Jan. 16, 2002

Read My Lip Balm

By Roy Rivenburg
For Mick Jagger-Sized Lips: It’s hard to believe, but nobody has ever tried to set a record for the world’s largest lip balm. On Feb. 13, a Utah company will remedy this gaping cultural hole by unveiling a giant tube of Chap-Grip. Made with enough tocopheryl acetate, petrolatum and beeswax to fill 17,538 regular-size lip balm tubes, the foot-wide balm will travel from the Winter Olympics to 50 cities, including Orlando, Fla.; Lansing, Mich.; Philadelphia; Portland, Ore.; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles.

Sport-Utility Dentures Bureau: Soon, cars might need to visit the dentist. A Galveston, Texas, company has begun selling giant sets of plastic teeth that mount on automobile grilles. Designed to resemble the choppers of sharks, vampires, jack-o’-lanterns, gators or rabbits, the $39 car teeth (available at autoxpressions.com) also can be customized to light up at night. Perhaps the company can join forces with Chap-Grip to create a giant tube of bumper balm.

Product Warning Label of the Week: As seen on a propane blowtorch and reported by the Chicago Sun-Times: ‘‘Do not use while sleeping.’’

Holy Crap Bureau: A Wisconsin priest has begun selling compost made from a mixture of duck manure, Ocean Spray cranberry waste, pickles and vanilla beans. Profits from Father Dom’s Duck’s Doo, which sells for $9 a bag, go to charity. Actor Paul Newman helped launch the product, which we hope never gets mixed up with his salad dressings.

America Returns to Normal: One of the quiet tragedies of Sept. 11 was the cancellation of Loni Anderson Day in Minnesota. Originally scheduled for Sept. 12, the event was postponed indefinitely after the terrorist attacks. But now, the healing can begin. On Jan. 15, the former co-star of ‘‘WKRP’’ received her long-overdue tribute.

Quote of the Week: From author Leland H. Gregory’s book, ‘‘What’s the Number for 9-1-1 Again?’’ a compendium of actual emergency calls made by morons: ‘‘Yeah, I called earlier asking why my power was out, and you said it was because of the storm. If that’s so, how come I saw a car drive by my house a few minutes ago, and its lights were on?’’

Going Postal: Numerous art historians took us to task last week for messing up the last name of Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, the visionary painter who created Dogs Playing Poker. OK, maybe the terms ‘‘numerous’’ and ‘‘art historian’’ are a slight exaggeration. We actually heard from only one person, Jesse Knight, a canine art connoisseur who reads Off-Kilter in The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. Anyway, we apologize for the mistake.

Weird Polls Bureau: Thirteen percent of American men said receiving a teddy bear for Valentine’s Day would make them feel more loved than getting a card, dinner, jewelry or flowers, according to a survey by Hallmark. No word on how they’d react to receiving a painting of teddy bears playing poker.

Supermarket Tabloid Story of the Week: Feel free to disregard all those New Year’s resolutions you made to lose weight, stop smoking and lay off the booze. That’s because the Weekly World News has just revealed ‘‘Health Secrets of the World’s Oldest Monkey!’’

The ape’s advice: ‘‘Eat, Drink and Go Crazy!’’ According to the tabloid, the monkey puffs four packs of cigarettes a day, guzzles martinis by the pint and ‘‘gorges himself on peanuts, pretzels and cocktail weenies while frequenting topless bars and strip clubs.’’ If humans follow suit, they might live longer too, WWN says.

Unpaid Informants: PR Newswire, Wireless Flash News Service, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, U.S. Catholic, the Oregonian.

Copyright 2002 by Roy Rivenburg
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