"In California they are always telling me, 'Have a good day'—and it's like a threat almost," gripes singer Lena Home, who seems a wee bit touchy on the subject. "You want to say, 'Well, just what would constitute a good day for me? Do you know where I'm going, what] have to do?' I think it's such a presumptuous thing to say to people. Happiness now has been made to appear as if it's something tangible. You feel cheated if you don't get it, but what the hell is it?" Hey! Whoa there, Lena. Relax. Mellow out. Get centered. Go with the flow. Find a quiet space. And have a good...Oh, never mind.
At a speech before the Communications Workers of America convention in Detroit, President Carter ran into yet another critic. Does the Navy, asked Bob Arnacher, a union member from California, still have more admirals than ships and the Air Force more colonels than airplanes? The President, who had often complained of such imbalance during his campaign, said he didn't know the current figures but promised to send them on personally. "What's your address?" the President inquired. "Eight-one-five-five Van Nuys Boulevard," answered Arnacher. "How do you spell the boulevard?" Jimmy asked. Responded Arnacher, as the crowd roared and Carter flushed at the old gag: "B-L-V-D."
The arrival of Vietnamese refugees in Iowa has increased the production of corn—or so a joke in the Des Moines Register would suggest. After the fall of Saigon in 1975, the story goes, former President Thieu was whisked by the CIA to a luxurious Paris apartment the agency had kept during the late '50s for the deposed Argentine dictator Juan Perón. That fact was leaked to a congressional committee, which immediately sent an investigator to check on the high price of maintaining former allies. Surprisingly, the cost of the apartment and amenities had not increased in the years since Perón's departure. In fact, Thieu could live as cheaply as Juan.
Shortly after his release from prison in West Germany, where he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine, producer Stan (Love at First Bite) Dragoti dined at the trendy Elaine's in New York. Friends stopped by to welcome him back, but the evening's most unusual greeting came from Peter Guber. He was executive producer of Midnight Express, the story of a young American's nearly five years in a Turkish prison for possession of hashish. Guber told Dragoti with a grin: "Sorry, but I already made the movie."
Whether or not Muhammad Ali has changed the course of human events, it's certain that the Champ is one human event who has become a course—at Manhattan's New School for Social Research, which is offering a fall lecture series entitled "Tribute to a Champion." For $60 tuition, psychology teacher Gabriel Grayson (he's also taught classes on Jesus and Houdini) will present Aliophiles with film clips, poetry and quotations. There will be guest lectures from visiting "professors" Joe Frazier, Norman Mailer, George Plimpton and The Source himself, Ali.
•Country singer Charley Pride thinks he knows why he was refused membership in Dallas' exclusive Royal Oaks Country Club. "I don't believe it was because I have big feet or because my fingers are too short," figures the black star. "I think I have too permanent a tan."
•"I didn't do it, my father did," says director Mike (The Gin Game) Nichols on the subject of his name. "He was a doctor and he said the patients would be dead by the time he got through introducing himself as Nicholaievitch Peschkowsky."