You can't, um, judge a story by its headline

Jay Leno has this hilarious feature on Mondays called "Headlines." In it, he reads poorly worded headlines, bizarre news stories and food ads with misspelled words. ("In the fish section, we have fresh sea ass.")

You know how when you see a headline, well-written or otherwise, you instantly formulate an idea in your head and sometimes even blurt something out? Well, even if you don't, I do. It's not that weird; at least it's my voice I'm hearing in my head. Actually, I've been doing it a lot lately. I don't know if it's the change in the weather or my giddiness over watching and listening to Hannity, Limbaugh, et al., squirm over the Foley thing.

Anyway, here are some headlines from the past couple of weeks, with my immediate reaction:

· From the Tucson Citizen, Sept. 26: "Poll: 42% in Nation See Plot to Lower Gasoline Prices"

Only 42 percent?! Does that mean that the other 58 percent believe that nonsense about supply and demand? To me, that means that only 42 percent of the people have seen the picture of Bush holding hands with that Saudi prince. I wonder which one was giving the other the palm tickle.

· Arizona Daily Star, Oct. 3: "(UA Football) Players Address Negatives in Positive Manner"

We're positive that we really, really stink. Question of the decade: How in the world did the UA ever beat Brigham Young University?

· USA Today, Sept. 28: "Did Terrell Owens Try to Kill Himself?"

Not hard enough.

Star, Oct. 3: "Fun Runs"

You know, the Red Star has published some pretty disgusting far-left pinko commie anything-goes fetish stuff in the past, but I didn't know that anybody actually enjoyed diarrhea.

· Citizen, Oct. 3, about Carol West: "Councilwoman's Visit to Kenya 'Mind-Boggling'"

Based on what I've heard from people who know and work with Carol West, she'd find a trip to the Laundromat mind-boggling.

· Citizen, Sept. 26: "Ex-Brass Attack Rumsfeld"

After Herb Alpert fired them, they just lashed out at the easiest target.

· The Arizona Republic Oct. 2: "Weekday TV May Hinder Students"

Unless they go to charter schools, in which case it's culturally stimulating and may even help them cut down on smoking.

· Citizen, Oct. 4: "Should You Check Your Passenger's Legal Status?"

If you're a congressman, probably. Oh wait, they're talking about nationality-type legal status. Never mind.

· Star, Sept. 24: "Bolivia's Proud Navy Lacks Only an Ocean"

And America's proud military lacks only a competent secretary of defense.

· Star, Sept. 24: "It Won't Work"

This started off a series done by the morning paper, basically preaching down to its readers as to why the United States shouldn't even try to defend its southern border with a fence. But then, on Sept. 27, the series ended with "Finding New Ways In," the gist of which was, "Just in case the fence does work ..."

· USA Today, Oct. 3: "States Consider Lifting Sunday Hunting Ban"

Yeah, that's what we need, fewer people in church and more out walking through the woods with big-ass guns. The picture that accompanied the article had two adult men (one named Skeeter) and three small children, all dressed in camouflage, walking through a clearing. Only the 3-year-old boy wasn't carrying a rifle. His 7-year-old brother had one that looked like the one Lee Harvey Oswald had, complete with scope. Creeped me out.

· Star, Oct. 1: "Prop. 107 Opponents Avoid the Gay Issue"

These are the morons who keep sending me e-mails railing about how those poor "unmarried couples" are going to lose their benefits if 107 passes. I'm tempted to vote for it for just that reason. (However, another part of it is anti-gay, and I can't go along with that.) Straight couples who just live together are, by definition, thumbing their noses at marriage. And yet, at the same time, they've decided that they want in on some of the benefits that society (and the law) have deemed appropriate for married couples. It's hypocrisy on a grand scale. And cities and counties should not be in the business of granting legal status to people who, through their words and actions, have said they don't want legal status.

This, of course, doesn't apply to gay couples, who can't legally get married and therefore need protection under the law. I'm all for committed gay partners getting health benefits, and all against unmarried straight partners getting them.

Now, if you want to change the law to allow anybody who works for the county to get health benefits for two, including one policy that can be assigned to anybody--your uncle, your grandma, the dude who sells you crack at the park--that would be OK, I guess. It bugs me that a whole lot of good and decent people can't afford health insurance, while somebody else gets full coverage because they met some dude at a bar and fell into bed with him.