February 25, 1991 12:00 PM


“I’m afraid I’ve always gone on publicity tours to make the publisher happy,” says NORMAN MAILER, 68, who in December delivered the 2,700-page manuscript of his latest novel, an opus about the CIA called Harlot’s Ghost, to Random House. Mailer says he is particularly suspicious about the efficacy of plugging his books on TV. “The odds against anyone reading the book who watches the show are huge,” he says. “And if in fact they are slightly curious about you, it can then have a negative effect when they see you hung over at 8 in the morning with big bags under your eyes. They then say, ‘Oh, gee, I don’t want to read him.’ ”


“One of the most ridiculous things about Los Angeles,” says SARAH JESSICA PARKER, 25, who stars in the new STEVE MARTIN comedy, L.A. Story, “is using valet parking when there’s a perfectly good free spot right across the street. Think about it. You give someone the keys to your car with complete trust, and they drive away! It’s ludicrous. It’s like going up to a stranger, giving him the keys to your house and saying, “Look, I know I don’t know what your name is or who you are, but I’m not going to be home for a couple of hours. Can you watch my house?’ ” The Cincinnati-raised Parker, who also stars as an assistant DA on ABC’s Equal Justice, has another major L.A. peeve: “There’s no weather. One night it rained, and I made my boyfriend [actor ROBERT DOWNEY JR.] wake up and stand by the window with me until it stopped—I knew it might be the last time it rained that year.”


After nine years with the all-girl band the Bangles, singer SUSANNA HOFFS has split from the band and recorded a solo album, When You’re a Boy. “We seemed to get along very well in public, but there were a lot of things brewing under the surface,” says Hoffs, 29, explaining why she went off on her own. “I think the biggest problem was that the public started to perceive me as the lead singer even though the group didn’t. That caused jealousy and frustration. It was painful to be in a band where you’re trying to do your best and whenever you achieve something, it causes the other members to think they’re being denied their chance. After a while, I didn’t want to have to feel guilty.”


Despite rumors to the contrary, confessed shy guy JOHN STAMOS, 27, says, “I’m afraid to ask girls out.” The reigning heartthrob on ABC’s Full House and the former steady of pop singer PALLA ABDUL, Stamos says, “I think too much about it. My friends say I’m the biggest ‘girl waster’ because I’m always afraid to make that first move.” Stamos, who makes his first appearance as a leading man on film in the forthcoming 1940s motorcycle movie, Born to Ride, adds, “If I go to a restaurant, I’ll stare at a really pretty girl the whole time, but I’ll be afraid to go over, and then I’m pissed at myself for the rest of the next day. I never know what to say. ‘Hi, I’m Johnny TV Star. How are you?’ ”

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