Friday, September 30, 2011


Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy says she is still waiting for a pair of football boots promised to her by David Beckham after she wrote a poem about him.
David Beckham's football boot
Duffy was inspired to write Achilles by Beckham's injury that kept him out of England's 2010 World Cup campaign.
She said that when Beckham asked for a handwritten copy, she agreed to send one in return for a pair of his boots.
"He's got the bloody poem, I haven't got the boots," she told Mark Lawson for BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme.
Duffy's work contains references to Achilles - the greatest warrior in the Trojan war, according to ancient Greek mythology - with allusions to football field battles and Beckham himself.
"Beckham struggled to get fit and play for England which I think was very much part of the footballing consciousness of the country," she told Front Row.
She added it "seemed to me complete Greek myth that it happened and I just found the connection occurring to me".
"Interestingly when it was published, Beckham himself - in fact if he's listening to this - asked for a handwritten copy of the poem because he apparently liked it very much.
"And I said, 'well yes if I can have a pair of your boots' and so the deal was struck but I haven't had the boots yet."

Monday, September 26, 2011


Confusion is rampant at the Los Angeles Times offices where Maria Bello and the cast and crew of the TV series Prime Suspect are filming a new episode. 
The filming coincided with the visit of the  Greek Foreign Minister and his attendant police and security service detail to the editorial board of the Times to discuss economic matters.

So with both real and fake cops milling around it is not surprising that the amiable Maria Bello started chatting to someone she believed was a Prime Suspect actor dressed as a cop when it was in fact a real cop guarding the Greek foreign minister.

"Oh sorry," she apologised when she realised her mistake. "I thought you were one of ours."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


  Managed to dodge her three burly minders and grab a photo op and a quick chat with Madonna at the Toronto Film Festival.
 She was there to promote W.E, the movie she has directed about Wallis Simpson and King Edward, so she was all smiles and friendliness as she told me she had consulted her ex-husbands, Sean Penn and Guy Ritchie before starting work on the movie. They had both given her useful advice, she said.
 Some of the volunteers at the festival didn't find her so friendly however, and one complained that they were told to stand and face the wall as she walked down the corridor so they could not look at her. Madge later denied issuing any such orders and festival officials blamed it on the private security company she hired.
  It seems that whenever Madonna steps out in public controversy is not far away.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


  Undercover vice squad officers routinely come into contact with sceptical prostitutes wary that their prospective john may actually be a police officer. So, before discussing business, a hooker will often ask the purported sex-seeker to first expose himself, since that is a no-no for a cop.
  Anticipating this demand, a Florida detective hit the Sarasota streets with a rubber replica of a penis stuffed into his pants, according to a Mantee County Sheriff's report uncovered by the Smoking Gun website. .
  At about 10 PM, says the report, the cop (surname: Smith) spotted a “white female wearing denim pants and a green spaghetti strap shirt” walking the street. They talked and the woman got into the detective’s car. As they were driving, Smith asked how much it would cost for oral sex and, he reported, “she asked me to expose my penis.” Smith--packing one real and one phony phallus--asked if he could first put on a condom.
“I then exposed a flaccid rubber replica of a penis and placed a condom on it,” wrote Smith. “She immediately leaned over and put it into her mouth.”
At this point Smith spotted an opossum crossing the road and slammed on the brakes, “causing the female to slide out of her seat and into the dashboard.” 
 The report does not make clear whether she still had Smith’s sheathed fake penis in her mouth at the time.
 The undercover cop then again asked for an oral sex quote. “Twenty for head,” the woman replied. Smith gave a take down signal to fellow members of the Special Investigations Division Tactical Unit, who arrived and arrested Christina Vavra, 31, for prostitution.
Vavra, pictured above, is being held in the Manatee County lockup.

Friday, September 16, 2011


jane plm
Jane Fonda dons her hippie gear for her role in director Bruce Beresford's comedy Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, which was screened at the Toronto Film Festival. 
  Fonda, a two-time Oscar winner, plays Grace, a hippie-dippy artist mother who embraces pot smoking and free love.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Here are the booking photos of eight members of an Amish sect who were ordered to jail by a Kentucky judge after they refused to pay fines for failing to affix orange safety triangles to their horse-drawn buggies.
 The men, who were booked into the Graves County jail, refused to pay the fines on grounds that their religion bars them from wearing or displaying bright colors. Jailed for misdemeanor contempt of court, the inmates were provided dark-colored jumpsuits in place of the standard issue orange coveralls.
 They were ordered to serve between three and 10 days.
 While members of the Swartzentruber Amish sect will affix reflective tape to the rear of their buggies, they refuse to use bright safety triangles, which they consider too modern.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Drunken elk stuck in tree, Saro, Sweden, 6 September 2011
A homeowner in southern Sweden got a shock when he found a drunken elk stuck in his neighbour's apple tree.
The animal was apparently on the hunt for fermenting apples when she lost her balance and became trapped in the tree.
Per Johansson, from Saro near Gothenburg, found the elk making a roaring noise in the garden next door.
He called the emergency services, who helped him free the boozed-up beast by sawing off branches. She spent the night recovering in the garden.
The next day she took herself off into the woods with her hangover.
It is not unusual to see elk, or moose as they are known in North America, drunk in Sweden during autumn, when there are plenty of apples about.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


