December 31, 1990 12:00 PM

The one Jake

Jack Nicholson had to root in relative isolation after the Los Angeles Lakers raised ticket prices—up to $400 for seats in Jack’s neck of the woods. The Lakers, who sold out 39 of 41 home games last year, have sold out only 11 of 42 this season.

So why didn’t the Padres get one of them to sing the national anthem?

The makers of Frosty Paws, a dog dessert, conducted a poll showing that 3 percent of American pet owners believe their dogs can sing. (Ten percent said they were as attached to their pet as they were to their spouse.)

Come to think of it, in the long run it probably does have more significance than the discus throw

A gold medal was awarded at the Asian games to a cure for impotence that was taken from an herbal potion used in imperial China.

Then again, some people find a lot of meaning in the discus throw

The Chicago-based National Chastity Association said its membership has reached 400.

Come to think of it, you could have just as much fun in Bolivia anyway

Australian actor Paul Hogan quit his spokesman job for the Australian Tourism Commission, accusing the commission of reneging on verbal agreements. He also said he was sick of seeing his “throw another shrimp on the barbie” TV spots and told the commission. “Take it off, you nitwits.”

That does it. Does anyone have a soup recipe that calls for about 600 pounds of mozzarella-flavored turtle?

Some Touchstone Pictures ads for Pretty Woman featured the Ninja Turtles leering out from under sewer covers at Julia Roberts, saying such things as “She can sit on my shell anytime.”

Hear, Hear

Barbara Bush, responding to Wellesley College students who announced they were “outraged” at the choice of the First Lady as commencement speaker because her only achievements were through her husband: “I chose to live the life I’ve lived, and I think it’s been a fabulously exciting, interesting, involved life. In my day they probably would have been considered different. In their day I’m considered different. Vive la différence!”

Don’t have a cowabunga

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons skipped overexposure and went right to saturation as they generated huge spinoff revenues—estimated at $1 billion for the Turtles alone—from books, records, live shows, lunch boxes and more Bartabilia than you could shake a pepperoni pizza at.

Hear, Hear

In Texas’s gubernatorial campaign, Republican Clayton Williams said he would be ill at ease opposing Democrat Ann Richards because she was a woman. “I don’t want to be his mother,” Richards replied. “I want to be Governor of Texas.”

Can you spot the Huckster-mobile?

A commercial where a Volvo survived being run over by a “monster truck”—while other makes got smashed—proved to be a fraud. The commercial’s Volvo was reinforced, while the other cars were weakened, Volvo’s ad agency conceded.

Lift faster, Doc; Willie needs the money

Self-proclaimed doctor of frog psychology Bill Steed displayed his bench-pressing frog, Doc Holliday, at a series of state fairs. Doc’s sponsor is Willie Nelson, who was reported this year to owe the IRS $16.7 million.

That’s Mr. Prince, if you don’t mind

Pop-funk singer Prince announced that he would be producing a line of authorized products, including clothing, to be sold at such places as Penney’s. The whirring sound you hear is not one of Prince’s synthesizers, but old J.C., boogying in his grave.

Scene 1: Sagansky child says to Daddy, “You’re full of s—, but it has a relationship with reality”

CBS Entertainment President Jeff Sagansky, responding to criticism that many of CBS’s fall 1990 shows were tasteless, said of the line “You suck,” given to a 6-year-old girl on Uncle Buck, “Believe it or not. kids say that in homes all over America. We may not like it…[but] I don’t think we can put on shows that have no relationship with reality.”

Wait! What’s that the band is spelling now, fans, Y-E-O-W-W-W-W?

The marching band of Grand Junction (Colo.) Central High School planned to take part in a motivational seminar called the Firewalk Experience, which includes a barefoot walk across burning coals, but backed out after complaints from parents. Band leader Gary Ambrosier said he had seen a videotape of the Mesa State College football team raking itself over the coals and decided. “If those clunkheads can go across, I can too.”

Is that a cucumber in your pocket or are you glad to see me?

The New York City Board of Education was reported to be considering a program to teach high school students how to use condoms by demonstrating them on cucumbers, bananas or zucchinis.

