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Election wear with attitude

Mark Warda has been collecting campaign buttons for years. So he recently started Button Headquarters, which sells buttons for $1 to $20 at 1725 S Clearwater-Largo Road in Clearwater.

Among the buttons:

Adulterers for Clinton.

"We are the most powerful planet on Earth" _ Quayle.

Elect the underachievers in '92. (Pictures of Bart Simpson and Dan Quayle.)

Quayle: (n.) a dumb bird seen primarily in Washington, D.C., and at funerals.

Help make Gov. Moonbeam President Moonbeam.

Blow Bill, Blow. (Picture of Clinton playing a saxophone.)

(Ross Perot's picture on a billion-dollar bill.)

Pardon me . . . but I prefer Ford in '92. (Picture of former President Ford.)

His next sign: "HELP ME STUDY'

Louis Rangel was hoping that a passing motorist would lead him to a job. Now he's hoping for a passing grade. Rangel is the guy who took out a billboard on N Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa this summer that read: "HIRE ME!" He got about 50 calls, including one from Independent Financial Associates. But before becoming a mortgage broker, he must pass a test to get licensed. He's got two chances, and if he fails, there's always the sign. "It was a good idea," Rangel said.

Not just road kill material

If you've ever felt sorry for the legions of squashed armadillos _ those roadside reminders of mortality _ or are somehow attracted to the homely little armored creature, "Dillo Man" Bob Graessle has the organization for you. Graessle founded the International Order of the Armadillo about a decade ago because of his love of the primitive mammal. Some 1,200 armadillo aficionados have signed up. "There are a lot of people out there fascinated with armadillos, from Supreme Court justices to rock 'n' roll stars to everyday people," Graessle said. "I always get calls from conference planners wanting to plan our convention for us. I always say we are afraid to cross the road," he said. Members join with $20 and get a decal, a membership card and a sheet containing myths, legends and facts on the armadillo. "The less ignorance there is about armadillos, the less they will be ridiculed," said Graessle. The address is P.O. Box 60305, Jacksonville FL 32236.

Calendar

Thousands across the country will either celebrate or protest today, the 500th anniversary of Columbus' landing at the Bahamian island of Guanahani, which he named El Salvador and claimed in the name of the Spanish crown. Today also is International Moment of Frustration Scream Day. Sponsors invite everyone to go out at 8 a.m. and scream for 30 seconds. Other notable events and anniversaries this week include: Monday: The birthdays of Luciano Pavarotti, 57, and Tony Kubek, 56. Tuesday: The cornerstone of the White House was laid this day in 1792; Margaret Thatcher is 65. Wednesday: Lillian Gish is 96; C. Everett Coop is 75. Thursday: Spy, strip-teaser and courtesan Mata Hari (Margaret Gertrude Zell) was executed this day in 1917 after throwing a kiss to the firing squad; Tito Jackson is 39. Friday: The first birth control clinic in the United States opened this day in 1916 in New York City; Suzanne Sommers is 46. Saturday: Arthur Miller is 77. Sunday: Chuck Berry (Charles Edward Anderson) is 66; Mike Ditka is 53; Jesse Helms is 77.

Sources and contributors: Curtis Krueger, Paul De La Garza, Chase's Annual Events.

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