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How to win friends and influence me:

Color me intrigued by the report that a popular joke in D.C. says, "Until Gore and Kemp debated, I thought 'The Importance of Being Earnest' was a play by Oscar Wilde."

Color me confident the Texan's allies didn't laugh when Conan O'Brien said the reason Ross Perot is suing is that "my supporters deserve to hear a voice other than the ones in their heads."

Color me intrigued by Jim (Entertainment Weekly) Mullen's comment that "Madonna's baby should get a salary for keeping her name in the news. The only way it could get more publicity would be if she had named it O.J."

Say a prayer for our guys Over There.

Rate your friend an American history expert, Tim Kane class, if she can tell you who first brought the case of rapist Willie Horton to the public's attention.

Kane advises that the Cornell Club of Western New York will stage its annual "Zinck's Night" at the Breckenridge Brew Pub on Thursday.

Color me surprised that Columbus Day passed without a reader saying: "Christopher had to be to be a bachelor. If he were married, his wife would have shot down that offer from Queen Isabella."

Rate your friend a movie expert, Aileen Townsell class, if she can name the moderator of the second Kennedy-Nixon debate.

Color me eager to ask Diane Weston of Barnes & Noble about the rumor that there soon will be an O.J. Book of the Month Club.

Rate your friend a sports expert, Jane Schwartz class, if he can tell you who won the first Breeders Cup.

Ms. Schwartz advises that the 1996 Breeders Cup will be staged at Woodbine Race Track in Toronto on Oct. 26.

Consider this backward joke submission from Vernon Geschwendy of Niagara Falls.

A famous Oriental detective also grew teak trees. After noticing a few trees were missing, he staked out the grove and saw a young boy, wearing only shorts, ripping off four trees.

Now the detective yelled, "What are you doing, barefoot boy with teak of Chan?"

Hang tough.

Last week's trivia answers:

Theo Burr and Amelia Earhart were the two women mentioned in the first New York Times crossword puzzle. Tony LaRusso of Angola and John Stachowicz of Buffalo knew that.

Joseph Holewinski of Buffalo, LaRusso and Stachowicz recalled that Howard K. Smith moderated the first Kennedy-Nixon debate.

Former NFL coaches now coaching 1-A college teams include Dan Hennings, Lou Holtz, Johnny Majors, John Ralston, John Robinson, Gene Stallings, Steve Spurrier and Pat Sullivan. Michael Bialecki of Buffalo, LaRusso and Stachowicz had right answers.

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