Excuse me, but if I’m not mistaken, my salad just asked me if it could phone home

NASA gave schoolchildren 12.5 million tomato seeds that had been in Earth orbit for five years. The space agency asked students to plant the seeds to see if they grew any differently from the less well-traveled variety.

On the other hand, it might just be Jimmy Hoffa

A backhoe operator in Tahlequah, Okla., said he was almost certain that a horse he buried about seven years ago on a local farm was the co-star, with Alan Young, of the TV show Mr. Ed. Doug Hubbard wasn’t sure though: “Of course, he didn’t look very good when I saw him.”

Willkommen! Bienvenu! Just sit down, relax and pick out a book while we take a little off

The San Jose (Calif.) Public Library had to rip down the 27-language. $10,000 “Welcome!” banner it had hung to celebrate its rededication. Several Filipino patrons pointed out that the actual translation of the Tagalog word the banner contained was not “welcome” but “circumcision.”

That’s the trouble with those people who organize protest marches: They’re never around when you need them

Pia Zadora’s manager told a Manhattan court that he gave Rev. Al Sharpton $15,000 as a retainer to do public relations for the singer; shortly thereafter Sharpton’s National Youth Movement gave a special video award to Zadora and Jermainc Jackson for their duet. “When the Rain Begins to Fall.”

Next thing you know, he’ll be saying we shouldn’t shoot ourselves in the foot

Rep. Charles Rangel, criticizing outgoing drug policy director William J. Bennett, called Bennett’s 21-month stint “a colossal failure” and said Bennett turned the job into “a bull [sic] pulpit, running around the country preaching that families should stay together, that we shouldn’t use drugs.”

If you play Poison’s “Something to Believe In” backward, we invade Liechtenstein

An aide to Sen. Claiborne Pell alerted Defense Secretary Dick Cheney that he heard the name “Simone” when playing President Bush’s speeches in reverse. If Simone was a code word related to the gulf crisis, the aide warned, it may have been compromised.

Can you say, “My word isn’t worth the paper it’s written on”?

San Antonio Spurs basketball star David Robinson appeared in sneaker commercials based on Mister Rogers takeoffs. In one he brags how he could “cream” 78-year-old classical pianist Rudolf Firkusny one-on-one; in another he cites his rookie stats and asks, “Can you say ‘contract renegotiation’?”

Counting your turkeys before they’re hatched

The Delacorte Press catalog of its 1991 books calls Danielle Steel’s novel Heartbeat—which nobody can buy until February—”her 27th best-selling novel.”

Quincy Jones taught Milli Vanilli everything they know. Just kidding

Hosting Saturday Night Live the day it was learned Nelson Mandela would be released, Quincy Jones opened the show by leading the band in “Manteca,” which he said he wrote to honor Mandela and had been saving to celebrate the South African leader’s freedom. Later in the program he confessed that it was an old song, which had nothing to do with Mandela, and that it had been played often.

For his next burning issue: the defective kazoo peril

Consumer crusader Ralph Nader castigated the Postal Service for commemorating four films—Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach and Beau Geste—n a series of stamps, decrying the series as “creeping commercialism.”

Hear, Hear

Jennifer Loesing, one of the Cincinnati jurors who voted to acquit the city’s Contemporary Arts Center and its director of obscenity charges in the Robert Mapplethorpe photo exhibit case, said, “We all agreed [the photographs] were gross. As a person going into a museum, I would not appreciate that as art. But even though my moral beliefs may be different, this is the United States of America, and this is a country that values freedom of choice.”

So he did slaughter a million people, give or take; he was misunderstood

A PR campaign in Mongolia is aimed at restoring the loot-and-pillage reputation of Genghis Khan. The 13th-century warrior was the focus of two pop songs, and a new vodka was named for him.

So, Mr. Pig, how about expanding your portfolio—pork bellies, perhaps?

Among Iowa animals that came into money: Chico, a parrot from Clinton, shared an $18,000 inheritance with a poodle named Pipi. Calamity Jane, a German shepherd, and Mr. Pig from Davenport split part of a 5600,000 bequest.

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