These newlyweds didn't want to pay for a wedding reception----so they went shoplifting for the food and drink they needed, say police. 
  Brittany Lurch, 22, and Arthur Phillips, 32, were arrested after trying to walk out of a store in Patton Township, Pennsylvania, with goods valued at $1,049.26. The newlyweds, pictured in the above mug shots, were collared after wheeling the hot merchandise out of the store in two shopping carts to their waiting Hyundai.
   Police sources say that the stolen goods included a shrimp platter ($115); two spiral hams ($70); a vegetable tray ($50); appetizer trays; eggs; a punch bowl; forks; spoons; soda; dinnerware for eight; turkey; toothbrushes; a polo shirt; and Gillette Fusion razor blades.
   The newlyweds spent the first days of their honeymoon in the Centre County jail where they were booked on theft charges. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


 New high-impact sports risk?

Silicone breast implant
 A British woman's breast implant reportedly exploded after she was hit in the chest by a paintball, which can travel at 190 mph. 
  The paintball company, UK Paintball, has now adjusted its policies and has issued a statement aimed at would-be lady paintballers.  "We respectfully ask that any ladies with surgical breast implants notify our team at the time of booking," its says on its website. "You will be given special information on the dangers of paintballing with enhanced boobs and asked to sign a disclaimer."
 And it adds:  "You will also be issued with extra padding to protect your implants while paintballing."
 This, of course, happened within days of an FDA official reaffirming that silicone breast implants on the market were safe to use.

Monday, September 5, 2011



Now that he is coming clean about his addiction to alcohol and cocaine, former world boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya is also fessing up that he did, in fact, pose for a series of photos in fishnet stockings and assorted female undergarments.
  In a new tell-all interview with Univision,  De La Hoya, 38, admitted that the photos, which were taken about four years ago, were authentic and that he did not want to continue lying about the matter. “Let me tell you, yes, it was me,” said De La Hoya, speaking in Spanish. “I’m tired of lying, lying to people, lying to myself.”
  De La Hoya’s revelation comes three years after he used business associates, a cadre of high-powered lawyers, and the influential PR firm Sitrick and Company to threaten, smear, and bludgeon 23-year-old stripper Milana Dravnel, with whom he posed in some of the images.
 When her eight-month affair with the married De La Hoya ended in late-2007, Dravnel sought to sell the photos, which were taken in a Philadelphia hotel suite. That effort was met by a ferocious legal counterattack led by legendary L.A. attorney Bert Fields and his New York counterpart Judd Burstein.
  De La Hoya’s lawyers even retained a purported photo expert who concluded, according to an e-mail obtained by The Smoking Gun website, that, “I would say that the most likely scenario was that Mr. De La Hoya's head (from various pictures) was composited onto the body of another male who was wearing the fishnet body stocking (and the wig).”
De La Hoya also dismissed the pictures as Photoshopped fakes.
At one point, Dravnel became so intimidated by the De La Hoya assault she told a reporter that she could not “personally verify the authenticity of the images of Oscar De La Hoya.” Dravnel backtracked, she explained in a subsequent court filing, because the Golden Boy and his cohorts intimidated and threatened her “through various means” to tell the media that she could not vouch for the photos.
 The lie was extracted from her, Dravnel added, even though De La Hoya knew the photos were real.
  In June 2008, Dravnel settled a federal lawsuit she had brought against De La Hoya, though details of that deal were not filed with the court. Additionally, a source told The Smoking Gun the parties signed confidentiality agreements barring them from discussing settlement terms.
  Dravnel (above) now 26, works as a yoga instructor and recently operated her own studio in Brooklyn's Bensonhurst neighborhood.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


woodcutIt may not be widely known but September 3 is Robert Greene Day, an excellent reason for raising a glass to toast the anniversary of the death of the rascally Greene, believed to have been the first person ever to earn a living by writing.
Greene (11 July 1558 – 3 September 1592), the most popular English author of his day, was a notorious profligate who died from a lifetime, he confessed, of "riot" and "incontinence," though the immediate cause was apparently "a surfett of pickle herringe and rennish wine."

   He wrote plays, romances and racy, semi-autobiographical tales of dissipation, capitalising on his scandalous reputation. He also specialized in "cony-cattching pamphlets," a series of tales based on the nefarious techniques used by the con men and women of the Elizabethan underworld. Under the guise of informing and forearming an unsuspecting public, such "rogue literature" was a popular genre in Shakespeare's day.     

  Pamphlets like Greene's were story-based, others merely cataloged various tricks, telling us, for example, that a hooker is one who goes about with a long, iron-hooked staff snatching clothing left out to dry on balconies and hedges.

 He is probably best-known today for a
posthumously published pamphlet, Greene's Groats-Worth of Wit, which contained an attack on  his fellow dramatist William Shakespeare, whom he accused of plagiarism and being a man of dubious scruples.

  So on September 3 let's remember Robert Greene, the hedonistic predecessor of all profligates, rascals....and journalists.


  It's always a pleasure seeing Nicole Kidman, whom I first met 21 years ago on Batman Forever. A lot of water under the bridge si...