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Come and listen to a story . . .

With the rising popularity of books on tape, it's not surprising to find magazines on tape. Verb is an audio literary journal consisting of dramatic storytelling accompanied by original music. In the winter edition of Verb, for example, are three stories: a modern classic, "Inexorable Progress" by Mary Hood, and contributions from two unknowns, "Old Big Dog" by Zac Imboden and "Scenes From the Cafe de la Lune" by Nicole Williams. The latter story is read by the author, the other two by professional voices. This quarterly offers three to five stories per 90-minute issue. One issue, $10.95; one year/four issues, $38. Verb, Box 8336, Atlanta, GA 30306.

Speak up,

you hound dog!

Yeah, we know your dog already talks to you, but barking and whining doesn't really count. But with the new Pet Peeves' Talking Collar, your dog (or cat) can really greet you at the door and tell you about its day. The programed, watch-battery-operated collar made its debut at the Los Angeles Gift Show last month, and you'll get to see it soon at novelty stores this spring for about $25. The Talking Collar has eight sentences that range from "Feed me" to "Surprise, Bonehead, I can talk," and they play when the dog comes within 2 feet of a warm body, which could be you, the TV repairman or another dog. The conversation has 10-second intervals between sentences (so you can answer, obviously).

It replaces the

singing telegram

If you can't carry a tune, have someone else do it. Send-a-Tune Phone Greetings is a new service that will call your honey, play a romantic song and give a personalized 30-second voice greeting. You can choose from 60 songs, including Respect by Aretha Franklin, Just Called to Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder and My Girl by the Temptations. If this sounds like a line you'd like to try, use your touch-tone phone and call (800) 288-6348. They'll make the call for $8.95 and bill your credit card. Worried they'll call and he/she won't be there? The call is placed when you request it, but if the recipient isn't there, they'll keep calling until he/she answers.

_ Compiled from Times wires

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