January 31, 2001

Praising the Lord and
Keeping in Tune
with the Times

By Roy Rivenburg
Hey Judas: Going to church is a tonic for the soul but -- let's face it -- many of the hymns are hopelessly out of date. If only there were religious versions of such contemporary songs as ''Smokin' in the Boys Room'' and the theme from ''Mr. Ed.''

Voila. A Christian website, www.ultranet.com/~mari, has revamped the lyrics to dozens of secular songs. Nirvana's ''Smells Like Teen Spirit'' has been resurrected as ''Smells Like Holy Spirit.'' Creedence Clearwater Revival's ''Bad Moon Rising'' has been reborn as ''Son of God Arising.'' And Chumbawamba's ''Tubthumping'' has been redeemed as ''Bible Thumping.''

Other Christianized tunes include the theme song from ''Mr. Ed'' (''The Lord is the Lord, of course, of course, and no one can talk to the Lord, of course, that is, of course, unless you're saved and your Lord is Jesus Christ!''), Brownsville Station's ''Smokin' in the Boys' Room'' (now a school-voucher-friendly ''Prayin' in the Classroom'') and ''Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,'' which has been recast as an anti-Catholic rant: ''Papal bulls, indulgences and transubstantiation. Speak your mind against them and face excommunication. Nail your theses to the door, let's start a Reformation. Papal bulls, indulgences and transubstantiation!''

Meanwhile, for those who prefer songs with a political bent, the WB show ''Histeria'' has reworked the lyrics from ''Shaft'' into a song about a dead president (''Who's the presidential one, who almost weighs a quarter ton? Taft! Can you dig it?''). And the story of the Civil War is sung to the theme from ''The Brady Brunch.''

Weird Polls Bureau: Twelve percent of car owners buy Valentine's Day cards for their automobiles, according to a survey by Progressive Auto Insurance.

Alarming Trends Bureau: Three more reasons why space aliens will soon destroy planet Earth:

Willie Nelson has recorded a rap version of ''On the Road Again,'' due for release Feb. 13.
Barbara Eden popped out of a life-size genie bottle in Las Vegas this week to promote Mattel's new ''I Dream of Jeannie'' Barbie doll. The toy is the latest in a series that includes ''Star Trek'' Ken, and a Morticia and Gomez Barbie and Ken modeled after ''The Addams Family.''
An Idaho disc jockey has offered ex-Attorney General Janet Reno $500,000 to pose nude.

This Week in History: Inspired by George W. Bush's effort to improve the quality of education in America, Off-Kilter is proud to introduce a new feature in which we offer snapshots of world history. By focusing on pivotal moments from the past -- such as the Battle of Waterloo or the discovery of electricity -- we hope to boost public appreciation for learning. This week's Great Moment in History: On Feb. 7, 1965, Beatle George Harrison's tonsils were removed at a London hospital.

Career Counseling Bureau: Contemplating a career change? Better check your pantry. A new study by the Chicago-based Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation says your favorite snack food may determine your job skills. For example, potato chip lovers make good lawyers or executives, while popcorn freaks are predisposed toward careers as teachers or neurosurgeons, according to researcher Alan Hirsch. Tortilla chip fans should be farmers or news anchors. Pretzel people make good journalists or firefighters. And cheese curl aficionados are adept at psychiatry and selling real estate.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ''126 Reasons You Should Never Get Drunk at a Tattoo Convention!'' (Weekly World News)

Unpaid Informants: www.inside.com, Chris Willman, www.angelfire.com/tv/enhist/histsong/histsong.html, the Oregonian, Wireless Flash News Service.

Copyright 2000 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by
Creators Syndicate