Thursday, May 22, 2003                    Edition: #2547
If the Sheet Fits, Buy It!

TONIGHT Queen Latifah emcees this year’s “VH1 Divas” benefit concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, featuring Mary J Blige, Jewel & Chaka Khan, plus ‘diva duets’ with Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Beyonce Knowles & Lisa Marie Presley . . . Vivendi Universal Vice Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr (of Montreal’s Seagram’s dynasty) has announced he’s now interested in buying back the company’s entertainment assets which he sold off 3 years ago . . . A new wax figurine of Jennifer Lopez in a low cut dress has been unveiled at Madame Tussaud’s museum in London, complete with cheeks that blush when you whisper in her ear – no, not those cheeks! . . . 58-year-old Who guitarist Pete Townshend says he’s now looking to publish his autobiography earlier than planned, because he feels ‘wounded and resentful’ following a police investigation over child porn (not to mention the publicity will sell a helluva lot more copies) . . . Christina Aguilera has bought a $5.5 million all-glass house overlooking Hollywood’s Sunset Strip (remember, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t shed clothes) . . . 38-year-old Calista Flockhart is reportedly having eyelid surgery – to keep her 60-year-old boyfriend Harrison Ford interested (what’s he getting – a splint?) . . . And just as “The Matrix Reloaded” is cleaning up at the box office, it’s 37-year-old co-writer-director-executive producer Larry Wachowski has had all his business assets frozen by a judge in an increasingly ugly divorce battle with his 9-year wife (now there’s a definition of frustration: “Yeah, I have a billion but I can’t touch it!”).

The budget for Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biopic of Howard Hughes is rumored to be circa $170 million, partly to pay Leonardo DiCaprio to play the lead and Jude Law to take the role of swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn . . . Ex-Monty Python trouper Eric Idle’s upcoming spoof of Merchant-Ivory costume dramas to be called “The Remains of the Piano” will feature a slew of stars, including Anjelica Huston, Patrick Stewart, Geoffrey Rush, Catherine O’Hara, Orlando Bloom, Neve Campbell & Michael York . . . Jennifer Garner is using her hiatus from “Alias” to shoot the movie “13 Going On 30″ in which she plays a 13-year-old girl who suddenly becomes 29 (what, she gets into show biz?) . . . Kate Winslet will appear opposite “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini in the all-singing, all-dancing spectacular “Romance & Cigarettes” but this is no “Chicago” clone – it’s being produced by the twisted Coen Brothers, the guys behind “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Fargo” . . . And Hollywood golden girl Reese Witherspoon will next play the traumatized daughter of a manic-depressive (Meryl Streep) in “Daughter of the Queen of Sheba”, a role intended for Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s currently not taking any on.

• A new grooming poll finds that 48% of men are repelled by women with visible underarm hair. 39% of guys say they can’t stand leg hair. (Meaning about 60% are fur lovers?)
• In a new vacation poll, 49% of kids say they play video games during long car trips, and 27% say they watch movies on DVD. (The rest are bobbing their heads to tunes on their personal CD players.)
• According to a surprising new sexuality poll, 73% of men say it’s better to give than receive during lovemaking, compared to just 49% of women. (Yeah, but the guys are just trying to make the case for being a receiver.)

A 26-year-old British woman who’s worried her husband will leave her if she loses her looks has insured her face for $164,000. Nicole Jones of Bristol is paying $328 a year for the ‘FaceSafe’ policy, which will only pay out if she’s no longer deemed to be attractive by a panel of 10 people. She took the policy out as a birthday present for her husband Simon, who’s always joked he’d leave her if she let herself go as she got older. (Hey, what a funny guy. Bet you won’t be laughing when she dumps you coz your beer-gut ‘overlap’ has reached 6 inches.)

