The 15 hottest topics the week of September 18, 1998

1 Mark McGwire He’s smashing all kinds of baseball records. Most interviews given, most inane questions answered, and most biceps shown at a press conference.

2 Rounders Matt Damon is forced to play high-stakes poker. Just like me!

3 Season Premieres The networks are rolling out all the new shows they believe in. So they can replace them in two weeks with shows they don’t.

4 Madonna She says a high-rise YMCA residential tower to be built near her New York apartment will be bad for her child. Because Mommy’ll be too busy making new friends.

5 Seinfeld Chalking up $225 million, he is this year’s highest-paid entertainer. The lowest paid was Monica Lewinsky.

6 The Emmys The awards given for the best work in television. How do they stretch that into a four-hour show?

7 Stock Market Up, down, up, down. It’s like your money is jogging on Baywatch.

8 Northwest Airlines Strike North Dakota is without major air service. Tens of tourists are stranded.

9 Marv Albert The kinky sportscaster goes back to work. He’ll be the one handcuffed to the black leather microphone.

10 Morning-After Pill Kit What we need is a ”morning before” pill. To smarten you up about unprotected sex.

11 Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Some didn’t want Disney World to replace the 27-year-old attraction. Mainly executives from other theme parks.

12 Nut-Free Zones Airlines can’t pass out peanuts near passengers who are allergic. Can they still fly to Georgia?

13 Russia The price of sugar went up three times in Moscow while a man waited in line to buy it. There it’s called inflation; here it’s called a price check.

14 Arnold Schwarzenegger He’s suing the Globe for $50 million. If he wins, they’ll never be able to afford a fact-checking department.

15 College So many freshmen have arrived that some schools are housing them in hotels. How many people can say they were rushed by Quality Inn?