BAD TIMING: Eight year-old Marisa Means of Milford, Ohio, accompanied her father, Bill, to his engineering job on Take Our Daughters to Work Day and saw him get fired.

GREAT GAG: An MIT student spent an entire summer going to the Harvard football field every day wearing a black and white striped shirt, walking up and down the field for ten or fifteen minutes throwing birdseed all over the field. At the end of the summer, it came time for the first Harvard home football game, the referee walked onto the field and blew the whistle, and the game had to be delayed for half an hour to wait for the birds to get off of the field. The guy wrote his thesis on this, and graduated.

WHO'S CRAZY?: In Harare, Zimbabwe, after 20 mental patients disappeared from his bus, the driver replaced them with sane citizens and delivered them to a mental hospital. The unidentified bus driver was transporting 20 mental patients from the capital city of Harare to Bulawayo Mental Hospital when he decided to stop for a few drinks at an illegal roadside liquor store. Upon his return he was shocked to discover that all the mental patients had escaped. Desperate for a solution, the driver stopped at the next bus stop and offered free bus rides to several people. He then delivered them to the mental hospital and informed the staff they were easily excitable. It took the medical personnel three days to uncover the fowl play. The real mental patients are still at large.

THE TRUTH HURTS: A month after clarifying to parishioners that tithing is not God's command, but merely voluntary, the Pasadena-based Church of Goid suffered a 30 percent drop in income, causing the worst financial crisis in the church's history.

EXPENSIVE TASTES: The average cost of rehabilitating a seal after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was $80,000. At a special ceremony, two of the most expensively saved animals were released back into the wild amid cheers and applause from onlookers. Aminute later thay were both eaten by a killer whale.

APPLE COMPUTER INC. revealed that it settled a lawsuit brought by astronomer Carl Sagan, who objected to the company's use of his name as a code word for the development of its Power Macintosh 7100. After Sagan's attorneys complained, the company changed the project's name. The change didn't satisfy Sagan, who sued Apple after hearing news reports that the project managers had relabled the project BHA -- for "Butt-head Astronomer."

NO BRAINER: A woman named Linda went to Arkansas last week to visit her in-laws, and while there, went to a store. She parked next to a car with a woman sitting in it, her eyes closed and hands behind her head, apparently sleeping. When Linda came out a while later, she again saw the woman, her hands still behind her head but with her eyes open. The woman looked very strange, so Linda tapped on the window and said, "Are you okay?" The woman answered, "I've been shot in the head, and I am holding my brains in." Linda didn't know what to do, so she ran into the store where store officials called the paramedics. They had to break into the car because the door was locked. When they got in, they found that the woman had bread dough on the back of her head and in her hands. A Pillsbury biscuit canister had exploded, apparently from the heat in the car, making a loud explosion sike that of a gunshot, and hit her in the head. When she reached back to find what it was, she felt the dough and thought it was her brains. She passed out from fright at first, then attenpted to hold her brains in.

GOING POSTAL: After Craig Shergold was diagnosed with brain cancer at age , he received a world-record 33 million get-well cards with the help of the Children's Wish Foundation in Atlanta. Ten years later, Craig's cancer is gone, but the cards just keep coming. It's not that he's ungrateful. Craig credits the "upliftment" from all the cards for his recovery, but after receiving 250 million cards and letters, he juyst wants it to stop. "I'm sick to death of all this mail!"

AT&T FIRED President John Walter after nine months, saying he lacked "intellectual leadership." He received a $26 million severance package.