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June 25, 1999

LITTLE SCHOLARSHIP-COMPETITION ON THE PRAIRIE. The Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant kicks off today in De Smet, South Dakota (where BG has actually been). If I were entering, my campaign slogan would be: "Laura Ingalls just got Wilder."

BEYOND JENNIFER & JASON, MADISON & MONTANA: WHAT TO NAME YOUR BABY NOW. Dakota, Dylan, Chelsea ... they're all so five babies ago, according to these authors/arbiters, some of whose suggestions are so hip I can't even type them without hitting some weird combination of <ctrl/option/esc>.This remarkably exhaustive volume is also actually a great read for you and your mate/biological clock.

RAISING THEIR VOICES: THE POLITICS OF GIRLS' ANGER. The definitive guide to all the rad young babes I've saluted here. If only Tracy Flick could have read it.

"INFECTION." Monopoly meets Trivial Pursuit meets Operation. Your goal: survive afflictions from malaria to athlete's foot. (One option: contage at a public pool.) Whatever you do, don't go up against Breakup Mom on this one; she will either kick your ass or faint for real.

GUY-CYCLE. A new study indicates that women's taste in men actually changes at different times of their menstrual cycle: "when women are more likely to conceive, they are more receptive to men with more rugged, masculine features ... during the other three weeks of the month, when the odds of becoming pregnant are lower, including during the menstrual period, women choose faces that are smoother and more feminine" (New York Times). Margin of error: 1 Reese Witherspoon/Ryan Phillippe.

THE OTHER ROYAL WEDDING. Prince Edward married Bridget -- I mean, Sophie Rhys Jones as 200 million watched. Some criticized the bride for vowing to "obey," her husband, but I think she was referring to the Queen Mother.

KING CHARLES? Three out of five Britons polled believe that Charles should be allowed to be king even if he marries commoner Camilla Parker Bowles (up from only 28% since shortly after Diana passed away). Three out of five Americans still can't believe he blew off the sweet young thing for the frump.

THE ANNUAL RC AND MOON PIE FESTIVAL. Held last Saturday -- in Bell Buckle, TN, this event (expected to bring 20,000 guests to this 453-person town) celebrates the marshmallowy chocolaty Moon Pie goodness and its fizzy cola chaser. "Miss Ida" Payne, 80, an antiques store owner, was crowned Moon Pie Queen. Now that's the kind of monarchy Americans can get behind.

A RING OF THEIR OWN. A female pro-wrestling organization -- Women of Wrestling (WOW) -- is set to debut next year. Finally!

THE VOICES ARE TELLING ME TO SHOP AGAIN. The next step toward global domination from the Furby folks: this week, Tiger Electronics (makers of the TalkBoy Pen!) introduced its forthcoming "Sound Bites Pop Radio" -- perhaps the first-ever "interactive candy." When you bite on this lollipop-connected-to-a-radio (uh huh), the sound travels directly to your inner ear. I don't even know what to say about this development, except that Ira Glass fans are about to have a lot more cavities.

NEEDZ BATH AND BODY. Long story short, Betsy had a great customer service experience here. Which, as you see, gets rewarded!

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