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Ghoulish thoughts for Halloween

QUESTION: My friend says Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and B.J. West, political fund-raiser for Gov. Martinez, are sisters. I say they're the same person. Which of us is right? MR. KNOWLEDGE: A. You're both wrong. They're cousins. Identical cousins, and you'll find they laugh alike, they walk alike, at times they even talk alike; you can lose your mind when cousins are two of a kind.

Q: I'm really sick and tired of those ridiculous telephone company commercials on TV. You know, Company A makes a claim about how the service stinks at Company B, and then two weeks later, Company B disputes it and tells Company A to lighten up. And so on, and so on, ad nauseam. When will this madness end, and what can I do about it?

A: It will end when it reaches its logical conclusion, which is a gangland-style war between rival phone companies. It will be a long, drawn-out struggle, pitting neighbor against neighbor, brother against brother. When it's all over, PBS will do a weeklong documentary about it, and people from the losing side will whine that the report was biased.

One way you, as a concerned citizen, can help avert hostilities is to change phone companies like you change underwear _ every six or seven days. Go with Sprint one week, MCI the next, and then switch to AT&T. Then inform AT&T that your psychic powers are so good now that you don't need a phone. You just close your eyes and receive all sorts of messages _ even from dead people. The phone company could never do that.

The result will be that the phone companies will be so frightened and confused they'll forget all about acting like a bunch of 6-year-olds and begin concentrating on what they should be doing _ giving us decent service at a fair and reasonable rate.

Nah.

Q: Which one is Karpov? Is he the guy who defected, or was that Kasparov? I keep getting those chess guys confused.

A: Karpov is the guy with the little wire going into his ear who always seems to be adjusting his tie clip _ especially when planes pass overhead.

Q: I understand that Tampa Bay Bucs announcer/pro wrestler/fashion plate Jesse "The Body" Ventura is running for mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minn., a small town near Minneapolis. Personally, I think the guy is great, even if he does sound like a cross between Ralph Kramden and George of the Jungle. My question is this: will Ventura have to leave here and establish permanent residence in Minnesota if he wins the election?

A: Yes. According to Minnesota statute 1143.47, "People who have absurd or ridiculous nicknames and who begin all their sentences with "But I gotta tell ya,' must live year-round in the cities in which they were elected mayor."

This has prompted thousands of Tampa Bay sports fans to call Brooklyn Park and plead with voters to elect Ventura. In addition, many fans are demanding that co-announcer Al Keck and Bucs head coach Ray Perkins also run for mayor of a small town in Minnesota.

Q: How can I dress up for Halloween? Got any ideas?

A: Several come to mind. You could go as:

Dan Quayle _ Carry golf clubs and remark, "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind. How true that is." Forget why you rang the doorbell and leave empty-handed.

Saddam Hussein _ Dress like a bellhop, smile a lot and repeat, "Hostages? No, no. These terrified people imprisoned over here are our guests." Then make the person who answers the door beg for his life.

S&L or oil company executive _ Wear an Italian suit, lots of jewelry and stuff money and airline tickets to Switzerland in your pockets. Apologize as you make homeowners give you all the candy _ and money _ in the house.

Roseanne Barr _ Wear Dom DeLuise costume, play a tape of cats fighting, knock down the person who answers the door and eat everything in the house.

Nancy Reagan _ Wear an evening gown, smile insincerely and take an astrologer with you. After ringing the doorbell, take over the day-to-day operation of the house. Blame shortage of candy on the media.

Up next:PERSEVERES

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