What the country is talking about this week...

1 CHRISTMAS SHOPPING Many department stores will let you haggle over prices this year. So this $50 gift certificate I’m giving you is really worth $75.

2 WHITNEY HOUSTON Reporters think she looks dangerously thin. Of course, they wouldn’t write about her at all if she had a reporter’s body.

3 WOLFGANG PUCK The chef paid $19,000 for a two-pound white truffle at a charity auction. They taste great if you smother them in ketchup.

4 MADONNA’S CHILDHOOD HOME They finally auctioned it off for $331,000. Or about what it would have sold for if Donny and Marie had grown up there.

5 FCC It got complaints that ABC’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was too revealing. Seems no one wanted to hear ”Mommy, what does crotchless mean?”

6 HOWARD STERN His TV show was canceled. It was the stiff competition from food-dehydrator infomercials that did him in.

7 HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE It took in some $90 million in three days. That’s more than Bill Gates makes in a whole week!

8 XBOX The highly addictive new $299 game console. Price does not include the cost of the player’s remedial education or family therapy.

9 YASMINE BLEETH The ex-Baywatcher pleaded not guilty to drug charges. She also said they frisked her 10 times.

10 SPY GAME Robert Redford teaches Brad Pitt how to be a CIA operative. It’s the blond leading the blond.

11 PIERCE BROSNAN He is PEOPLE magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive. What do you think the trophy for that looks like?

12 PAULA POUNDSTONE A judge jailed her for a few hours for a parole violation. So they let out a double murderer to make room for her.

13 SHAKIRA The 24-year-old Colombian pop star can sing in three languages: Spanish, English, and Spandex.

14 GRACELAND Due to a lack of international visitors, 50 employees have been let go. That’s almost the entire gift shop.

15 GAS PRICES They’ve dropped more than 30 cents in the past few months. That’s because we buy in bulk.