Makers & Breakers
The departure of Richard Nixon sent out ripples that fetched up in unexpected places. At London’s Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, for instance, the head of Richard M. was removed from the Grand Hall and carted off to a storage bin in Somerset. Nixon’s resignation makes him “completely irrelevant,” said a Tussaud spokesman. On the U.S. entertainment circuit, mimic Richard M. Dixon (Jim LaRoe offstage) proclaimed, “I want to make one thing perfectly clear. I did not resign. He did. He let me down.” And comedian David Frye, who does a devastating take-off on the ex-President adds, “I felt sorry for Nixon until the very last transcript. Nixon will stay in my act—fighting to keep out of jail.”
Agnew for President? For a musical based on the life of Warren G. Harding, he of the Teapot Dome scandal, Producer Mack Gilbert has offered Agnew the President’s role. “Obviously he is a performer,” says Tom O’Horgan, of Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar fame, who will direct. Agnew’s attorneys confirm that the offer has been received but so far no word from Spiro, now in the Middle East on oil business.
From the Pickle Barrel
A tidbit of classified information has filtered out of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. When James Schlesinger left the directorship to become Secretary of Defense in June, 1973, after six months at the “pickle factory,” colleagues gave him a going-away party and three mementos of his tenure as the country’s top spook: an attaché case, a squirt gun and an ill-fitting red wig commemorating E. Howard Hunt’s sensationally un-secret interview with ITT lobbyist Dita Beard.
Picasso used to autograph cigarette butts, thereby turning them into instant, if not quite Acapulco, gold. And fans have pinched Garbo’s cigarettes still smoking from the ashtray. Now it’s Bette Davis’ turn. While on a lecture tour, the 66-year-old actress found herself besieged by students and admirers begging for the lipsticked cigarettes she had smoked during her “evening.”
Tab to Remember
H.R. Haldeman, his wife and two of their children dined at Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, Calif., and, when he asked for the check, was told there was none. The chef archly explained, “This restaurant does not accept tainted money.” Haldeman left a five dollar tip and walked out.
To Russia in Love
Dr. Abramm Svyadoshch may not mean much outside the Soviet Union, but inside it his book, “Female Sexual Pathology,” is a zinger (100,000 copies, and a blackmarket cost 50 times over the list price of 87 cents). He strides unblinking into Masters and Johnson country, finding “nyet orgazma” a minor crisis among Soviet women (18% vs. 40% in France), to say nothing of Leningrad men, where the “da” rate is 100%. For women who fail to measure up there is advice on aphrodisiacs: caviar and red peppers are recommended, as well as Ravel’s Bolero and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.
Crock of Parrots
It took a year of sleuthing and a task force activated by Eastern Airlines’ senior V.P., ex-astronaut Frank Borman, but “The Wings of Man” can now stop fluttering. Hard to believe, but the airline office’s telephone system in Atlanta’s Hyatt Regency hotel kept disconnecting. Even harder to believe, the cause was the parrots caged in the nearby lobby bar. Fed a steady diet of martini-soaked olives and cocktail cherries by the bar patrons, the parrots emit ecstatic squawks containing a high-frequency tone that triggers telephone circuit-breaking equipment. Solution: tone-filters on the phones.
He calls her “Monkey” or “Barbi Doll”; she calls him just plain “Hef,” as in Hugh Hefner, 48, panjandrum of Playboy and all its enterprises. A year ago it was not so. She had moved out of her Svengali’s California mansion while he gamboled in Chicago with blonde Karen Christy. But the defection of Barbie Benton, 24, seems to have rekindled the flame. Hef is now her constant companion as she debuts as a country-and-western singer. “We have no plans for marriage in the immediate future,” Hef confides. “But certainly a relationship that has lasted as long as ours has a pretty good chance.”