Not A Weak Week For News

President Bush and former President Clinton at Mr. Bush's inauguration
Some people might say that the past week or so has been a "slow news" period. The stock market didn't crash, nobody declared that broccoli was hazardous to our health, and Anna Nicole Smith was not given the news anchor job at any of the major networks. However, rather than one spectacular story, there were several smaller stories that warrant our attention.

President Bush, in a rare public address, revealed his theory for how to prevent forest fires: get rid of the forests. He felt that we would have fewer fires if we just didn't have so many trees. Needless to say, this proclamation pleased the timber industry, but disappointed environmentalists and practitioners of common sense.

I didn't have a fancy Ivy League education like the president, but I can't help thinking that there is a flaw in this kind of "logic." I understand that it's true that if we chopped off our heads, we would never have another headache. If we got rid of all the skyscrapers, no hijacked airplane would ever smash into a skyscraper again. And, of course, if we didn't have any politicians, we would never have to worry about remarks like those of the president.

President Clinton was also in the news — a place he loves to inhabit. Once again, there were rumors about the possibility of his hosting a daytime television talk show. I only have one question about it: what for? The entire last year of his Presidency was a daytime television talk show. President Clinton has already covered all of the themes usually reserved for the lowest of these shows.

There was the "I Cheated On My Wife" episode, which came on the heels of "I Didn't Cheat On My Wife." There were the "Faith Healed Me" and the "Trailer Park Women" episodes. And there was the cautionary one entitled, "Cigars Can Only Lead To Trouble."

What's left for him to talk about? And what could he call his new show? So many of the appropriate titles have been taken: "West Wing," "Married... With Children," "Law and Order," "The Young And The Restless," "The Man Show," "Bloopers," "The Wire," "Clueless," and of course, MTV's "Jackass."

In other news, Georgia stepped back in time by ensuring that both creationism and evolution will be taught as equally valid theories. There is no truth to the rumor that the theory that the earth revolves around the sun will be taught equally with the theory that the sun is a golden chariot.

Speaking of the sun, a woman in Ohio was arrested for allowing her three children to get sunburned. The arrest and jailing took place despite doctors declaring that the sunburn was not particularly severe. I must have gotten sunburned once or twice when I was a kid. I wonder if I can sue my mom now for such neglect? And how about that time I skinned my knee? Shouldn't she have been jailed?

Another sun-related item was in the area of pharmaceutical research. Scientists have developed a pill that will make us look tan. A side effect is that it makes the user sexually excited. Tan and sexually excited all from the same pill! I guess that means that in the future, people won't have to leave their bedrooms to get tan, or go into their bedrooms to get sexy. Once scientists perfect a medicine so we can go without sleep, architects will be able to do away with the bedroom altogether. In fact, the homes of the future will consist of just one huge medicine cabinet.

A company in Chicago is making diamonds from cremated human remains. The carbon in the ashes is heated and pressurized into a small diamond. A quarter carat will cost you $4,000. Then you can have your loved one set in a pendant or a ring. In the past, men have proposed to women saying, "This was my grandmother's ring." Now, when they hand their fiancée the ring, they'll be able to say, "This was my grandmother."

See? There was news in the news.

Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover.

By Lloyd Garver