Now you don't see it...Rumor patrol; Signing off; Flicked up; Study hall; Wyoming, we think

One parent who was there said the opening scenes of the Tim Burton flick, featuring heads being lopped off, caused near pandemonium as parents grabbed their upset wee ones and scurried for the door. (Our source had to grab a toddler who was nearly smooshed underfoot.) After everyone was reseated, the theater nearly started the wrong film again, before sending the audience off to the right theater. (Hey kids, why not write a report for school about what you saw? You could win a free week away from home at the Denton County juvenile detention facility! See this week's letters.)

Just call us Uncle Fester, but Buzz can't help but laugh at the thought of terrified soccer moms and dads dragging their screaming kids to the exits while the Headless Horseman whittles away. Our smile turns to horror, however, when we think of the poor adults who sat down to Sleepy Hollow and were nearly subjected to Pokémon, The Marketing Scheme. Hey, that could have been us, dammit.

Study hall

Howard Opinsky, press spokesman for Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain, tells Buzz that the Arizona Republican will spend less than three hours prepping for his December 2 debate with Texas Gov. George W. Bush and other GOP candidates.

Well, as an imported Texan, what can Buzz say except this: big deal, Mr. John "Smartypants" McCain. We bet our governor didn't study that much all the time he was at Yale.

"He can answer questions about everything," Opinsky says about his candidate. "He is not carefully controlled, as the thousands who have met him have seen."

That, in press spokesman talk, is a thinly veiled, one might even say butt-naked, slam at Bush, who reportedly has been cramming since muffing a pop quiz about foreign leaders from a Boston reporter. What cram-session music does Bush have blaring from the eight-track? Our guess is Edgar Winter Group's "Free Ride."

In fact -- we suppose it's fact -- a Bush spokesman says the guv is not doing any formal preparation for the debate. "We might informally talk through the issues," the spokesman says. But Bush is not pulling any all-nighters, he claims, though Buzz thought his eyes looked a bit puffy on Meet the Press last Sunday.

Wyoming, we think

Luckily, the debate won't be a telephone call-in format. As we were trying to reach sources in New Hampshire camps, we needed a telephone number. We decided to try out Southwestern Bell's nifty new nationwide directory assistance service.

"What state is New Hampshire in?" asked the operator -- no doubt another Yalie.

ó Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

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