updated 08/08/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/08/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

(LADIES') ROOM AT THE TOP: Texas State Treasurer Ann Richards found sudden fame after delivering the Democrats' keynote address at the party's national convention in Atlanta. In fact, she found fame even in a crowded ladies' room. "I recognized her and asked if she would pose for a picture," says Beverly White, a TV reporter at Cincinnati's WKRC, who was standing in line. But when Richards agreed, five other women pulled out their cameras as well. "She posed with everyone," says White, "even before she washed her hands. The people inside the stalls were nice too. They stayed put until all the snapshots were taken." Clearly, the woman of the hour enjoyed the encounter. "The ladies' room is an interesting place," Richards said. "It's the one place the boys haven't taken away from us, where we can still meet and discuss business."

KEY CHANGES: Just when it seemed as if he were grooming himself to be Liberace's successor, pop idol-piano man Elton John has decided that all the glitters should be sold. "I know it must look a bit like the classic change of life thing, but it's not," Elton told London's Sunday Mirror Magazine about his decision to auction off many of his most flamboyant costumes and props. "I'm clearing the decks to start again. No more costumes, no more grand piano, I'll never sing Bennie and the Jets onstage again, and I'm going to transform my house from an overstuffed warehouse to a place where people can actually live." The sale is set for September at Sotheby's in London.

WEIGHTING AROUND: When Melba Moore walked through a security device at New York City's La Guardia Airport recently, it started buzzing. "It was my ankle weights," she says. "I was wearing them to spare anybody who carries my bag from having to lug them around." The guards, who didn't recognize the high-stepping songstress, thought the nine-pound weights might be explosives or some other dangerous device. "They sat and talked for a while before they determined that I was not a lethal weapon," says Moore, who was headed to Washington, D.C., to hype her new album, I'm in Love. Although she was delayed for 30 minutes, she isn't complaining. "I want security to be as thorough as necessary," Moore says, "so no one else has any guns."

HE'S HEAVY AND MY BROTHER: Actor Michael Chiklis may be getting his big break playing the late corpulent comic John Belushi in the just-completed film of Bob Woodward's Wired, but one member of his family thinks he's waisting his talents. "I had to gain a lot of weight for the movie," says Chiklis, 24. "My brother called me and said, 'I saw you in a magazine and you're a fat slob.' I asked him if he was psyched about the attention the movie was getting, and all he said was, 'You're a load. It's embarrassing.' "

TIME OF HIS MID-LIFE: Singer Bill Medley, 47, has got that loving feeling again, thanks to "The Time of My Life," his hit single from the movie Dirty Dancing. Medley, who's currently on tour with the DDstage act, evidently feels it's okay to dance dirty, just don't sing dirty. "I find it so boring," he says of explicit lyrics. "How much can you drink and how much can you fool around? I have fun doing those things too, but to dedicate a whole album to it doesn't make sense. To sing about a relationship makes sense. That goes a lot deeper than a hangover."

THE ROYAL BEAK: The Princess of Wales wants a new nose, London's Evening Standard reports. The paper says that at a recent ladies-only dinner at Kensington Palace, Diana divulged, "I'd love to have my conk fixed. It's too big." She told her guests that inquiries had been made, but that the royal doctors advised against a nose job. "I couldn't go around with my nose in bandages for days and all that bruising," Di was quoted as saying. "Also, things go wrong, and it would be terrible if it looked worse afterwards."

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