our gay apparel, Fa la la, la la la, la la la …” [“Troll the ancient Yuletide carol, Fa la la la la la, la la la la.”]
• “Here we come a-wassailing …” [“Among the leaves so green.”]
• “Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh …” [“Through the fields we go, laughing all the way.”]
• “Oh, the weather outside is frightful, But the fire is so delightful …” [“And since we’ve no place to go, Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”]
• “Thumpetty thump thump, thumpetty thump thump …” [“Look at Frosty go” or “Over the hills of snow.”]
• “And so I’m offering this simple phrase to kids from one to ninety-two …” [“Although it’s been said many times, many ways Merry Christmas to you.”]

Today’s Question: This travels on average 8 miles a year.
Answer to Give Out Next Show: An office chair.

Cross country skiing is great – if you live in a small country.

Printer Friendly Version