Aug. 1, 2001

Mummy Murderers
and Designer Barf Bags

By Roy Rivenburg
Correction of the Week: From the Prague Post, ‘‘Last week’s column misidentified a source. The European Commission president is Romano Prodi, not Buffy the Vampire Slayer.’’

Lest you think we made that up, we'd like to note that this item came from the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mummy Dearest: At first, the mummy’s death was blamed on natural causes. But after a lengthy autopsy, scientists now believe that the 5,300-year-old frozen corpse uncovered 10 years ago in an Alpine glacier was killed by Col. Mustard, in the billiard room, with a primitive wrench. OK, not really. In truth, scientists say the mummy was shot in the thorax with an arrow. But the question of ‘‘who fired it -- a rival hunter, perhaps, or a warrior in battle -- is still under investigation,’’ according to the Los Angeles Times.

Because we can’t stand suspense, we borrowed Caltech’s experimental time machine to see how the mystery turns out. Our time-traveling journalist filed this report:

-- September: A spokesman for Gary Condit denies tabloid reports that the congressman was somehow involved in the slaying.
-- October: Police arrest a mummy suspect after a slow-speed car chase through the Alps.
-- November: The mummy pleads innocent, claiming that he was chipping golf balls at the time of the killing.
-- December: Although their memory is a bit fuzzy after 5,300 years, several witnesses testify that they saw a second arrow shooter on a grassy Alpine knoll. A mistrial is declared.
-- January: After enlarging cave drawings made at the time of the murder, police tentatively identify the second shooter as either Romano Prodi or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Get Out Your Charge Cards: Only one thing can jump-start the slumping U.S. economy: a frenzy of mindless consumer spending. Fortunately, inventors are rolling out five new products guaranteed to send Americans on the wildest shopping spree ever:

-- Anatomically correct Jim Morrison dolls, complete with leather pants and miniature microphones. According to Wireless Flash News, the $10 dolls will reach stores in September.
-- Handmade Louis XVI-style beds for dogs.
-- Italian shirts with sleeves that automatically roll up when the wearer gets too hot. Made from nylon and an alloy called nitinol, the shirts will be priced at an affordable $3,750 each.
-- Designer barf bags, commissioned by an Australian graphic artist. Puking has never been so hip.
-- Purple ketchup from Heinz. Coming to stores in September, it’s perfect for use with the designer barf bags.

Embryonic Journey: Reacting to news that Liverpool has renamed its airport after John Lennon (official new slogan: ‘‘Above us only sky’’) and New Orleans has rechristened its airport after Louis Armstrong, columnist David Allen suggests San Francisco rename its airport in honor of some native musicians who actually have a link to aviation: the Jefferson Airplane.

Mark Your Calendars: August is Whistling Appreciation Month and Zeppo Marx Awareness Month. It’s also a bad time for clown-phobes. International Clown Week is Aug. 1 through Aug. 7.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Grateful Dead Guru Jerry Garcia Faked His Death ... and Now He Lives With Michael Jackson’’ (Weekly World News)

Bonus headline, also from WWN: ‘‘Read Why Badgers Will Inherit the Earth!’’

Unpaid Informants:, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

Copyright 2001 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by
Creators Syndicate