Dogs tell researcher they’ve been pulling his leg

Don’t forget to set your clocks and happy lamps to Seasonal Darkness Time. As an antidote, try smiling more. It really does help light (and lighten) things up. You don’t have to go all crazy with a Jack-o-latern grin or anything, just your natural one. (If you need help, think of the homonym-challenged phrase, “grin and bare it.”) Let’s spotlight the headlines:

•”Dogs can read each others’ tails’”: The researcher behind the “discovery” said: “We now know that dogs are reading each others’ body language.” Which makes total sense, since they can read their human companions like a book, despite their lack of tails.

Barbra Streisand: Mother said ‘I should be a secretary’”: Not that anyone should adopt it as a parenting style, but sometimes, maybe even often, being told you can’t do something, for whatever reason, seems to motivate people to achieve their dreams a lot more than always being told how great they are, and that they can be anything they want to be.

NSA chief: We didn’t spy on European citizens”: Just the leaders.

Ohio man pops the question with pumpkins”; She said yes. And later quoted Charlie Brown. “I got a rock.”

Man cited for bringing pot to prison”: Oops, he was just visiting. As it happens, however, the idea of pot-in-prison is not a joke. In August it was reported, “In Switzerland, marijuana use helps keep prisons calm and safe.” The prison guards agree that marijuana use among inmates is a good thing and don’t crack down on its use. (When serving time, did Martha Stewart deem it “a good thing”?)

D.C. on fast track to decriminalizing pot possession”: Hmm. Will this bring calm and safety to Congress? Can’t hurt to try.

SW Pa. city treasurer stole from parking meters”: The big scheme netted 73-year-old Frank “Bucky” Rizzuto a whopping $311 in change, which he must repay. Which perhaps he’ll pay in pennies, the way people do when they want to “protest” a fine.

Lay’s expected to announce chocolate covered potato chips”: Will they be packaged inside a turducken? With a side of stuffing with caramel sauce?

Put that leftover Halloween candy to good use”: Melt it down and pour it over your regularly scheduled snacks.

What the world eats for breakfast”: It’s a boring list. (Rice in Japan!) Where’s Count Chocula in Transylvania? Lucky Charms in Ireland? Cold pizza in the U.S.?

83-year-old jewel thief still has tricks up her sleeve”: Plus a couple of crumpled tissues or used handkerchief, the way some old ladies do, so watch out.

She is recently accused of stealing a $22,500 diamond-encrusted ring right from under the store owner’s nose. Later she misquoted Charlie Brown. “I got your rock.”

•”Controlling your kids’ candy stash is bad parenting”: Or so says an article written by “Lil Suzy.”

Toyota SUV for smelly triathletes has a shower”: The LifeTime Fitness RAV4 comes with a built-in, sit-down shower, a mini washing machine and dryer, a mini fridge and an industrial strength blender. (Reportedly for smoothies.) Toyota urges people to buy now, while mortgage rates are still low.

For those without resources to spare on a hopped-up SUV, try tying your smelly triathlete to the top of the vehicle, and let the rain and wind do their thing on the drive home.

Quote any of the Peanuts gang this week. (“I’ve never said I worship her. I just said I’m very fond of the ground on which she walks!” Linus on his teacher Miss Othmar.)

Carol MacPherson: 425-339-3472,

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