May 1, 2002


Porcelain Gods and Monsters

By Roy Rivenburg
Godzilla Blues: It isn’t easy being a monster. You can never find suits in your size, even at Big and Tall stores. Car seats won’t slide back far enough to give you proper leg room. And for toilet paper, you’re pretty much limited to circus tents, Astroturf football fields and Christo art projects.

Fortunately, a solution might be at hand. In Green Bay, Wis., better known as the ‘‘toilet tissue capital of the planet,’’ officials have unveiled the world’s largest roll of Quilted Northern toilet paper -- 7 feet tall by 5 feet wide.

The jumbo TP was created as part of a 100th birthday celebration for Quilted Northern bath tissue. There’s also a museum exhibit. Green Bay’s Neville Museum (www.nevillepublicmuseum.org), which just hosted a retrospective on the history of beer brewing in northern Wisconsin, now presents ‘‘Privy to the Past: Inside America’s Most Private Room.’’ The displays include a life-size replica of an ancient Roman latrine, a reconstructed outhouse, several ornate Victorian toilets and a 1935 advertisement proclaiming Northern toilet paper to be ‘‘splinter-free!’’

Alarming Trends Bureau: Former child actors Butch Patrick and Lisa Loring, who played Eddie Munster and Wednesday Addams on ‘‘The Munsters’’ and ‘‘The Addams Family,’’ were recently seen kissing in public, according to the New York Post. Sounds like the makings of a new sitcom.

Truth in Advertising Bureau: A panhandler in Southern California was spotted last week walking up to cars with a hand-lettered cardboard sign that read, ‘‘Baby Needs New Shoes.’’ When that didn’t work, he flipped the sign over to display another message: ‘‘Why Lie? I Want A Beer!’’

Quote of the Week: From columnist David Allen, commenting on the 48 ingredients inside Burger King’s new vegetarian hamburger, including sodium acid pyrophosphate, hydrolized corn gluten and ‘‘grill flavor’’: ‘‘Isn’t it great to see fast food go natural?’’

Weird Polls Bureau: One out of three Americans would refuse to kiss someone with a unibrow, according to a survey by Orbit White gum.

In other polling news, the bathroom accessory most likely to cause males to curse is the fuzzy toilet seat cover whenever it causes the lid to fall down midstream, according to Men’s Health magazine. Also, the most popular fictional bathroom character among males is the Scrubbing Bubbles. Sorry, Ty-D-Bowl man.

Lawsuit of the Week: A German man who ran up a $2,500 cell phone bill making calls to a sex line is suing his cellular company, claiming he wouldn’t have amassed the charges if the company had blocked him from reaching the sex line’s number.

TV Progress: G4, a new cable TV network devoted to videogames, debuted by showing a nonstop match of Pong, the world’s first videogame, 24 hours a day for an entire week. Sadly, it was probably more interesting than 75 percent of what’s on TV these days.

Mark Your Calendars: May 6 is International Tuba Awareness Day.

Off-Kilter Encyclopedia: The first nonstop flight from New York to California occurred in 1923 and lasted 27 hours. Good thing it didn’t involve Southwest Airlines, where the in-flight meal consists of a bag of peanuts.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Noah’s Ark Found on Mars!’’ (Weekly World News)

Bonus headline, also from WWN: ‘‘Civil War Portrait Yells ‘Fire!’ ... and Saves Two Families From Death in Burning Homes!’’

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Chicago Sun-Times.

Copyright 2002 by Roy Rivenburg
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