Speaking in rhymes
MONDAY In Italy, the Vatican releases the full text of the historic recent meeting between legendary singer Bob Dylan and 77-year-old Pope John Paul.
Pope: Blessed weather, the Holy Mother's Name be praised.
Dylan: Gettin' dark, too dark to see.
Pope: Really? You think it might rain? Dylan: And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.
Pope: Er, why exactly did you request an audience, Mr Zimmerman? Are you interested in taking up the faith? Dylan: Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin' ship, my senses have been stripped, my hands can't feel to grip, my toes too numb to step, wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin'.
Pope: And when precisely would you like to join the Holy Church? Dylan: In the jingle jangle mornin' I'll come followin' you.
TUESDAY In Hong Kong, Tung Chee-hwa makes a brilliant move to resolve two political controversies at one stroke. 'I'm going to cancel Sir S Y Chung's 80th birthday party, and I am going to bring forward the April 1998 elderly payrise of $95 a week. It will now take effect immediately - but only for Sir S Y.' In the United States, a survey by NCR shows that if fast-food companies entered the banking business, people would switch their bank accounts to them. The pollster says tellers would have to adjust a few phrases, such as: 'D'ya want francs with that?' WEDNESDAY In Hong Kong, Hutchison Telecom Paging's censorship department announces it is expanding its service. 'At the moment we censor anything remotely critical of Mr Tung, but we plan to hire a team of scriptwriters to compose pro-Beijing messages to send on behalf of our subscribers to their friends.' In Taiwan, Hsu Shao-tan, the exhibitionist who had a nude wedding last week, falls out with her new husband. 'He is upset, because I have decided to make my honeymoon special by remaining fully clothed the whole time.' In New York, Woody Allen decides to clarify his statement of last week that he 'would like to have another child'. He says: 'What I meant was, conceive another child.' Still in the United States, an airport official releases the findings of the probe into the Delta Air Lines 727 airliner which had to make a quick return to a Connecticut airport after crew noticed its cargo door was open. 'We don't know why it was open, but we now know what happened to all the lost luggage of the past few years.' THURSDAY In Hong Kong, a furious investor calls her stockbroker. 'All those warrants you advised me to buy are just useless pieces of paper now,' she shrieks. 'Fortunately,' she adds, more calmly, 'so was the cheque I paid you with.' In the United States, fossils lead scientists to deduce that long-necked American dinosaurs might have eaten themselves to death. 'We fear the same thing is happening today to another species: the short-necked American citizen.' Meanwhile, a 200-kilogram woman in Los Angeles is diagnosed with anorexia.
In Carmel, California, Sondra Locke's tell-all book about Clint Eastwood is published, and includes this paragraph: 'He wasn't particularly romantic. When he came home from work in a bad mood, instead of saying 'hi honey', he would throw me into the bedroom and say: 'Make my day, punk'.' FRIDAY In Hong Kong, Hutchison Telecom Paging reveals the real reason why it sacked 600 people last week. 'With the growth of the pager censorship department, there is less need for staff to take real messages.' Still in Hong Kong, a Hospital Authority spokesman confirms that it is using computers to tackle the problem of doctors' bad handwriting. 'Unfortunately, the first month we used Apple Newtons, which read 'inject five mls of anaemia treatment' as 'insert five miles of enema tubing'.' In London, Andy Green, the driver who recently broke the sound barrier with his car, receives a speeding ticket from the Arizona Desert Highways Department.