Thursday, January 24, 2002        Edition: #2218
It hurts to be on the cutting edge.

• Do people with psychic powers get nostalgic about NEXT week?
• After eating, do amphibians have to wait an hour before getting OUT of the water?
• How can there be self-help GROUPS?
• If white wine goes with fish, do white GRAPES go with sushi?
• If a mute swears, does his mother make him wash his HANDS with soap?
• If you throw a cat out a car window, does it become kitty LITTER?
• Just before someone gets nervous, do they experience COCOONS in their stomach?
• What was the best thing BEFORE sliced bread?
• If you tell a joke in the forest but nobody laughs, was it a joke?

Mentally-challenged characters are Hollywood’s biggest trend this year (the next, Sean Penn playing a mentally disabled father in “I Am Sam”, opens FRIDAY) . . . The rumors were true — YESTERDAY it was announced that EMI/Virgin Records is paying Mariah Carey $28 million to walk away from the biggest recording contract of all time – likely a world record for NOT recording (unlike Britney, we KNOW she’s no longer a ‘Virgin’ recording artist) . . . Thanks to an MTV-UK tour of Mariah Carey’s Manhattan penthouse, we now know she has more than 1,000 PAIRS of shoes (she’ll be shopping at Pay-Less from now on) . . . JK Rowling’s publisher is denying reports that the 5th ‘Harry Potter’ book, ” Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix” will be published this JULY, saying no publication date for the book will be set – until it has been written (well there’s a thought) . . . FOX-TV’s NFL play-by-play guy Pat Summerall, who turns 72 in MAY, is retiring after the Super Bowl (he & booth partner John Madden have been the absolute best in the biz by a long shot for 21 seasons — why? — because they let the game be the star, don’t keep stating the obvious, and actually SHUT UP once in a while, not feeling the need for non-stop blathering) . . . And Winona Ryder T-shirts have become a big seller in Los Angeles, emblazoned with the slogan ‘Free Winona’ in reference to her DECEMBER arrest on suspicion of shoplifting (the shirts are FREE — if you can sneak them out of the store).

Bruce Willis will next star in “Me Again”, a thriller about a man who has lost his memory and spends the entire movie trying to figure out whether he’s a hitman or the hitman’s target . . . A TV movie about former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani is in development, based on Andrew Kirtzman’s book “Emperor of the City, the Story of America’s Mayor” . . . Ryan Phillippe will play a young priest opposite Liam Neeson’s ‘Father Merrin’ in the upcoming prequel to “The Exorcist” . . . Steven Spielberg has decided to make a 4th ‘Indiana Jones’ film with 59-year-old Harrison Ford and co-starring Mrs Spielberg, Kate Capshaw (who met her future hubby when she beat out 120 other actresses for the female lead in “Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom”) . . . . Director Paul Thomas Anderson is considering a sequel to 1998’s “Boogie Nights”, the story of aspiring ’70s porn star ‘Dirk Diggler’, played by Mark Wahlberg.

“Travel Holiday” magazine says you can save money on your next vacation simply by asking “Can I get a better rate?” when reserving a hotel room. Experts say many will come through with a special unpublicized price. (The rest say things about your momma before slamming down the phone.)

GM is excited about sales of it’s new Buick ‘Rendezvous’, touted as a cross between a luxury sedan, a minivan, and an SUV. It’s a hybrid that was bound to happen – car buyers have finally figured out you don’t need a 7-ft-off-the-ground, gas guzzling, 4-wheel-drive SUV to go to the mall, and minivans may be serviceable — but they’re ugly. So enter the Rendezvous (and soon lots of carbon copies), basically a styled-up version of what used to be known as a ‘station wagon’, but you’ll never hear GM call it that – or anyone who buys one. (This vehicle type needs a name – FUV [family utility vehicle]? luxury wagon? overpriced hatchback?)

A course for ‘professional mineral water tasters’ has been set up in Italy. They will learn how to advise restaurant patrons on how to choose the best water to go with their meal, similar to a sommelier or wine steward. A 2-day course is being held at the Grand Hotel in Rimini later THIS MONTH. (Yeah right, I’ll be sniffing the cap off a bottle of water for sure.)

Curt Tofteland, director the “Kentucky Shakespeare Festival”, has a new project called ‘Shakespeare Behind Bars’ in which 23 inmates at the Luther Lucket Correctional Complex in
LaGrange KY are producing, staging and acting in Shakespeare’s revenge tragedy “Titus Andronicus”. So far, the prison shows have been sell-outs, even though theater patrons have to pass through a vehicle checkpoint, 2 metal detectors and 4 locking doors to get in! (They should do “Macbeth” – “Is this a dagger I see before me? Yes! Gimme your wallet!”)
PHONER: 502-583-8738 (Louisville KY)

LAST WEEK 55-year-old Patricia Agness of Jacksonville FL hailed a cab – for a 10,000-mile sightseeing trip across North America. She negotiated a special rate of a buck-a-mile with Gator City Taxi and has 2 drivers trading 8-hour shifts on a round-trip that will go as far as Juneau, Alaska. Part of the deal — minimum stops (“I really, really, really have to GO!!!”) and no overnight stays. (Man, by the time she gets home she’s gonna have a terminal case of ‘numb-bum’.)

A Cairo court has sentenced an Egyptian businessman to 7 years in jail with hard labor for having more than the legally allowed number of 4 wives at the same time. Sayed Ragab al-Sawirki had 5 wives simultaneously and has married 19 women overall. (Geez, isn’t that punishment enough?)

