June 26, 2002


A Log Cabin That Isn't Syrup

By Roy Rivenburg
Surreal Estate: Sometimes a man’s home is his castle -- and sometimes it’s his prefabricated log cabin. At least, that’s the theory behind Blue Ridge Log Cabins, a company that builds mobile homes that look like something out of the Old West. The wooden structures also include such pioneer-era amenities as microwave ovens, double-glazed windows, cathedral ceilings and electric stoves.

It’s an intriguing concept, but why limit it to log cabins? How about trailer-park homes that resemble Medieval castles (complete with prefab moats filled with plastic alligators), igloos, Egyptian pyramids, teepees, skyscrapers, the White House, thatched huts and adobe buildings?

Zombie Central: In its 65-year run on radio and TV, the soap opera ‘‘Guiding Light’’ has had 10 characters come back from the dead.

Stir Crazy: If Martha Stewart goes to prison for insider trading, here are seven ways to improve life behind bars:

-- Decorative shivs
-- Doilies on the electric chair
-- Topiaries made from cigarettes
-- Twinkle lights strung around the bars of her cell
-- Window coverings fashioned from dental floss
-- Orange jumpsuits changed to paprika
-- Parole: It’s a good thing.

Alarming Trends Bureau: An armpit beauty pageant will be held July 2 in New York. The underarm contest is sponsored by Dove deodorant.

Disco-Era Savior: If Jesus had been born in 1970 instead of 33 BC, what would he be like? According to the movie ‘‘Joshua’’ he’d still be a carpenter (although the film doesn’t say whether he’d build log cabin mobile homes). The thoroughly modern Messiah would also ‘‘peel off blues guitar licks to ingratiate himself with troubled teens, use the word ‘sucks’ and say ‘Take care’ a lot,’’ according to a film review in Entertainment Weekly magazine. ‘‘And he’d act as a corporate shill; we’re told not once but twice that the Son of God orders Christian rock CDs through the Columbia House Music Club.’’

Modern Literature Bureau: From the company that brought us ‘‘Cajun Night Before Christmas,’’ in which Santa’s sleigh is powered by eight flying alligators, now comes ‘‘Blanchette Et Les Sept Petits Cajuns.’’ That’s French for ‘‘A Cajun Snow White.’’ The plot? A jealous voodoo queen lures Blanchette into the Atchafalaya Swamp, where she meets seven little Cajuns.

Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for ‘‘Chicken Gumbo for the Soul’’ and ‘‘Cajun-22,’’ a Southern remake of ‘‘Catch-22.’’

Off-Kilter Encyclopedia of Useless Knowledge: Nondairy creamer is flammable. Or inflammable, whichever you prefer. In other dairy-related trivia, the Washington Post reports that Cleopatra regularly bathed in donkey’s milk.

The Color Purple Redux: M&Ms has chosen the color of Barney for the next addition to its candy lineup.

Philosophical Question of the Week: From niftyness.com, ‘‘If the early bird gets the worm, what incentive do worms have to wake up early? Death?’’

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Two-Headed Man Runs for Mayor ... Against Himself!’’ (Weekly World News)

Already, the campaign has turned nasty, with the dueling noggins interrupting each other’s speeches and disclosing embarrassing secrets about their respective bathroom habits and sex lives. At a recent campaign rally, one head said: ‘‘My opponent is a liar and a creep.’’

Unpaid Informants: Baltimore Sun, Wireless Flash News Service, Ann Harrison, Elena Howe, ‘‘The Junk Food Companion’’ by Eric Spitznagel.


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