Any other 70-year-old executive recovering from a gunshot wound would be presumed to merit a vacation. But presidential image-polishers are worried that Ronald Reagan's trips back to the ranch make it seem he doesn't work enough. Recently, to counter that impression, Reagan aides hastily convened a group of California businessmen to discuss with the President his economic recovery program. Now staffers are talking about spiking the First Couple's forthcoming Western vacation with speaking engagements in Alaska and Hawaii. One relentless lily-gilder suggested that at least the press could be told the chief was in telephone touch with the White House throughout his California break. "The only problem," said a senior White House official, "is that the last time he was at the ranch, we never heard from him."
Voice of Experience
"A gross, obvious mistake," snorted sex researcher William Masters. He was referring to the appearance by Xaviera (The Happy Hooker) Hollander at the Fifth World Congress of Sexology just held in Jerusalem. Though most of the attending sexologists opposed her appearance, Xaviera's lecture, on arousal without physical contact, was so popular that it had to be moved to a larger hall. The happy Hollander attributed her popularity to the fact that the rest of the conference was quite stuffy. At least one scientist agreed. "She brings to this meeting," he said on reflection, "the raw material we often lack."
View from a Blonde
"I'm going to keep my hair blond," intoned Jamie Lee Curtis, the horror-film cutie and erstwhile brunette. Retinted for her NBC role as Dorothy Stratten, the Playboy playmate who was murdered by her husband, Curtis says that since the changeover she's been "talking lighter and dressing up." Only thing is, she adds, "I've been working so hard I haven't had time to find out if blondes have more fun." Couldn't she have just asked mom Janet Leigh?
State film boards are supposed to make life easier for visiting filmmakers. The Massachusetts board was doing its best for Luciano Pavarotti's first movie, Yes, Giorgio, currently shooting on location in Boston, when people noticed a man walking around the state office building who bears a striking resemblance to the rotund Met tenor. The Luciano lookalike, it turns out, is Jerry DeCristofaro, chief investigator for the Massachusetts Real Estate Board of Registration, who is working as Pavarotti's stand-in, on set and off. So that Superthroat won't be mobbed by fans, DeCristofaro cheerfully goes out and even signs autographs during breaks. He uses Pavarotti's character's name, "Giorgio Fini," in case there's also a State Forgery Board.
•It cost more than $1 million to mount Cher's hot new act at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, no small part of which is the presence of the mount itself. She does one country number atop a bucking mechanical bull, which cost $8,000 just to transport, via horse trailer, from Texas.
•Writing a beleaguered-housewife column was hardly an enterprise that required new clothes. But now that Erma Bombeck is a regular on Good Morning America, where she is seen only from the waist up, she says her wardrobe consists of "167 blouses and two skirts."
•Auteur-filmmaker Woody Allen says he never could relate to mechanical objects. "Anything I can't kiss or fondle," he says, "I get into trouble with."