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October 15, 1999

SWELL: A GIRLS' GUIDE TO THE GOOD LIFE. NYT style editor Ilene Rosenzweig and BG's fave rave fashion babe Cynthia Rowley team in this little striped book that's positively cute enough to wear. Who says retro means The Rules? R & R write: "Swell is the place where spirit and style meet ... [It's] about gallantry and chivalry, and raiding from the other side all those magnanimous traits of manhood that make old black-and-white movies so sexy. Why can't a girl be the sport who shows up with flowers on the first date? Not that she's afraid to show her feminine side and write love letters while wearing her maribou slippers..."( And what's in Swell for you guys? "This ingenious (very funny) manifesto is extremely dangerous! Women who heed just half of the wisdom revealed in these pages will be forced to beat away truckloads of men hopelessly enslaved by their every breath and gesture. Swell, hell — this stuff is devastating!" — so trills Bill Zehma, author of The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin'. )

MATADON'T. Call her the Shannon Faulkner of Madrid: Spain's Cristina Sanchez, the first woman in Europe to become a pro matador, is folding up her cape, citing a losing battle for respect among her male adversaries (bullfighters, not bulls). Her retirement has sparked a firmly mixed reaction among those whose position on her pioneering role has always been: " YOU GO, GIRL! WHAT IS SHE THINKING?!"

MEN SAY THEY HAVE TO CHECK TO SEE IF ITS ON. Shower-with-an-anorak no more. Global Protection Corp. -- an innovative leader in de-icking condoms and promoting sexual responsibility and STI prevention -- presents Pleasure Plus, the condom with a patented extra-latex design that actually increases stimulation. BG doesn't want to hear any more complaints, okay?

THE GLOBAL POPULATION. Okay, a bit of a non-sequitur. Earthlings now total 6 billion. Yes, I know it feels like they're all in couples.

CHARLIE'S ANGEL FOOD. Concerned about the slim pickins among today's female celeb role models, Drew Barrymore has insisted that the Angels in the forthcoming Charlie's remake be seen actually eating -- and heartily, too.

THE TRUMP(tm) WHITE HOUSE. Unconcerned about the fact that she'd have to attend state dinners, the current Trumpette says she'd marry the Donald at the drop of a ... hint that he'd run for mogul in chief.

MILLENNIUM GIRL. Uh, total non-sequitur, I swear. Bridget is Jonesing for more in these anti-swell dating-for-gold chronicles that make Sex and the City look like Jessi and the Superbrat.

TONYAMANIA II. Speaking of non-sequiturs, BG's most fave superbrat is scheduled to make her professional debut next week at the unsanctioned Pro Skating Championships in Huntington, West Virginia (to air on ESPN October 25). Speaking of doppelgangers — oh, that's another story for another Superlist.

NANCY KERRIGAN. Speaking of BG's least fave superbrat, see what happens when you try to go to Now that's a back-whack in the e-knee, if you ask me.

THE LADIES' AUXILIARY. A young convert shakes up the staid ladies of Memphis' close-knit Jewish community. The Ya-Ya Sisterhood meets Sula meets Last Night of Ballyhoo meets Driving Miss Breakup and her own crazy mixed-up background.

PRETZEL LOGIC. "What would you do if your spouse woke up one day and told you he was gay?" Here, Lisa Rogak fictionalizes the answer from her own vertiginous, anguished experience. While this novel may itself serve as a support-group-on-paper, her own website offers even more.

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