Bogus dentists outnumber genuine ones in Italy. More than 45,000 unqualified people are believed to be working as dentists in the country. Giuseppe Renzo of Italy’s Order of Dentists says he’s heard of tailors, plumbers and even traffic wardens removing teeth and fixing crowns. He claims many of them obtained worthless certificates from the Internet or just bought a plaque, called themselves dentists and opened a practice. (Dentists with ‘plaque’? How absurd!)

Because they’re easier to handle than cats or dogs, Australians are starting to adopt – giant cockroaches. The huge bugs, called macropanesthia rhinoceros, are about 3-inches-long, weigh an ounce and can live up to 10 years. A pet supplier says they are popular because they’re very low-maintenance and kids can play with them without getting hurt. (Yeah, but just try to get rid of them!)

• Remember hearing about ‘Neuticles’, those fake testicles used to help neutered pets maintain their dignity? Now they have a new model, ‘NeuticlesID’, prosthetic silicone globes that contain a microchip that can be programmed with the pet’s identification. That way a lost puppy can easily be found using a special scanning device. (Many a long-suffering wife might be interested in these.)
• An Australian winery is coming out with vintage wine in – pop-top aluminum cans. (It’s the perfect solution for those occasions where wine in a box or a screw-capped bottle is just too darn ostentatious.)

MAY is “Barbecue Month”, so here’s some highlights from a new survey on the subject –
• 40% of those polled say they’ve barbecued when the outside temperature was below freezing.
• 33% admit they’ve accidentally dropped barbecued food on the ground – and then served it to guests.
• 13% of barbecue chefs say they wear aprons emblazoned with some kind of goofy saying.


1927 [76] Michael Constantine (Constantine Joanides), Reading PA, movie actor (Gus Portokalos, the father-“My Big Fat Greek Wedding”)/TV actor (Gus Portokalos, the father-“My Big Fat Greek Life”, 1970 Emmy Award-“Room 222″)

1950 [53] Bernie Taupin, Sleaford ENG, lyricist (Elton John’s songwriting partner-“Candle in the Wind”, “Your Song”, “Rocket Man”, “Daniel”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”)

1961 [42] Dana Williams, Dayton OH, country singer (Diamond Rio-“I Believe”, “Beautiful Mess”, “One More Day”)

1967 [36] Dan Roberts, Winnipeg MB, pop/rock singer (Crash Test Dummies-“Superman Song”)

1970 [33] Naomi Campbell, London ENG, 34C-22-34 fashion model/occasional actress (“Girl 6″, “Unzipped”)  FACTOID: Has dated boxer Mike Tyson, actor Robert De Niro, U2 bassist Adam Clayton and about a thousand others.

TODAY is “Buy-A-Musical-Instrument Day”, encouraging us all to learn the craft of making music. (What’s the most unbearable musical instrument to hear a family member or neighbor practising on?)

TODAY is “National Maritime Day” in America, by presidential proclamation. (Har, hoist that bilge, matie!)

TODAY is “Immigrants Day in Canada”, a day to recognize the contributions of those who came here from elsewhere. (If you go back far enough, wouldn’t that include all of us?)

TONIGHT Molson has announced a city-wide “Happy Hour” to help cure Toronto of its SARS-induced headache. The idea is to get people back into their favorite watering holes in support of the local hospitality industry. A buck from each Molson Canadian sold will go towards the Hospitality Employees Relief Fund. About 2,500 bars & several celebs are taking part. (Labatt is disgusted with the idea of using a crisis for publicity – and the fact they didn’t think of it first.)

600 BC [2603] 1st use of a ‘lucky rabbit’s foot’ (lucky, that is, except for the bunny)

1761 [242] 1st ‘life insurance’ policy in America, issued in Philadelphia by the ‘Corporation for the Relief of Poor & Distressed Presbyterian Ministers and of the Poor & Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers’

1841 [162] 1st ‘reclining chair’ developed by Henry Kennedy of Philadelphia PA (who was also the 1st guy to say, “Honey, get me another beer would ya?”)

