Blackout
Who shot the dastardly J.R. Ewing on the last episode of Dallas'? Not even J.R.'s television wife, Linda Gray, knows whodunit—and the mystery followed her on vacation. "I was in Bali with my family," Linda says, "swimming on a heavenly afternoon, when three ladies started swimming after me yelling, 'Did you do it?' " Linda pleaded ignorance. So when she got back to Los Angeles she phoned the producers, who said: "We wouldn't tell you even if you did." Muses Linda, "I guess I'll just have to stay tuned like everyone else."

Unmasked
After 10 years as the jelly-bellied Keystone Kop of major league umpires, flamboyant Ron Luciano was scheduled to debut as an NBC sportscaster but was drowned out by game-canceling showers. He did get on the air long enough to make his presence felt, though. "Everybody in baseball knows that man throws a spitter," he declared, on camera, of Texas pitcher Gaylord Perry. And who else, he was asked later, uses the illegal pitch? "Gee, I don't know," he sidestepped. "My eyes are bad. It took me 10 years to tell Gaylord threw one."

Jurist Prudence
The Brethren co-author Scott Armstrong should have known better than to accept an invitation to an American Bar Association bash in Washington. When lawyer David Weiner introduced the best-selling scourge of the Supreme Court, Weiner quipped that he'd interviewed 150 former copyboys about Armstrong at the Washington Post for his big exposé, which he plans to call The Cistern. Then he added, "And we would make certain that every seedy detail is confirmed by at least two anonymous and insignificant sources."

Britt Scotched
The present Mrs. Rod Stewart doesn't think her husband is the tightfisted Scot depicted by ex-flame Britt Ekland in her kiss-and-tell autobiography. She has another version of Britt's allegation that the singer complained about the grocery bills she ran up at his Beverly Hills mansion. Says the former Alana Hamilton: "When I moved in I went mad when I saw the grocery bills. I said, 'Rod, this has got to stop,' and he said, 'Oh, is that expensive?' He didn't even know, you see." Loving wife Alana says she's "never known a less stingy man," but concedes he might not have been that way with Britt. "Maybe he didn't want to spend any money on her," she purred. "A lot of men are that way with their girlfriends."

Old Soldier
A Washington photographer was having a tough time shooting an animated portrait of Ronald Reagan and two aides. Finally he asked the trio to turn slightly to the left so as to get "a vertical profile." Not to be outdone in technical phraseology, Reagan smiled back: "Well, all right, but in the cavalry we called this 'left oblique.' " The cavalry? Yes indeed—the Warner Bros, version, Santa Fe Trail, 1940, starring, among others, Ronald Reagan as George Custer.

Furthermore

•The tenants on the 79th floor of Chicago's Standard Oil Building are relieved that the Iranian consulate down the hall has been closed. The diplomats and Muslim visitors were constantly in the rest rooms using basins and toilets to wash their feet three times a day before prayers.

•Kiss' Gene Simmons bumped into model-turned-singer Bebe Buell at a Boomtown Rats concert in Manhattan recently and bet her that the Irish punk group would never make it in the U.S. If it does, he'll pay her $50,000—in pennies. If not, she has to do a Lady Godiva on Fifth Avenue—without the horse. Now the only question remaining is: Who decides whether the Rats are a boom or a bust?