Feb. 14, 2001

Missing Remotes and
Migraine Masterpieces

By Roy Rivenburg

Font of Knowledge Bureau: People keep saying what a boon the Internet is to civilization. To which we reply: Then how do you account for actor Gary Coleman having his own advice column at ugo.com, where he is known as ‘‘the miniature master of love’’?

Which reminds us, it’s time for another installment of Dear Off-Kilter, the column that answers reader queries about science, art, religion and where nudists shop for Slurpees. (Answer: Canada, where an Ontario entrepreneur recently opened the world’s first clothing-optional convenience store, bringing new meaning to the term ‘‘strip mall.’’)

Question: I cannot find my TV remote. Do you know where it is?
Answer: Ask your dog. According to MrRemoteControls.com, ‘‘dogs are devouring remote controls’’ and/or burying them in the backyard like bones. ‘‘It’s also not unusual for us to hear about birds and even rabbits destroying a remote. Birds love to peck at them and rabbits seem to have a special affection for the rubber keypad buttons.’’

Question: As an artist, I strive to create paintings that convey a pulsating or throbbing pain, visual disturbances and nausea or vomiting. Is there a market for my work?
Answer: It sounds perfect for an NEA grant. Or you could enter the National Headache Foundation’s new Migraine Masterpieces art contest, which seeks paintings that ‘‘communicate the pain and suffering associated with migraines.’’ Winners will be showcased in Chicago this June.

Question: I am reading ‘‘Kelly’s Quest,’’ the new novel by ‘‘Beverly Hillbillies’’ star Buddy Ebsen. Woooo doggy! I think Jed Clampett is a literary genius, especially in the scenes about ‘‘Kelly’s well-formed, jeans-filling derriere’’ and the ‘‘brief flashes of nakedness from beneath the covers and panting, moaning sounds from the girl’s parted lips.’’ How are critics reacting to the book?
Answer: Most are experiencing a pulsating or throbbing pain, visual disturbances and nausea or vomiting.

Question: What is the groundhog translation for the phrase ‘‘George Bush’s tax-cut plan’’?
Answer: According to the interactive English-to-groundhogese dictionary at Punxsutawneyphil.com, the correct translation is, ‘‘Urp Chirp’hehaa grunt-ehteht ooat.’’

Question: In 1975, Bruce Springsteen somehow landed on the covers of both Time and Newsweek. What is the 2001 equivalent?
Answer: Ned Flanders and ‘‘The Simpsons’’ simultaneously appearing on the covers of Christianity Today and Christian Century.

Question: The New York Post claims Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise are divorcing because she doesn’t want to raise their kids as Scientologists. If that’s true, how will they resolve the custody battle?
Answer: According to comedy writer Susan Isaacs, ‘‘the children will spend their school years at Kidman’s ranch in Australia, and the next 500 eons on Cruise’s planet Zoltax in the Thetan galaxy KWON.’’

Quote of the Week: From Chicago columnist Zay N. Smith, comparing a news item about singer Eminem’s invitation to perform at the Grammys to a headline about the Ku Klux Klan’s unwelcome rally in Indiana: ‘‘Note to the KKK: You wouldn’t have the problems you do if you just did everything you do in rap.’’

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Cars of the Future Will Run on Hazelnuts!’’ (Weekly World News)
Bonus headline, also from WWN: ‘‘Satan’s Pitchfork Found!’’

Unpaid Informants: PR Newswire, Internetwire.com, Wireless Flash News Service, Chris Willman.

Copyright 2001 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by
Creators Syndicate