As nuclear protests swell around the country, bigwigs in Washington are being forced to consider America's preparedness. Let's hope the situation has improved since 1977. When Jimmy Carter became President, an Air Force general promptly came to the Oval Office to explain the procedure for evacuating the Chief Executive if it ever came to that. The general informed Carter that it would take less than five minutes to get him out of the White House and winging toward safety. "Okay," said the President, "go." "Go?" asked the general incredulously. "That's right," said Carter. "Go." The general turned pale and scrambled into action. Aides scurried about. Phones rang. Carter went back to work. Forty-five minutes later, as the general was still shouting orders into a telephone, Carter calmly asked, "Got the time, General?"
O Rms, Erth Vu
To raise money for the University of Colorado's Fiske Planetarium, director David Aguilar decided to mount an extraterrestrial land grab, selling deeds to 1,000-acre tracts on Mars at $20 each. The response, he reports, "has been crazy." In just three weeks he has received orders for more than 1,200 plots on the Olympus Mons, a vast Martian volcano with "pink skies and unlimited rock gardens," according to Aguilar's prospectus. John Rosenburg of Love-land, Colo, ordered his because he's looking for a maximum of privacy "to cut down on visits by deadbeat relatives." Ruth Snyder of Manchester, Minn, asked Aguilar if she could be sure of a southern exposure and whether "it will be possible to get a perk test for a septic tank." (Luckily, the deeds come complete with instructions for using zero-gravity toilets.) And E. Lloyd Mildon of Alberta, Canada wrote in with another universal concern. "What," he asked, "is the tax structure up there?" Not to worry, Lloyd. Aguilar has sent complimentary deeds to such high-tax-bracket types as Kermit the Frog, Johnny Carson and Olivia Newton-John.
A (Pine) apple a Day
The Beverly Hills Diet was widely criticized by medical authorities, but Judy Mazel has gone ahead and published a sequel, The Beverly Hills Diet Lifetime Plan. Mazel's critics have done everything but bop her on the head with one of those pineapples she says are the key to losing weight. Dr. Victor Herbert, a New York-based internist and expert on fad diets, says, "The woman is a scientific idiot in the field of nutrition. Her first book was irresponsible, and I doubt her second will be any better." Actually, he added, "I've never objected to her book becoming a best-seller—only to its being on the nonfiction list."
He Did It His Way
Before appearing on the Tonight show, tenor Placido Domingo got his shoes shined by NBC's veteran polisher, Floyd Jackson. When he heard it was Jackson's birthday—his 73rd—Domingo generously peeled off a $100 bill—and then asked for $1 in change. Why the $99 tip? "I heard that in his souvenir book for the station," explains Domingo, "Floyd mentions Frank Sinatra as his biggest tipper at $100, and I didn't want him to have to rewrite it."
•Touring Opatija, Yugoslavia during a break from filming his new adventure flick, High Road to China, Tom Selleck came upon that city's memorial to the unknown soldier. What intrigued the American actor was the fact that the monument gave the soldier's name—Zlatko Poprzen. Asked to resolve this apparent paradox, Selleck's guide explained, "As a soldier, he was unknown. But as a tailor, he was famous."
•Maureen Reagan may be miffed that her father has yet to endorse her U.S. Senate try, but she couldn't possibly have been referring to him—could she?—when she told a group of Colorado businesswomen, "I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there."
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