July 3, 2002


Picking Up Where Ann Landers Left Off

By Roy Rivenburg
Bum Advice Bureau: Even though Ann Landers wrote enough columns before her death to last through July 27, she still left behind a big stack of unopened mail. So we volunteered to answer some of the letters she couldn’t get to:

Dear Ann: If one dog year is equal to seven human years, can my 3-year-old pet labrador, Fluffy, legally buy me a six-pack of beer? I’m a college freshman in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and I could really use a drink.
--SOUTHERN DISCOMFORT

Dear Southern: Yes, Fluffy can buy booze, but be careful about letting him party with you. According to the book ‘‘You May Not Tie an Alligator to a Fire Hydrant,’’ which describes weird laws that are actually on the books, it’s illegal to get an animal drunk in public in Tuscaloosa. So, if Fluffy wants to get a little buzzed, that’s OK; just don’t let him get wasted.

Dear Ann: Now that John Lennon and George Harrison are dead, should I abandon all hope for a Beatles reunion?
--FAB FOUR FREAK

Dear Freak: Absolutely not. Thanks to Bob Abdou of Norcross, Ga., John and George can easily be replaced -- by marionettes. Abdou is the world’s only Beatles ventriloquist and his Lennon and Harrison puppets are ready to rock anytime, anywhere.

Dear Ann: My wife, Sarah, and I have been trying to have children for decades, without luck. Any advice?
--ABRAHAM

Dear Abe: Try ebunintheoven.com. Rather than go through the hassles of childbirth, diapers and college tuition, you simply pay $30 to ‘‘impregnate’’ your beloved via e-mail. She will then receive biweekly updates on weight gain and fetal development, including sonograms and recordings of the e-baby’s heartbeat. Best of all, the gestation period is just three months -- and instead of a helpless infant who keeps you up all night, you get a coffee mug imprinted with a cartoon bambino.

Dear Ann: I might have to move soon from a large, well-appointed mansion to a one-room apartment in a ‘‘gated community.’’ Do you have any decorating tips?
--MARTHA STEWART

Dear Martha: According to a recent article in the Baltimore Sun, astrology is the hot new trend in interior design. For example, people who are Pisces, a water sign, should paint their walls turquoise and install indoor sprinklers. People born under the sign of Gemini, whose symbol is the twin, should buy two of everything and keep the objects side by side in each room: chairs, beds, TVs, paintings, stoves, etc.
Also, don’t forget to check the manufacture date of every piece of furniture to be sure it is astrologically compatible with the rest of the decor in the room. You don’t want to put a Libra couch near a Sagitarius coffee table or a Taurus home entertainment system.

CONFIDENTIAL TO BOB IN MUSKEGON: Poison oak and poison ivy both belong to the cashew family.

Dear Ann: What is this week’s supermarket tabloid headline of the week?
-- ELVIS

Dear Elv: I’m glad you asked. As usual, this week’s top headline comes from the Weekly World News. The winner is: ‘‘Gal Dumps Hubby for CPR Dummy! ‘He’s Good-Looking, a Great Listener -- and He Doesn’t Hog the Television Remote!’ ’’
The runner-up headline, also from WWN, was: ‘‘Robot Priests! Pope’s Secret Plan to Stop Sex Scandals by Using Mechanical Holy Men!’’

Bonus Link: Inquiring minds want to know: Will Martha Stewart go to the slammer for insider trading and, if she does, who will take her place? To find out, we constructed a time machine using metal alloys we mined ourselves with a melon baller, physics equations we derived while baking cranberry-pecan tarts and jet fuel we hand-pumped from a backyard oil well and refined with a salad spinner.
To read the rest of our story in the July 1 Los Angeles Times, click here.

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, PR Newswire, ‘‘Uncle John’s Absolutely Absorbing Bathroom Reader.’’


Copyright 2002 by Roy Rivenburg
Off-Kilter is syndicated to newspapers in the U.S. and overseas by
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