MONDAY, JULY 14

Now, what we're about to say is serious so NO LAUGHING. A gasp of fear rang through Hollywood today when it was reported that Julia Roberts collapsed from chest pain! (We said no laughing.) The wide-mouthed actress was on holiday with one-year hubby Danny Moder on the tiny Italian isle of Pantelleria when she suddenly clutched her chest and collapsed in intense pain. Naturally Danny feared a heart attack, so he immediately rang for the island's premiere (and only) heart specialist--who unfortunately was vacationing in America. IRONY! Though some indigestion pills from the local pharmacy was said to clear up Julia's problem pronto, many insiders believe her heart snapped back into line when she stamped her foot and squealed, "Do you know who I am??" MEANWHILE! In a surprising turn of events, Michael Jackson is rumored to have gotten into a fistfight with a girl and won. Jacko was apparently taking the veiled kids out for a jaunt to Universal City when they were waylaid by a female photographer. A catfight allegedly ensued, and Jackson is said to have decked the photog with a "roundhouse kick to the head." Ha, ha, haaaaaa right. Police are investigating the so-called confrontation, and are expected to discover that Jackson has as many karate moves as Saddam Hussein has "weapons of mass destruction." MEANWHILE! Guess what? Drew Barrymore is a BISEXUAL. The most mannish member of the Charlie's Angels crew--currently dating soon-to-be-washed-up member of The Strokes, Fabrizio Moretti--has confessed to being a part-time lady licker. Sorry, Drew! Being bisexual went out of style around the time we graduated from Brown. However, truth be told, if we were dating Moretti, we'd be tempted to "turn our ship around," too!

TUESDAY, JULY 15

Like to hear good news? Then get ready to put a smile on your face with today's "White House Happy Talk!" While President Bush has had a tough time lately defending all those lies he made up in order to get us to go to war, he seems to be through with blaming CIA Director George Tenet for faulty intelligence, and had a kind word for the beleaguered top secret agent. "I think the intelligence I get is darn good intelligence!" said the President, who then waved as he and his runaway slave Jim set off on their wooden raft down the Mississippi to find their fortune. MEANWHILE! Later on in the day, White House budget director Joshua Bolten told reporters that the federal budget deficit would balloon to a whopping $455 billion this fiscal year! WOW! That's a record! But it gets even better--thanks to the war in Iraq, by 2004 that number will probably jump another $20 billion! Whoo-whee! That Bush Administration must feel like Sammy Sosa but we're still not sure it's fair for them to use a "corked bat." MEANWHILE! Speaking of the war, the news from the White House just keeps getting better. Not only is the Defense Department unsure of when U.S. soldiers will be able to return home, to date, the war and its aftermath has cost the United States $48 billion, with another expected cost of $3.9 billion in the next two months! Why, it's enough to make you want to throw your fist in the air like Judd Nelson at the end of The Breakfast Club and say "Yesssssss!" Don't know about you, but we've felt a lot better about reporting the news ever since Spokesman Ari Fleischer started pumping ether into the White House press room.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 16

Tragedy struck Santa Monica today, when an elderly man plowed his speeding car through a crowded farmer's market. The unidentified 80-year-old was said to be going 60 miles per hour as he smashed through stalls and boxes of produce, sending victims flying over the hood and roof of his car. Besides the eight people killed, 14 had critical injuries, and another 22 were slightly injured. This terrible accident once again raises the question that has been a recurring source of national debate: Should America's elderly be tested on their driving abilities before they're allowed to crash their vehicles into a crowded farmer's market? For the record, One Day at a Time's answer is a resounding "yes."

THURSDAY, JULY 17

Tonight's Dateline NBC provided America with an extremely rare opportunity to view two North American celebrities in their natural environment--that is to say, trying to portray themselves as "normal" while living in an upscale Hollywood mansion. In an episode entitled, "J.LO and Ben: America's Couple"--excuse us, but just because JFK Jr. and Carolyn were killed in a plane crash doesn't automatically give these two jackasses the title--the toothy Tinseltown twosome were interviewed doing intensely "normal" activities: laughing, walking, cooking, and "bickering" over who actually does the dishes. And just in case you're wondering, neither J.LO or Ben do dishes they end up employing the same junky who washes their windshields with a combination of Windex and the arm of his soiled army jacket. They also very normally tried to cover up the suspicious nature of their first coupling on the set of Gigli--while Ms. LO was still very much married. "We became friends first," insisted Jenny Been Around the Block. "That's God's honest truth." However, when asked to comment, God responded, "Hey, leave me out of it. Those freaks give me the creeps."

FRIDAY, JULY 18

L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault today, and we know you're all worried about one thing--Kobe's multi-million dollar Nike contract. Well, rest easy. As of press time, Nike is standing by their man. In fact, according to the Oregonian, "Some NBA observers have speculated that Bryant could actually gain popularity with some inner-city shoe buyers who have been skeptical of him." (Those crazy, felony-obsessed inner-city negroes!) Nike is so enthusiastic about the opportunity that our sources report the folks at Nike Lab are excitedly working on a prototype for the new Air Rape. It will, of course, be a running shoe.

SATURDAY, JULY 19

The Oregonian reported today that they had won the General Excellence award from the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. The award was for general excellence among the state's newspapers that have a circulation of 25,001 or more with downtown offices in Portland, Oregon, one or more Pulitzers, and the state's name in the masthead. There was tough, tough opposition, but in the end the Daily Auto Trader just couldn't compete. In related news, the Mercury is proud to report that in a poll taken around the office, we won the General Excellence award for weekly newspapers that have a circulation of one or more with a stunning female columnist who went to Brown and who has had some facial laser treatments but NO plastic surgery. Eat your heart out Margie Boulé.

SUNDAY, JULY 20

FANTASTIC news, everyone! According to James Hewitt, former lover of the formerly alive Princess of Wales, Diana was GOOD IN BED. The recent revelation comes on the heels of years of public speculation that Diana was, in fact, something of a "cold fish." The full gossip will be aired on a Brit TV documentary in which Hewitt reads excerpts from Diana's private letters. Elton John is, of course, pissed. But we want to know How was Diana good in bed? Did she do the finger in the ass during orgasm thing? Did she use special oral sex techniques? Did she like to dress up? Did she talk dirty? Use your imagination and write some porn! Send the best bits to

ann@portlandmercury.com . We might just acknowledge you in our next Diana fan fiction. See you in the chat rooms!