The 15 hottest topics the week of June 13, 1997

1 CON AIR A group of convicts takes over an airplane. Because you can’t go back to prison cooking once you’ve tasted airline food.

2 STARBUCKS The coffee chain will start selling books recommended by Oprah Winfrey. Can I get a Beloved to go?

3 THE NEW CAPTAIN KANGAROO Name a kids’-show star you never want to see in a spandex outfit.

4 MARIAH CAREY Suddenly separated. But if she marries Jim Carrey, she’ll be Mariah Carrey.

5 FARRAH FAWCETT The 50-year-old sex symbol will be featured in a nude pictorial. It’s like the erotic version of the Senior Tour.

6 BUDDY Rene Russo lives in a mansion with a bunch of apes. How many Playmates could tell that same sad story?

7 ”BUTTERFLY KISSES” The sappy song you’ll hear at weddings all summer long. It makes ”You Light Up My Life” sound like Puccini.

8 ER They want to kick off their next season with a live show. Would Oklahoma! work?

9 JUST DESSERT An unauthorized biography of Martha Stewart. It’s so full of dirt you have to look for it in the gardening section.

10 NEIL YOUNG He accidentally cut one of his guitar-playing fingers. He screamed for help, but everyone thought he was singing.

11 TIM ALLEN The Home Improvement star is making a new movie: Driving Miss Demeanor.

12 CAPTAIN PICARD He’s getting $12 million to star in the next Star Trek film. And you wonder why a bucket of day-old popcorn costs $4.50.

13 TV RATINGS Some networks are expanding the ratings system to warn of sex and violence. That should cover most of the military news.

14 MERV GRIFFIN He sold his Beverly Hills house for a record $8.5 million. It must have been a two-bedroom.

15 BATHING SUITS It’s been so cold on the East Coast, the goose bumps make some models look like they actually have breasts.