Oct. 23, 2002

Karaoke for Peace

By Roy Rivenburg
Nobel Error: Like most Americans, we were shocked when this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to former President Jimmy Carter. It’s not that Carter isn’t a nice man. It’s just that his diplomatic skills pale in comparison to techno musician Moby, who recently posted a journal entry on his Website that says the best way to avert war between the United States and Iraq would be to have Saddam Hussein and President Bush hang out together in a dive bar, ‘‘drinking beer, throwing darts and doing karaoke.’’ Then they would realize ‘‘it’s a lot nicer to be decent and civil,’’ Moby said.

We know what you’re thinking: How can anyone seriously suggest that Moby deserves the Nobel Peace Prize? OK, you might have a point. We just received a press release about an even bigger peace breakthrough led by Mojo, a 6-inch gingerbread Eskimo man and his five-dog gingerbread sled team. ‘‘Mojo invites people across the nation to promote peace within their homes, schools and places of business,’’ says thedbcafe.com, a web page promoting Mojo’s nationwide peace tour. ‘‘Mojo claims that the world would be a better place if more people ate cookies.’’

Alarming Trends Bureau: The Washington sniper isn’t the only thing to be terrified about these days:

-- Peter Falk will reprise his Columbo role in a new made-for-TV movie titled ‘‘Columbo Likes the Nightlife,’’ in which the rumpled detective visits a rave party.
-- A men’s suit jacket covered with rubber bees is being auctioned by Sothebys.com for an estimated $2,000. It was a prop in ‘‘The X-Files.’’
-- The town of Olney, Ill., is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the day two albino squirrels were captured by farmers and sold to a local tavern.
-- The keepers of the Pillsbury Doughboy have started a contest in which the top prize is a visit from the Doughboy on your birthday.
-- Modern Bride magazine says the hot new trend in weddings is to hire the ‘‘Let’s get ready to rumble’’ announcer from boxing matches to record a personalized announcement for the reception.
-- Counterculture comedian Cheech Marin has announced he will display his personal art collection at a gallery show sponsored by Target.

Bad Timing Award: The cover of the October issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine declares, ‘‘Bali: Still Paradise.’’

Off-Kilter Reading Room: College students often get saddled with mind-numbing textbooks and reading materials. By the time the holidays roll around, they’re desperate for something light and breezy. But trashy novels are too passe. Allow us to make some recommendations, culled from selected scientific journals:

-- ‘‘Antiadhesive Effect of Green and Roasted Coffee on Streptococcus Mutans’ Adhesive Properties on Saliva-Coated Hydroxyapatite Beads’’ (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)
-- ‘‘Pink Teeth of the Dead: II Minor Variations’’ (Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology)
-- ‘‘On the Fine Structure of the Stink Glands of the Fire Bug’’ (Zeitschrift fur Zellforschung und Mikroskopische Anatomie)
-- ‘‘A Case of a 360 Degree Exuberant Trabeculectomy Bleb’’ (Eye)

Weird Polls: Nine out of 10 parents admit to stealing their children’s Halloween candy, according to a survey by the National Confectioners Association. Chocolate bars are the most popular theft item.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Iraqi Sub Prowling Lake Michigan!’’ (Weekly World News)

Bonus headline, also from the geniuses at WWN: ‘‘Man Sues For Custody of Wife’s Breast Implants in Bitter Divorce! ‘I Paid for Them, So They’re Technically Mine,’ Says Irate Hubby!’’

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, PR Newswire, Roadsideamerica.com, Improbable.com, the Oregonian’s Edge column (belated).

Copyright 2001 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by
Creators Syndicate