Thursday, November 29, 2001        Edition: #2186
Never cook bacon when you’re naked.

Virgin stores have developed hi-tech classes for store Santas to help them understand what today’s kids want. There are lessons about MP3 players, DVDs, computer games, chart-topping pop acts and the most-wanted videos, as well as a crash course in kids’ slang. A recent survey shows the most common pointers taught in ‘Santa Claus Schools’ are the names of the reindeer, oral hygiene and to never promise children they’ll get what they ask for. But here’s some . . .

• ‘Flask Concealment 101′
• ‘Placing finger BESIDE nose as opposed to IN it.’
• How to get rid of ‘pee on the knee’.
• ‘Things Santa Never Says’ ie: “Touch my beard and I’ll put the hurt on you!”, “Off my lap, tubby!”, “Dream on, peewee!”, or “You’ve been bad and now you’re going down, punk!”
• ‘Snowy White Beard? Yes. Snowy White Nose Hair? No.’
• How to fill out a bank loan for Xbox.

TONIGHT Court TV presents a 1-hour documentary picturing a hypothetical trial of Osama bin Laden (moved up from DECEMBER 6 because they were worried he may soon be caught, ruining their whole premise!) . . . Word’s out that “Angel” star David Boreanaz has married “Playboy” magazine’s ‘45th Anniversary Playmate’, Jamie Bergman (ah, the perks of show biz) . . . Singer Macy Gray says she wants to record under the new name ‘Mite B’, but is also considering ‘D-Mo’ (hmm, a little poke at Jennifer, huh?) . . . Former public washroom inspector George Michael has signed an unheard of ‘one-single’ record deal with Universal in order to see how well the company markets his song before he decides to give them any more (the way his career’s going he should be thrilled to have any kind of deal) . . . And look what may be coming to the stage — “Moulin Rouge” as a Broadway musical with Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor reprising their roles, a London stage version of the Beatles “Yellow Submarine” featuring Montréal’s avant garde circus troupe Cirque Du Soleil, and the hit Robin Williams’ movie “Mrs Doubtfire” on Broadway.

The 20th ‘James Bond’ film begins shooting in JANUARY and the latest rumor has Halle Berry in talks to play opposite Pierce Brosnan as the femme fatale ‘Bond girl’ . . . Britney Spears is apparently getting serious about a movie career, signing with bigtime agency ICM, creating her own yet-to-be-named production company, and negotiating to have another film written for her (her debut movie “Crossroads” is due in FEBRUARY) . . . A bigscreen take on the 1960s TV sitcom “Hogan’s Heroes” is in the works, but this would be a ‘dramatic’ version, starring Russell Crowe (as ‘Colonel Klink’?) . . . “X-Files” star Gillian Anderson will make her directing debut with “Speed of Light”, a film based on the Elizabeth Rosner novel about a man who has become a recluse (geez I dunno, any car chases?) . . . Director Ang Lee’s upcoming movie adaptation of “The Incredible Hulk” will star Eric Bana as the Hulk’s alter ego ‘Dr Bruce Banner’ and Jennifer Connelly as his love interest (the ‘Hulkette’).

• A Utah brewery is promoting its new brand of beer called ‘Polygamy Porter’ with the catch-phrase “Why have just one?” (Thereby offending every Mormon in the state.)
• Lead Pencil Productions in the UK is selling ‘SILENT Christmas Crackers’ (those festive table decorations that you yank on the ends to open with a ‘pop’). Why? To avoid upsetting children, pets and nervous people. When you pull on these crackers, a streamer appears with the word ‘Bang’. (Now they’re working on fireworks that spell ‘BOOM!’.)

A new medical study proves that sex really is good for you. The study shows that men who get lots of sex live longer than men who only get a little or none. Specifically, the research proved that men who had sex twice or more a week had a 50% lower mortality rate than men who had sex about once a month. The study also suggests that regular vigorous sex can make you appear 7 years younger. (In a related story, today is Russell Crowe’s 8th birthday.)

The old saying that ‘sports build character’ is a load of bunk according to a Texas Christian University study. Researchers found that learning an athletic skill has little influence on character, either positive or negative. (To complete their findings, the researchers only needed one test subject – Mike Tyson.)

A new nationwide survey by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation finds that about 17% of Canadian drivers admit to drinking and driving in the past month. However, the poll may be a tad skewed as that 17% includes anyone who had driven within 2 hours of consuming any alcohol, meaning many weren’t necessarily over the legal limit.

• Factory outlet chain Freeport Leisure has hired bodyguards to protect its in-store Santas this holiday season. The company says that last year there were several incidents of over-exuberant children actually bruising the Santas. (Plus bodyguards protect them from parents who overhear Santa promising to bring a GameCube.)
• London’s world famous department store Harrods is using a horse and carriage this year for Santa Claus instead of reindeer and a sleigh. Seems reindeer are now restricted in the UK because they’re susceptible to catching and carrying foot-and-mouth disease. (Horses may look goofy in antlers, but they leave bigger presents!)


