What the country is talking about this week...

1 QUEEN ELIZABETH Brits are upset over a not-so-flattering official painting of Her Majesty. Wait, that’s a photograph!

2 NICK CARTER The youngest Backstreet Boy got arrested at a Florida nightclub. He walked under the ”You have to be this tall before you can drink here” sign.

3 SEX AND THE CITY A half hour a week of sex divided by 8 million people? That sounds about right.

4 GAY TV Showtime and MTV are reportedly in talks to create a gay television network. They’re developing an original series called Barbra Streisand on Ice.

5 MICHAEL JORDAN’S DIVORCE It’s sad. When the lawyers get finished, basketball shoes are going to cost us $200 a pair.

6 MUHAMMAD ALI’S 60TH BIRTHDAY They say he’s hoping to get a George Foreman Grill.

7 THE GOLDEN GLOBES Isn’t that the name of the new Britney Spears tour?

8 ROBERT JAMES WALLER He’s written a sequel even more exciting than The Bridges of Madison County. The Phone Book of Madison County.

9 YVES SAINT LAURENT The fashion legend has quit the couture business. To become the country-music singer he’s always wanted to be.

10 TED TURNER He’s opening a restaurant chain serving buffalo meat. If you like the wings, you’ll love the ribs.

11 ROOTS: CELEBRATING 25 YEARS The landmark miniseries will be remembered by some of its stars. Because many people under 25 think it was a gardening show.

12 BROTHERHOOD OF THE WOLF An ultraviolent French film about an unknown creature preying on the peasantry. The screaming has been dubbed into English.

13 LEMONY SNICKET His best-selling children’s stories don’t have happy beginnings, middles, or endings. Who needs him? Just buy a newspaper.

14 THE CHAIR A game show where you lose money if you get excited. Practice this: ”Rats, I just won a million dollars.”

15 STAR WARS: EPISODE II Two fans are already waiting in line outside a Seattle theater for the May 16 opening. Yet they didn’t have to cancel one date.