You can teach an old dog new tricks. Witness the 10-year-old cocker spaniel, C. Fred Bush, who will publish his first book, about canine life with the Vice-Presidential family, next year. (Barbara Bush will help a bit as ghostwriter.) At the same time, even the Veep himself can't keep an old dog from getting older. Bush's deputy press secretary, Shirley Green, reports that the late-blooming author has cataracts. "They've made Fred a little crochety," she says. "So sometimes he growls at people when they come up on him and he can't see them." But lots of writers are like that, and C. Fred, who promises to donate all book earnings to literacy programs, is making a valiant effort to control his crabbiness before next spring's book tour. Says Shirley, "I was out at their house over the weekend and C. Fred was his old self—perky and playful."
They're All the Same
CBS newswoman Diane Sawyer received the nicest letter the other day. An elderly man named Mr. Gillespie wrote to say how much he enjoyed watching her on TV and how he and Mrs. G wished they could have her as a granddaughter. With all those creepos out there, Diane doesn't usually answer missives from strangers. But this time she made an exception and wrote back a long, mushy letter. Soon after Diane received a second letter from Mr. Gillespie. He had a new message: Mrs. Gillespie doesn't like to have sex anymore. Would Diane agree to take her place? Diane says she knows there's a moral to this story: "Never answer your mail."
Coming Out Party
Adolescent voice changes mean welcome to the cold, cruel world for Puerto Rican teen-dream pop stars Menudo. When that happens, Menudo members automatically get the boot from the group to make way for the naturally high notes of new, younger members. When Miguel Cancel, 16, lost his upper range, he decided to go in style. He and 500 paying guests staged a $65-a-plate testimonial dinner last month in his honor. Though the financial proceeds of the event went to a Puerto Rican dance school, Miguel, who plans a solo singing career, walked away with countless kisses from squealing señoritas. He also brought home several inscribed plaques, hundreds of cards, five giant Hefty lawn bags full of wrapped gifts, a dozen stuffed animals, assorted T-shirts, some 20 floral offerings, a satin bomber jacket and one live puppy. What? No gold watch?
All the elegance of French high society—that's what designer Pierre Cardin hoped for when he sank his dough into a Peking version of the famous Paris eatery, Maxim's. He still needs to work out a few details. For instance, the Chinese doorman apparently lost something in translation when he greeted boss Cardin on opening night. Said the doorman with a bow, "Bonjour, Madame."
•Not long ago Paul McCartney expressed regret that he didn't try harder to get along with John Lennon. He also gave a pretty good reason why they didn't stay friends. "Nobody would sit there and be called an Engelbert Humperdinck, as I was, and say, 'Oh, fine, I think you're right,' " Paul told London's Daily Mirror. "So I just turned around and said, 'Piss off.' "
•Marj Dusay, who plays bitchy Myrna Clegg on CBS' Capitol, stays in character when discussing her first marriage. Quips Marj, now separated from second husband, resort developer Thomas Perine, "My first husband was a psychiatrist and I was the only one never allowed on the couch."