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A NEW WRINKLE: Oscar nominee James Garner, who portrays an aging widower in Murphy’s Romance, was asked if he enjoyed growing older. “Of course I do,” replied Garner, 57. “The alternative is terrible.”

YOU CAN SEE RIGHT THROUGH HIS ANSWER: Elton John recently appeared on a French TV talk show called The Truth Game. The singer’s clothing—a conservative black suit—was in marked contrast to his usual flamboyant attire. “Your look seems almost too traditional,” noted the host, “there’s nothing crazy about it.” Replied John: “Yes, there is. I have ladies underwear on.”

OH, YOU BEAUTIFUL DOLL: Helping Mattel Toys give birth to a new doll called My Child, Bill Cosby gave a New York audience an unusual sales pitch. “These dolls are great because they have none of the qualities that real children have,” he said before offering a few examples. “I tried to have my 19-year-old daughter [Erinn] declared legally stupid because I tell her 200 times not to do something and she continues to do it. When my son [Ennis] turned 16, his first words were: ‘Wanna Porsche.’ That was the last time I understood anything he said.” Even Cosby’s youngest daughter, Evin, didn’t escape the twitting. “The reason why 11-year-old girls are depressed is because they’re standing at the window of life waiting for their breasts to come. My wife and I would like to invent a breast fairy equipped with a bicycle pump.” The biggest problem with real children, Cosby concluded an hour later, is that they keep coming back to the nest. “Thank God for death. Who wants to live 700 years and see your 400-year-old kids wanting to stay with you for a few years so they can get it back together?”

CAPPING A CONTROVERSY: Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who announced tough sanctions against 21 ballplayers for drug use, would like to institute mandatory urine testing for everyone in the major leagues. Facing adamant opposition to such a move from the Players Association, Ueberroth has found a strong ally in Detroit Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson. “We should do it each and every day we come into the clubhouse,” Anderson told a reporter. “We’re going to the bathroom anyway. What’s the big deal about doing it in a bottle?”

THE DIE WAS CAST EARLY: Those Buckingham Palace stories about Princess Di’s obstinate nature might have some basis in fact. According to her former nanny, Janet Thompson, the future Queen always knew how to get her own way. “I used to insist Diana eat her crusts,” Thompson told the London press. “I thought she was obeying me until one day I found a little hidden shelf at the nursery table with a long line of crusts.” Thompson also added that “Diana hated the daily walks with her sisters and younger brother. She used to lag behind and get further and further away from us. We all had to stop to wait for her.”

HE’S DIGGING A HOLE FOR HIMSELF: Visiting an archaeological dig at the Sea of Galilee, Thomas Pickering, the American ambassador to Israel, noted that there is a converse relationship between archaeology and diplomacy. “In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known.”

THEY MADE HIM AN OFFER HE COULDN’T REFUSE: When Interior Secretary Don Hodel axed Lee Iacocca as head of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Centennial Commission, it was rumored that White House Chief of Staff Don Regan had a hand in the firing. Visiting Washington, D.C. to address a charity event, Iacocca made it clear that he gives credence to the rumor. “I grew up in a tough Italian neighborhood,” he said. “You never screwed around with anybody called a Don, the Don or just plain Don. I know two Dons, and I still don’t know which one of them put out the contract on me.”