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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

GLOBAL EYE




Knight Deposit


The Honky Cat has been living high on the hog -- a bit too high, say his bean-counters, who warned him last week he's just about to run out of cash.


Well-plumaged popster Sir Elton John, although flush with the funereal success of his mourning music for Princess Di and newly ennobled by the queen, got a stark report from his accountants, who said he was rather overdoing the "lord-of-the-manor" bit with his prodigious spending, The Guardian reports. The little big man has been shelling out something like $450,000 a week and "cash flow projections show available headroom running out by substantial sums by April," as Price Waterhouse put it, succinctly.


While maintaining four homes in three countries, a fleet of Bentleys, and two florists to keep his manses in ever-refreshed bloom, Sir E tends to augment his weekly expenses with gargantuan sprees: a $200,000 birthday party last year (complete with $6,000 Marie Antoinette wig); a $400,000 one-day swoop of Versace duds in Paris; a two-month, $6.2 million tear of jewelry-buying; and a cool quarter-mil of interior decorating.


The weekly accounts for last week alone included $128,000 for fine art, $48,000 for antiques, $80,000 for a few more finger baubles and neck adornments, $20,000 for furniture, $8,000 for the vet -- and $375 for curtains (a steal at twice the price).


Who among the knight's good squires would leak such embarrassing material? Disgruntled employees at his management company, most likely -- it seems the extravagant errant stiffed them on Christmas presents last year.


Tub Thumping


Wretched excess was also on display at London's pish-posh Portobello Hotel last week, when a "pop-star couple" filled a bathtub with $1,200 worth of champagne -- only to have a maid pull the plug while they were noshing downstairs, The Daily Telegraph reports.


Hanna Turner, manager of the small, quirky inn, a favorite haunt of rock stars stopping in London, said the celebrated couple -- whom she refused to name -- ordered up three cases of choice Mumm and emptied them into the tub. But then the conscientious maid -- perhaps mistaking it for brackish, post-concert sweat -- drained the bubbly bath before the revels could begin.


"They saw the funny side," said Turner's partner, Johnny Ekpergin. "When you earn over $30 million year, it doesn't really matter, does it?"


Oh yeah? Tell that to Price Waterhouse.


Rationed Relics


But if the rock life often breeds overindulgence, rock death can produce an admirable sense of economy. Consider the prudent and parsimonious survivors of recently deceased Australian singer Michael Hutchence: Unable to come to any agreement on how to dispose of his ashes, they simply divvied them up three ways last week and let the chips, so to speak, fall where they may.


Hutchence's dad, Kel, took his share of the siftings out to Sydney Harbor and dumped them in the drink, opposite the Ritz-Carlton Hotel where the INXS frontman was found hanged by his belt last November, the Telegraph said.


Hutchence's girlfriend, Paula Yates, and his mother, Patricia Glassop, were not invited to the ceremony, which took place on what would have been the singer's 38th birthday. The two women have not yet decided how they will spend their respective urnings.


Royal Flush


Earnings of a more corporeal sort were on the minds of the managers of the Princess Diana Memorial Fund last week, as they announced controversial plans for a scratch-card Princess Di gambling scheme, The Associated Press reports.


The game, widely criticized as "tasteless and inappropriate," will award instant prizes of up to $41,000 as it raises bo-jillions more for the ever-swelling charity fund. The cards will be sold in post offices, grocery stores, gas stations, supermarkets, news stands -- wherever the hoi polloi spend their meager shekels. Half the cost will go toward prize money, another chunk to the retailers, and the rest to the memorial fund -- which has spent far more on attorneys' fees than charity up to this point.


Martin O'Donoghue, the homeless man befriended by Di after being pulled from a Hyde Park lake in 1994, said the scheme was "very, very sick. To bring gambling into her memory is just wrong. If people want to make a donation to the memorial fund, they can just quietly give some money, instead of hoping to get something out of it."


Reports that Price Waterhouse is preparing the widespread launch of a "Sir Elton's Scratch and Win!" campaign could not be confirmed at press time.


Star Dust


A scuzzy Scandinavian is taking the nation of Norway to court, in a bold and perhaps unprecedented bid to stand up for the inalienable human right to reek.


A would-be astrophysics student was turned away from the University of Oslo's doors back in 1981 because of "his strong smell and tattered clothing," AP reports. The man has lived in a plastic-foam shack since 1978, and believes the scrupulous avoidance of soap and water "helps him achieve a deeper understanding of astrophysics," says his lawyer, John Christian Elden, who, continually thwarted in Norway, is now taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.


Elden declined to reveal his client's name -- but reportedly assured everyone it wasn't "Kaczyinski."


Appealing Appendage


Finally, in a ruling that touches every man, woman and child on this planet (along with several other species of primates), a Brazilian appeals court decreed last week that we can all keep our little fingers -- yea, even unto the last generation.


The court heard the appeal of a worker who'd been denied compensation after a lower court ruled that the pinkie he had injured on the job actually "serves little use for the human hand and ... is considered an appendage that tends to disappear with the evolution of the human species," AP reported.


Not so, said appeals judge Celso Pimentel. "The healthy human body has no disposable parts," he declared (well, that appendix thing, but never mind), then awarded machine operator Valdir Martins and his wounded digit a lifetime pension.