WHEN IT comes to the news of the day, I confess I am a victim of lowered expectations and sorely in need of an attitude adjustment.
Every morning, I unfurl the daily blab foolishly hoping for some good news. Maybe a headline proclaiming "Peace in the Middle East" or maybe even a cure for the common cold.
Warily, I scan page one for assurance that Bill Clinton made it through the night without being accused of assaulting the entire soprano section of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
More and more, I find myself responding to the news with comments such as "Lord, help us" and "Who cares?"
Here's how it works.
Lord, help us: According to news reports, the National Security Agency in Maryland, the espionage entity that analyzes telephone taps and electronic intercepts picked up from around the world, has issued a "Furby Alert," warning employees to leave their cyberpets at home lest its computer chip (the one that allows it to repeat anything it has heard) defect and start blabbing classified information.
Shall we ask the obvious question, folks? Like, what are we doing with a network of spies who carry their stuffed toys to work?
Who cares?: A 47-year-old wholesale steel distributor from Bucks County, Pa., paid $255,000 for O.J. Simpson's second-hand Heisman Trophy. He did it to impress his girlfriend, who hadn't been paying much attention to him lately.
Now, in the words of the new owner who has taped his name over O.J.'s and called in the media for a photo op, his lady is "totally impressed."
Wow! Me, too! (Talk about a pair of empty suits.)
Lord, help us: According to the Detroit Free Press, an assembly-line worker at the DaimlerChrysler AG glass plant in Detroit was arrested by FBI agents after being identified by her supervisor as the woman photographed robbing a bank in Bloomfield Hills. The accused's elegant, designer wardrobe and sunglasses were her undoing.
But guess what? Despite federal prosecutors' pleas to have the accused armed robber jailed, the judge released her to the custody of her family in lieu of a $10,000 personal bond -- AND she'll be back on the job taking orders from the person who turned her in. Talk about "labor relations"!
Who cares?: Teammate grumbles Rodman is turning Lakers into traveling circus.
Is it Rodman's purple and gold hair he's objecting to?
Lord, help us: The Washington Post writes that the 2000 presidential race is rapidly turning into a "mammoth spending spree" with candidates attempting to intimidate poor folks out of the running by raising astronomical amounts of campaign funds early. Vice President Al Gore, we're told, plans to "exploit every available legal loophole" to reach his goal of $55 million.
That would sure feed a lot of hungry folks.
Who cares?: Texas governor and presidential hopeful George W. Bush admits to having been a hard-drinking party animal. His daddy and former president, George, tells us his son was never an alcoholic, he just can't hold his liquor.
This is the way it's going to be from now on, so we'd better get used to it -- declaration followed by confession and contrition. Ho-hum.
Lord, help us: Smilin' Jerry Falwell is out to save the world from gay Teletubbies. The good reverend has denounced Tinky Winky because he's purple, because he carries a purse, and because he wears a triangle on his head.
It must be depressing viewing the world through evil-tinted glasses.
And finally, from Columbus, Ohio: City crews sent out to remove snow and ice from the statehouse grounds before Gov. Bob Taft's inauguration last month wrecked the joint to the tune of $1 million in damages.
Snowplows broke 66 granite sidewalk stones and three curbs, chipped or gouged at least 1,476 feet of curb, uprooted and dented an anchored trash can, and bent a sign. The city's street maintenance manager says he isn't aware of any damage.
Nice day's work, guys!
I'm telling you, folks, it's laugh or perish. If we get serious, the news will make us nuts.
Elizabeth Schuett writes for Cox News Service.
Pub Date: 03/07/99