Jan. 9, 2002

Off-Kilter Liquidation Sale!

By Roy Rivenburg
Everything Must Go!: It’s time for our big January clearance. All leftover random facts and trivia must be unloaded to make room for the 2002 models. We won’t be undersold!

-- C.M. Coolidge, the artist behind all those Dogs Playing Poker paintings, also wrote a comic opera about a New Jersey mosquito epidemic.
-- Humans who have been abducted by space aliens find it easier to quit smoking and stick to diets, according to UFO experts.
-- Shirley Temple’s hairdo always contained exactly 56 curls.
-- Harley-Davidson has opened a wedding chapel in Orlando, Fla., complete with Harley-themed wedding cakes and wedding rings -- and a leather-clad officiant to perform the ceremony. Couples may even enter the chapel aboard their motorcycles.
-- Alligators were once considered as a possible addition to Barnum’s Animal Crackers, but Nabisco officials decided the tails would break too easily.
-- When Betty Ford was First Lady, she used the CB radio handle ‘‘First Mama.’’
-- A boycott of plastic pink flamingos has been organized by the Museum of Bad Art and Improbable.com. Protesters are miffed that the signature of flamingo creator Don Featherstone was removed from the bottom of the plastic birds after he retired from the company that makes them, Union Products.
-- The world’s skinniest office building, located in Vancouver, British Columbia, measures 100 feet long by 4 feet wide.
-- The original name for Coca-Cola was Esteemed Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage.
-- Americans are apparently less worried than they used to be about being seen naked in the shower. The majority of shower doors now sold are clear glass, according to the Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association.
-- An untitled artwork that featured a plastic coffee cup and a ladybug attached to a piece of wood sold at auction in New York City for $30,000.
-- Pat Boone hopes to market his own line of white buck shoes.
-- In a 1992 poll on the appropriate use for fruitcake, 13 percent of Americans said ‘‘doorstop’’ and 4 percent said ‘‘landfill.’’

Quote of the Week: From the Albuquerque Journal: ‘‘My whole body is sore now. I feel like I got hit by a truck’’ -- Police officer Kenny Martinez of Santa Fe, N.M., after being hit by a truck. (Thanks to reader Jim Terr for sending this in.)

A New Great Awakening?: Some evangelists claim Sept. 11 touched off a wave of piety and spiritual devotion. Then again, consider the latest batch of religious products unearthed by our friends at Ship-of-fools.com. The merchandise includes: a Jesus toothbrush set; Jesus Saves Air Freshener; Born Again Glucosamine Pain Relieving Creme (and Born Again Vaginal Moisturizing Gel); Vatican-endorsed Christmas ornaments shaped like Pope John Paul II; ‘‘What Would Jesus Do’’ boxer shorts; a talking stuffed dog that utters Christian sayings; Jesus action figures; and a wind-up musical pillow emblazoned with Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco of God creating Adam (the music box inside plays ‘‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’’).

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Ventriloquist is in a Coma -- But His Dummy’s Still Talking!’’ (Weekly World News)

This week’s bonus headline sounds like something out of a supermarket rag, but it’s actually from Reuters, a mainstream news wire: ‘‘Legless Man Wanted in Pants Heist.’’

Unpaid Informants: Esquire magazine, PR Newswire, ‘‘10,000 Answers: The Ultimate Trivia Encyclopedia,’’ Wireless Flash News Service, Washington Post, Chicago Sun-Times, Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Copyright 2002 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by
Creators Syndicate