Not the Heat, the Humanity
Normally it’s chic to dine outdoors at Hollywood’s posh Ma Maison restaurant, but a recent 100°-plus heat wave turned the tiny first-floor dining room into some of the most sought-after real estate in town. Jockeying for the 10 small tables one afternoon were: David Janssen, Joan Hackett, Ed McMahon, Debby Boone, Swifty Lazar, Jim Nabors, Carol Connors, Jackie Bisset and boyfriend Victor Drai, Roscoe Lee Browne and producers Sidney (Marathon Man) Beckerman and Elliott (Goldengirl) Kastner. Songwriter Connors suggested everyone play Let’s Make a Deal, while Browne commented to owner Patrick Terrail, “This is all very impressive, Patrick.” Deadpanned Terrail, “You should see. who’s upstairs.” One of the guests was Metropolitan Opera soprano Carol Neblett, who regaled the chic assemblage with Vienna Dreams (she was headed there).
Shalom, Salaam, So Long
In a small way, it was a case of good news/bad news for the cause of peace in the Mideast. First, Jordan’s King Hussein, in Paris shopping for planes, smiled and nodded when the head-waiter at the Rasputin nightclub handed him a note penned by Israeli businessmen at a nearby table. The message read: “With the help of Allah we pray that soon there will be peace between our two countries. Shalom. Salaam.” Just then the band, in a bungled attempt to honor Hussein and his Queen Noor, struck up exactly the wrong Middle Eastern tune—Jerusalem of Gold, an Israeli song that became famous during the Six-Day War. With that, the royal couple got up and left.
Let Evan Dobelle, a former Republican mayor in Massachusetts, tell how he first won the Administration’s confidence on his way to becoming President Carter’s campaign manager. When Dobelle met the Georgian inner circle in Atlanta, they offered him a drink. “I asked for a Dr Pepper,” says Dobelle. His shrewd choice of a Southern favorite elicited approving nods and murmurs around the room. “Then,” Dobelle goes on, savoring the denouement, “I asked for a glass.” The admiring silence that met such a genteel and unaccustomed request was broken by Hamilton Jordan, who announced, “Well, we just found our chief of protocol.”
Sparky Anderson, newly named manager of the Detroit Tigers, was happily nattering to a reporter about his team’s prospects when a voice cut in on their phone line. “Operator, operator,” said the voice. “I’m not the operator,” replied Sparky. “This is the operator,” the voice shot back, and then explained that the reason for the unusual interruption was “an emergency call from Howard Cosell.” Sparky, unimpressed, said simply, “He’ll have to call back.” The surprised operator asked again, and Sparky again said no. The last sound from New York was a click.
While emceeing a benefit in Denver, Merv Griffin recounted an unusual faux pas he committed there years ago while taping a local TV show. “I moved into the audience, singing What’s New Pussycat?” Merv remembered. “During rehearsal, we’d blocked off a specific position in the aisle where I was to stop and sing in order to get the best camera angle.” But when the cameras rolled—heavens! “I had no idea that a nun, in full habit, would be sitting there,” marvels Merv. “I couldn’t move away because of the camera angle. I don’t know who was more embarrassed.”
•”A trip to China gives you the most amazing case of jet lag,” observes just-returned White House trade negotiator Bob Strauss. “I wake up around midnight just starved to death, and then around noon all I can think of is sex. We’re not getting much work done in my shop at lunchtime.”
•At the Vienna Summit one participant recalled a Washington dinner attended by Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko in the ’60s. Gromyko, it seems, wanted to toast Mrs. Dean Rusk, wife of the U.S. Secretary of State, but refused the help of a translator. “I offer a toast to this gracious lady,” Gromyko said, beaming proudly. “Up your bottom.”