1932 [69] Jacques Chirac, Paris FRA, President of France since 1995

1949 [52] Garry Shandling, Chicago IL, ex-TV actor/comedian (“Larry Sanders Show”)/movie actor (“Zoolander”, “Dr Doolittle”)

1954 [47] Joel Coen, Minneapolis MN, movie director/screenwriter (Coen Bros-“O Brother, Where Art Thou?”, “Fargo”)/married to actress Frances McDormand  NEXT FILM: Writes and directs “Intolerable Cruelty”, starring George Clooney & Catherine Zeta-Jones as bitter rivals who fall in love

1955 [46] Howie Mandel, Toronto ON, stand-up comedian/sometime movie & TV actor

1961 [40] Kim Delaney, Philadelphia PA, TV actress (Kathleen Maguire in new Steven Bochco  legal drama “Philly”, Emmy Award as Det Diane Russell-“NYPD Blue” [1995-2001])

1964 [37] Don Cheadle, Kansas City MO, movie actor (“Rush Hour 2”, “Swordfish”, “Traffic”)  NEXT FILM” “Ocean’s Eleven”, opening DECEMBER 7

1969 [32] Mariano Rivera, Panama City PAN, MLB pitcher (50 saves as NY Yankees closer in 2001)

1971 [30] Brad May, Toronto ON, NHL winger (Phoenix Coyotes)

[UN] “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” (those who are left)

TODAY is “Electronic Greetings Day”. Just what we need — another reason to junk up other people’s e-mail, page messaging, voicemail, etc with useless chaff you’d never write down on a piece of paper and buy a stamp to send.

TODAY is officially “Square Dance Day”. So swing your partner ‘round and ‘round, pick ‘er on up and throw ‘er on the ground. Yee haw!

TOMORROW an online event is scheduled that is truly weird – for 20 bucks, you can watch a guy cut off his feet with a guillotine live on the Internet. The question ‘why?’ might come to mind. Paul Freck of Lumberton, Mississippi was disabled in a 1986 accident and wants to amputate his feet with a homemade guillotine and Webcast the procedure to raise money for new prosthetic legs. He was hoping to have signed up 200,000 voyeurs to watch.

1775 [226] 1st ‘invisible ink’ invented by Sir James Jay (but how can we be sure?)

1890 [111] 1st ‘Army-Navy football game’ (this year’s edition is SATURDAY)

1934 [67] 1st traditional ‘Thanksgiving Day NFL game’ in Detroit (and the tradition of losing begins as Chicago Bears beat Lions 19-16)

1924 [77] 1st NHL game in Montréal Forum (Canadiens 7, Leafs 1)

1959 [42] 1st ‘Grammy Awards’ to be televised (2nd year of Grammys)

[Fri] Computer Security Day
[Fri] Stay At Home Because You’re Well Day
[Sat] World AIDS Day
[Sun] Advent Sunday
[Tues] 2001 Billboard Music Awards (Las Vegas)
Family Caregivers Week
Latin America Month


‘Harry Potter’ may be cute but some folks just don’t cater to witches and wizardry. The Leavenworth KS version of ‘Hogwart’s School’, the Gaea Retreat Center, is suing to survive after its land use permit wasn’t renewed by county officials. The problem? Local gossip has all manner of spooky hijinks occurring there, including naked witches weaving magical spells in the moonlight. The retreat admits it does attract witches and host pagan rituals. But what exactly do they do?
PHONER: 816-931-4443 (Kansas City business number)/913-796-2141 or 913-796-1766 (on-site numbers)

• “You’re right; we’re billing way too much for this.”
• “How about paying us based on our success?”
• “I don’t know enough to speak intelligently about that.”
• “Implementation? I only care about writing long reports.”
• “I can’t take the credit. It was the morning team’s idea.”
• “The problem is, you have too much work for too few people.”
• “Everything sounds okay to me. You really don’t need me.”

Q: Which side of the ‘loonie’ does the loon appear on — the front or the back?
A: The Queen is the principal design appearing on the front or ‘obverse’ side. The loon is the secondary design on the ‘reverse’ side. So it should actually be a ‘Queenie’.
(Source: “Globe & Mail”)

Q: What is the only common domestic animal not mentioned in The Bible?
A: The cat. (However we don’t remember too many verses about gerbils either.)
(Source: “Land O’ Useless Facts”)

Q: Which was the first pro football team to sport an insignia on its helmets?
A: The (then-Los Angeles) Rams in 1950, who hand-painted yellow horns on their blue leather helmets.

Q: What animal does sable fur come from?
A: The sable, of course.
(Source: common sense)

Q: What is the 5th-largest planet in our solar system?
A: Duh! Earth.
(Source: “Trivia Quest Magazine”)

Q: Name the TWO movies in which Bing Crosby sang “White Christmas”.
A: “Holiday Inn” (1942) and “White Christmas” (1954).
(Source: Internet Movie DataBase)

BS TAG LINE:  The speed of time is one second per second.

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