July 19, 2000

Emperor Chic: Splash
It On or Just Splash In

By Roy Rivenburg

Toilet Waterloo: Life in America is pretty cushy these days. The economy is on amphetamines, creature comforts abound and Martha Stewart has finally taught the world how to brighten a room with festive eggshell votives.

There's just one thing missing: swimming pools that smell like a dead French emperor.

Fortunately, the technology to fill this vacuum is almost at hand. A company called Cosmalia has introduced AquaScents, a line of fragrances for swimming pools. Now you can eliminate that unpleasant chlorine odor and replace it with "delicately perfumed and enticing" scents of strawberry, pine, citronella, coconut-vanilla or bubblegum, according to the company's website, www.cosmalia.com.

We know what you're thinking: "So what? I want my pool to smell like Napoleon, not bubblegum."

Well, here's the kicker. Cosmalia is the same company that recently reconstructed the cologne worn by France's infamous dead dictator, using a formula of "fruit gasolines and aromatic plants" passed down by his valet and preserved in a locked vault in Paris.

We can only hope the company will use this knowledge for good, not evil, and create a Waterloo AquaScent.

Alarming Trends Bureau: A robot dog due to land in stores Oct. 1 will be sold with a miniature magnetic flea.

Roll Models: Consumer Reports must be running out of products to test. On the heels of its landmark ratings of fruitcakes and chicken-noodle soups, the magazine's August issue features a comparison study of toilet papers.

The survey rated 30 brands of TP for strength, absorption and ability to withstand a 35 mph crash. OK, maybe we lied about the crash test, but the article did examine such pressing issues as one-ply vs. two-ply and Quilted Northern's claim of leaving less lint than Charmin.

Honey, I Shrunk the Office: Feeling claustrophobic at work? It's not necessarily your imagination. According to a report in Wired magazine, the standard office cubicle has shrunk by as much as 50% in recent years, down to an average of 30 square feet in the Silicon Valley.

By way of comparison, most coffins measure 15 square feet and the typical prison cell at San Quentin is a spacious 70 square feet.

But not to worry. You can soothe that sardine feeling at work by adding a row of festive eggshell votive candles.

Souffle City: A Los Angeles chef with nothing better to do has announced plans to bake the world's largest souffle on Friday. The 200-foot-long creation will contain 3,000 eggs, 60 pounds of butter, 30 gallons of milk, 100 pounds of cheese, 450 pounds of vegetables -- and will be big enough to hold an entire floor of Silicon Valley office cubicles.

Hollywood Etiquette Bureau: Some people get so starstruck around celebrities that they can barely function. But there's a simple cure. Just remember that celebrities are no different from anyone else.

For example, Ashley Judd will only drink water if it's exactly 72 degrees, according to Movieline magazine. And Jennifer Lopez brings her own bedsheets to hotels because she can't stand to sleep on anything with a thread count below 250. (She once had boyfriend Puff Daddy shoot a maid for using 249-count sheets.)

See? They're just plain folks like you and me.

Bonus Link: What would Jesus name a football team? See Roy Rivenburg's Los Angeles Times article Save the Crusaders? They Haven't Got a Prayer.

Best Supermarket Tabloid Headline: "Pigfoot! 14-Foot-Tall Boar is Bigger Than an Elephant and Eats Farm Animals Like Popcorn!" (Weekly World News)

Unpaid Informants: Baird Jones, www.dailycandy.com, www.ebworld.com, Wireless Flash News Service, San Francisco Chronicle.

Copyright © 14000 (using the dog-year calendar) by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by Creators Syndicate