Mostly, in this space, we go for laughs. This is a legitimate objective, because everyone needs that cleansing breath of humor after a stop or two on the bus of life, especially when we're the only person behind the yellow line who seems to realize that the driver is a chimpanzee.

And what's funny (not, as my mother used to say, funny-ha-ha, but what she called funny-peculiar) is that the biggest laughs come from that same box under the sink where we keep the trash bags, the cleaning products, and the anger. Ask anybody in the humor business where they find their best material, and they'll tell you it just pops out of their mouths when they're really honked off.

(Note to editors: We changed that last verb because (a) of your family readership and (b) my little finger couldn't reach the "p" on the keyboard.)

Similarly, we sometimes find ourselves smiling for no apparent reason, and realize we were so worried about the outcome of some painful situation that once it was resolved, we let the giggles fly out of sheer relief.

That's more or less what happened this week when I heard they finally cancelled Dr. Laura's TV show.

I felt better because now the truth can be told: I've been holding my tongue about the woman for the past six years. That (as near as I can determine ? my memory is still incomplete, but gradually improving through good nutrition and hypnosis) is when I met Laura Schlesinger, the phenomenally successful radio personality whose "Dr." title actually stems from a Ph.D. in physiology (which I just looked up in the dictionary and to my surprise, the definition wasn't related to psychiatry at all, but had something to do with how frogs reproduce).

Anyway, I was supposed to interview her over the phone because her syndicated radio show was debuting in the time slot following my own local morning show. I haven't revealed my personal impressions until now because my own moral code, in part, reads: "Thou shalt not say bad things about other radio hosts because everybody will think you're just jealous."

I remember stammering out something really obsequious like, "Gee whiz, Dr. Laura, how do you explain that ? despite your incredible capacity for doing God's work here on Earth while commuting back and forth from heaven ? you're actually criticized sometimes for being so rude to callers?"

(Now, as an adult, I realize what I was really asking was: "How can you exploit so many troubled, unsophisticated, unlucky people by inviting them to call you because their crummy health insurance won't pay for a real therapist, and then turn around and pimp them by making them feel even worse?")

And she said (this part I remember only too clearly) "Rude? I've never heard that before." And that, as Dorothy Parker once said, is when Tonstant Weader frowed up.

The good doctor has become a national icon by showing America how to be holy without being the least bit compassionate, by telling them that anyone who's been kicked in the ass by life must have deserved it. That makes them feel a whole lot better, and they love her for it.

She finally went over the edge with this gay-as-deviant stuff, and then couldn't backpedal fast enough when the posse showed up. (Note to people of faith: If you think your Bible says its okay to hassle a couple million human beings who were born different than you, take it back to Barnes & Noble and get a copy with larger type.)

Unfortunately, she'll return to her radio pulpit even more self-righteous, and her sycophants will moan about how she was torpedoed by the evil homosexual lobby. In fact, she's just a phony who finally got caught. And you don't need a Ph.D. to figure out that maybe God got a little tired of her ringing doorbells on His behalf and then leaving a smelly mess on the front porch.

There. It's off my chest. I feel better now, and I'm taking the rest of the week off. Monday, I'm going to help that poor Rosie O'Donnell get a grip on math.

Copyright 2001 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW's on WGN Radio AM 720 and Coming soon:

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