PEANUTS ENVY: Although her father died six months ago, ageless Shirley MacLaine told a group of friends that she still keeps in touch with him. "Shirley said that he misses Peanuts," says one chum. When a baffled friend asked, "What do you mean? Don't they feed him down there or wherever he is?" MacLaine corrected the misconception. "No, no," she said. "The cartoon Peanuts."

MODERN LOVE: They've been divorced since 1980, but David and Angie Bowie keep in touch by way of London's Daily Mail. Angie, bitter about David's alleged romance with his personal assistant Corinne "Coco" Schwab, threw the first globs of mud. "She [Corinne] stole my husband and wrecked our marriage," Angie said, adding, "He could have the pick of the world's most beautiful women. To me Coco is ugly and frumpy.... But there is a reason for all this. David doesn't want good-looking girls. He wants a mother. And Coco is his mother substitute." David, on tour in Europe, didn't take it sitting down. "Angie is quite humorless," Bowie, 40, subsequently countered in the Mail. "If my memory serves me well, it was like living with a blowtorch. She has as much insight into the human condition as a walnut, and a self-interest that would make Narcissus green with envy." Angie's biggest bone of contention is their son Zowie Bowie, now 16 and called Joe, whom she never sees or hears from. "I know David is trying to turn him into an English gentleman, a sort of David Niven character," she has said. "I'm worried that Zowie might turn out to be very snobbish, like a stuffed herring."

USING A PENN NAME: Singer Cyndi Lauper's true colors are varied and very strong. "The image I created was powerful," Lauper told New York Woman magazine. "I was aggravated with watching the MTV sluts. It's always some ugly, poor bastard with some gorgeous, sexy woman that wouldn't be caught dead standing next to him if it wasn't a video.... I was hell-bent on not being used as a little sex toy." Remembering her mother, once a divorced waitress, Cyndi said, "I got to see at a young age what it was like for a woman out there, so I decided to live my life like a man.... I would not be a victim." What of the girl who just wants to have fun? Don't worry. "When people say to me, 'Aren't you Cyndi Lauper?' " she says, "I say, 'No, I'm Madonna, and watch out 'cause Sean Penn is gonna come at ya any second.' "

NO FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS, PLEASE: Delta Burke ducked when her Designing Women co-star Jean Smart threw the bouquet on her recent wedding day to Richard Gilliland, who also appears on the show. "I didn't want to take any chances," says Burke, 30. "You have to have a reason to get married, and I don't have one. If I'd been married I'd be divorced by now. Marriage is just not one of my big dreams in life. And it bugs people because you're not conforming." Delta won't even stand on ceremony. "This little ritual of throwing the bouquet to a single woman at a wedding is embarrassing," she says. "It's like picking out a virgin to be sacrificed to the gods."

THEY GIVE HER PAWS: Emily Post did encourage thank-you's, but has Whitney Houston gone too far? The singer's numerous nods on the sleeve of her hot-selling new album, Whitney, extend to her two cats, Miste, a 3-year-old Angora, and Marilyn, a year-old tabby. But she says it's more than a matter of manners. "I'm inspired by their attention," purrs Houston, 23. "They always know what I'm doing and thinking. They're sensitive to my moods, they're loveable and kind and they do not judge if you make a mistake. I only wish that more people were like my Miste and Marilyn."