1892 [111] 1st ‘toothpaste tube’, introduced by British dentist Dr Washington Sheffield (the next day, he finds someone in the family left the cap off)

1981 [22] Opening of ‘Paramount Canada’s Wonderland’ amusement park near Toronto

1979 [24] Joe Clark becomes Canada’s youngest-ever Prime Minister at age 39

1987 [16] Rick Hansen completes 26-month, 34-country “Man in Motion” tour in wheelchair to raise awareness of disabled issues, in Vancouver

[Fri] Morning Radio Wise Guy Day
[Fri] Wear Your Thong to Work Day 2003
[Sat] International Jazz Day
[Sat] Brothers Day
[Sun] Indianapolis 500
[Mon] Stratford ON Shakespearean Festival opens
This Week “Is . . . Emergency Medical Services Week / Backyard Games Week
This Month Is . . . National Photo Month / Strawberry Month

Ottawa’s Arteeno Entertainment Company has a new pop and rock & roll board game that’s entertaining no matter how much or how little music trivia you’ve got stored in your head. What makes it fun for all ages is the questions are divided by decade from the ‘60s right up to today. Try conferencing together phone contestants aged 15, 25, 35, and 45.
• ‘90s – What musical question did the Baha Men chart with in 2000? [“Who Let the Dogs Out?”]
• ‘80s – What group recorded the #7 hit “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” in 1987? [The Beastie Boys.]
• ‘70s – Aaron, Art & Cyril formed what brother act? [Neville Brothers]
• ‘60s – What mysterious singer was Rudy Martinez known as? [Question Mark (& the Mysterians).]

• ‘90s – What 10-year-old stole the show at a Backstreet Boys concert in Berlin in March of 1997? [Aaron Carter]
• ‘80s – Who recorded the #1 hit “Maniac” in 1983? [Michael Sembello]
• ‘70s – Who was Billy Paul having an affair with in his #1 hit song from 1972? [Mrs Jones in the song “Me & Mrs Jones”.]
• ‘60s – What group recorded the #1 hit “Incense & Peppermints” in 1967? [Strawberry Alarm Clock]

• ‘90s – What group’s 2001 tell-all biography was entitled “The Dirt”? [Motley Crue]
• ‘80s – Who is Whitney Houston’s famous singing cousin? [Dionne Warwick]
• ‘70s – What group recorded “Feels Like the First Time” in 1977? [Foreigner]
• ‘60s – What 2 songs from the rock musical “Hair” did the Fifth Dimension combine into a 3-million-selling record? [“Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”]
Freebie promotional copies for on-air play and for giveaways are available from –
PHONER: 905-795-3533 (Faith Featherstone, Rumba Games, Mississauga ON)

• Where do the height-challenged go for a shot of self-esteem? How about the “Short Persons Support” Website! It offers helpful tips and facts, plus a ‘Who’s Who’ of the wee people where you can look up the famous by their height. For instance, Japanese emperor Hirohito, billionaire Aristotle Onassis, and Curly Howard of the “Three Stooges” were all just 5-ft-5. Lucia Zarate, who died in 1890, was the all-time shorty – 1-ft-8. Get some tiny little listeners on the phone and size them up with a matching celeb.
• The online ‘Buzzword Generator’ allows you to make up words and phrases that sound like they mean something really cool but in truth are just gobbledygook. Just keep clicking ‘reload’ to get new really messed phrases. We managed to realize this ‘parallel logistical notion’ and its ‘total incremental variable’ by making use of our ‘absolute logistical mobility’. Who knows what the ‘parallel dynamic capability’ of this site might be?

Today’s Question: 67% of women polled say that doing THIS is just down right icky, while the other 33% found it quite intimate.
Answer to Give Out Tomorrow: Sharing a toothbrush.

I live in my own little world, but it’s OK, they know me here.
SARS in Toronto, West Nile in Ottawa, Mad Cow in Edmonton … what’s next – locusts in Winnipeg?


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