A new McGill University study published in the “Canadian Medical Association Journal” suggests some food nutrients can influence mood and behavior, but also debunks some commonly held beliefs about certain foods. For instance, there’s no scientific evidence that a warm glass of milk can induce sleep, or that sugar leads to hyperactivity in children or gives adults an energy burst. The study does show that carbohydrates can have a mild sedative effect, and complex carbohydrates, like those in potatoes or bread, appear to cause a modest improvement in memory. (So how come I can’t remember if I had spuds for supper last night?)

The book “Managing With a Heart: 100-Plus Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Appreciated” by Sharon Good offers employers helpful hints on improving company morale. Things like learning employees’ names, saying ‘good morning’ each day and showing an interest in workers’ lives.
• Hot tub party every Friday afternoon.
• Tequila vending machine.
• On-the-job conjugal visits.
• Hand out a raise, tightwad!
• OPTIONAL dress Fridays.


1917 [85] Ernest Borgnine (Ermes Effron Borgnino), Hamden CT, world’s ugliest movie actor (“McHale’s Navy”, Oscar-“Marty”) who’s STILL working!

1941 [61] Neil Diamond, Brooklyn NY, oldies singer (“I’m a Believer” [appears on the “Shrek” soundtrack], “Sweet Caroline”, “Cracklin’ Rosie”)

1941 [61] Aaron Neville, New Orleans LA, oldies singer (“Tell It Like It Is”, w/Linda Ronstadt-“Don’t Know Much“)

1948 [54] Michael Ontkean, Vancouver BC, movie actor (“Postcards from the Edge”, “Slap Shot”)/TV actor (“Twin Peaks” [1990-91])

1963 [39] Keech Rainwater, Plano TX, country musician (Lonestar-“I’m Already There“, “Amazed”)

1979 [23] Tatyana Ali, North Bellmore NY, pop singer (“Daydreamin”)/movie actress (“The Brothers”, “Kiss the Girls”)/former TV actress (Ashley Banks-“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” [1990-96])  NOTE: She’s NOT Muhammad Ali’s daughter, that’s Laila Ali

TODAY Pope John Paul II has scheduled a meeting of the world’s spiritual leaders in Assisi, Italy. Representatives from all world religions have been invited to ‘pray for peace to improve relations between Muslims and Christians’. (This has all the makings of World War III.)

TODAY is officially “Backwards Day”, a day to pause and look back on your accomplishments (hey, it’ll only take a minute). To celebrate, you’re encouraged to dress, walk and eat meals backwards (dessert first, etc).

TODAY is “Women’s Healthy Weight Day”, a day to honor women of all sizes and confirm that beauty, talent and love cannot be weighed. (Formerly known as ‘Fat Ladies Day’.)

1899 [103] Humphrey O’Sullivan of Lowell MA patents the ‘rubber safety heel’ (for flamenco dancers with hernias?)

1908 [94] 1st ‘Boy Scout’ troop organized by Sir Robert Baden-Powell in London ENG, originally for youths to play ‘war-games’ (SATURDAY Burton Watring of Racine WI finally became an ‘Eagle Scout’ — at age 72 — likely the oldest scout anywhere)

1922 [80] 1st ‘ice cream bar’, the ‘Eskimo Pie’, created by Christian Nelson-Onawa IA (gee, bet he sold a lot of them in Iowa in January)

1935 [67] 1st ‘beer in cans’, marketed by Kruegar Brewing of Richmond VA (next day, 1st can is crushed against frat man’s forehead)

1984 [18] Apple Computer markets 1st ‘Macintosh’ PC

1999 [03] Golfer David Duval matches best round in PGA history — a 59 — to win Bob Hope Desert Classic (the other ‘59ers’ are Chip Beck & Al Geiberger)

[Fri] Fun At Work Day (isn’t every day?)
[Fri] Robbie Burns Day (time to dry clean your sporran)
[Sun] Thomas Crapper Day (the guy was flushed with pride)
Health Awareness Week (ohmygawd . . . I’m still alive! ALIVE!!!!)
National Yours Mine & Ours Month (the bills are yours, the car’s mine, the divorce is ours)


“Which so-called ‘service personnel’ do the POOREST job of offering service?” (In a nationwide poll, ‘supermarket check-out clerks’ topped the list, followed by ‘airline check-in people’ and ‘flight attendants’. But how about civil ‘servants’, especially at the license bureau?)

Try predicting your future or that of your listeners with the ‘Web Ouija Board’.

• You should make love to a woman for the first time only after you’ve both shared —
a) your views about what you expect from a sexual relationship
b) your blood-test results
c) 5 tequila slammers
• Spending the whole night cuddling a woman after love-making is —
a) the best part of the experience
b) the 2nd-best part of the experience
c) $100 extra
• Your wife/girlfriend says she’s gained 5 lbs in the last month. Should you tell her that it is —
a) no concern of yours
b) not a problem, she can join your gym
c) a conservative estimate
• Today’s sensitive, caring man is –
a) a myth
b) an oxymoron
c) a moron
• Foreplay is to sex as –
a) appetizer is to entree
b) primer is to paint
c) a line-up is to an amusement park ride
• Which of the following are you most likely to find yourself saying at the end of a relationship?
a) “I hope we can still be friends.”
b) “I’m not in right now, please leave a message at the beep.”
c) “Welcome to Dumpsville. Population: YOU.”
• [DISCRETION] In the company of females, intercourse should be referred to as —
a) lovemaking
b) boinking
c) the pigskin bus pulling into tuna town

BS Q & A:
Q: What is the official name of the Da Vinci painting we know as the “Mona Lisa”?
a) “Portrait of Mona Lisa della Linguini”
b) “La Giaconda”
c) “Fat Girl Smiling”
A: “La Giaconda”. It’s a portrait of the wife of an Italian merchant named Francesco del Giacondo.
(Source: “The Life & Art of Leonardo da Vinci”)

“The best revenge is massive success.” – Frank Sinatra


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