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February 12, 1999

TINKY WINKY. Purple plush skin, triangular antennae, a purse: these are among the items listed in Jerry Falwell's recent public service announcement for straight women entitled "Warning Signs That He's Actually Gay."

MISS PIGGY'S RULES: SWINE-TESTED SECRETS FOR CATCHING MR. RIGHT, KEEPING HIM, & THROWING HIM BACK WHEN YOU'VE HAD ENOUGH as told to Louise Gikow and Jim Lewis. Relax, gentlemen, it's a parody (of something that already parodied itself just fine). BG especially appreciates the other white diva's pearls of self-esteem ("... how to meet the one true love of your life... you? ") and porcine pride ("Many women have figure flaws, and I understand these can be hidden by the right clothes. Unfortunately, being unflawed moiself, I am unable to help you in this area. You're on your own."). But how oh how oh how could BG -- who is supposed to be up on these things!? -- have let this title go out of print?! Help! Make some noise! Write to your representatives (Barnes, Noble, et. al.)!

COUNTRY WAYS: SECRETS FOR FINDING AND KEEPING A COUNTRY MAN by Joyce Marlow. If you don't think there's universal demand for this book, ask the police for the attendance stats of Garth Brooks' concert in Central Park. Marlow actually tells you how to talk the talk at auctions. No, not Sotheby's. We are talking machinery, ranching gear, livestock. Best advice: "Don't bid on tools just so you can turn them into planters or ornaments."

THE TECHNIQUE OF THE LOVE AFFAIR by A Gentlewoman. (Actually 23-year-old author/sophisticate Doris Langley Moore; edited by Norrie Epstein.) This flip flapper classic from 1928 annotated -- and oddly appropriate -- for the nineties describes how to keep a man ... at arm's length. An arm bedecked with sparklyobjets of his affection, that is. "Who, then, has the power?" Epstein asks of the gender roles in Moore's world. "The man who believes he's superior? Or the woman who lets him think he is?" Hmm. Read it at least for the truly fascinating historical/cultural/sociological fine print.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE. Opens today. The tearjerker of the season. Can you imagine tracking the sender of a love note all over the world, only to find that it's Kevin Costner?

STAR TREK: THE EXPERIENCE 24TH CENTURY WEDDINGS. The next frontier in Vegas weddings. On Valentine's Day, this city's latest theme-thing launches its nuptial package deal with the weddings of four lucky couples on the bridge of the USS Enterprise. "The love they share for each other will be solidified through the love that they share for Star Trek," says general manager Tom Rapone. Hip pu'Hich Pagh Quch jiHlegh, gar'a? (Note: Non-Trekkers in mixed marriages may want to consult Sam Ramer's The Joy of Trek: How to Enhance Your Relationship With a Star Trek Fan.)

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON PREGNANCY. New research at the University of Richmond and Randolph Macon College in Virginia finds that the hormones released during pregnancy and nursing enhance -- permanently -- the parts of the brain devoted to memory and learning. Could explain the phenomenon of Momniscience.

JENNI-BREAKUP. So Jenni (as in -Cam) is currently available. Anyone bitter about not making it onto The Real World might want to give her a call.

SEX IN THE OFFICE. A minor controversy has erupted over the February issue of Smart Money's citation as "fact" of a dubiously anecdotal statistic: that [up to] 40% of Americans have had sex in the office. The latest survey commissioned by Harlequin (and conducted by Roper) puts the number way down at only 9%, which could be because their respondents are more likely to have had sex on moors, horseback, prairie grass, etc.

MONICA, MONICA, MONICA. How marvelously witty was she in that deposition? She's, like, my favorite 40s movie screwball sidekick right now. God, I wish this weren't real.

BUSTING OUT, INC. This company's natural breast enhancement pills have apparently become "a premium gift" for Valentine's Day. According to a press release, "the majority of sales have been from men wanting to give their significant other a gift that truly reflects their love" [but who, upon finding that all roses and chocolates were sold out, were forced to settle for a gift that pretty much reflects their own taste].

LOVE LETTERS FROM NEPAL. Teens in a teeny village southwest of Katmandu have revolutionized their social lives. Once joined primarily by arranged marriages, many now choose their own partners ... but actual dating is still prohibited. How do they correspond? Long story short: love letters. Like cyberdating, without the cyber- part.

THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT ISSUE. Look, I'm over it. But don't try to tell me that figure skating is not a sport.

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