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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Hardy Pioneer

It's tough losing an election; it can really bring a man down. Especially if you lose to a younger, virile Alpha Male type, who apparently spends his days jackrabbiting around the Oval Office while his poll numbers shoot straight up.

Dour, droopy Bob Dole knows this scenario well, of course -- but the aging ex-senator has turned to the wonders of science to give himself a boost. In fact, he offered his own body as a guinea pig in the clinical tests for Pfizer's new anti-impotence pill, Viagra, The Associated Press reports. The result? "I think it's an effective drug," he enthused to international father confessor Larry King.

Millions of American men have been gobbling the tiny blue pills, also known as "Pfizer risers," which supposedly stimulate elections -- sorry, erections -- in certain cases. They could form a potent voting bloc should Dole decide to hoist his standard for one more thrust at the presidency, or lead the way for his wife, Libby, a likely -- and these days, a somehow more happy-looking -- candidate for the 2000 race.


"John Henry said to the captain:

A man ain't nothin' but a man."

-- American folk song

And few are more manly than Dustin Hoffman, who gave one of cinema's greatest comic performances as a cross-dressing nebbish in "Tootsie" but has apparently grown a bit touchy on the subject of frilly things.

AP reports that Hoffman won a victory this week in his suit against Los Angeles Magazine, which had published a computer-altered photo of the actor in a dress, with the caption: "Dustin Hoffman isn't a drag in a butter-colored silk gown by Richard Tyler and Ralph Lauren heels."

Hoffman is suing for $5 million, claiming the photo was retouched and printed without his permission. Attorneys for the magazine said their spoof was covered by the First Amendment and asked that the suit be dismissed, but Judge Dickran Tevrizian rejected that argument and ruled Monday that Hoffman could indeed sue for "violation of publicity rights."

Besides, everyone knows he wouldn't be caught dead in Richard Tyler. He's a Halston man all the way.

Uncool Britannia

Dress of a different sort was causing trouble this week on the town council of Chepstow, England, as city leaders ousted their young, happening, Blairite mayor for his lack of nat in the sartorial department. Mayor Armand Watts, 29, resigned his post after the council approved a strict dress code for its meetings, effectively banning the tank tops, T-shirts, shorts and sneakers Watts was wont to wear in the city's somber assemblies, the Guardian reports.

Watts' protests that his casual wear was all designer label -- Klein, Lauren, Versace, for God's sake! -- cut no ice with his elder colleagues, who demanded male members don suit and tie for all future meetings. "I don't think they liked my hair either," said Watts. "It's a bit like Gaultier, short back and sides with a French crop. I was very hurt that they made personal remarks about me in a council meeting, especially as almost all of them are way over 40. This is a step back into the dark ages of politics."

Watts will return to his hairdressing career, while deputy mayor Pam Birchall, 62, will take over the top post. "I admit I'm old fashioned but some of the clothes Armand wears are just not right," she said. "In the chamber I like shirts. I don't like T-shirts and tank tops and I certainly don't like shorts."

She confessed that she did own a pair of -- gasp! -- jeans, "but I only wear them in the garden."

Dead Man Talking

Treacle-popster turned right-wing Republican, Sonny Bono, is dead and buried, but he still has plenty to say.

Bono, a GOP congressman whose skiing death earlier this year brought eulogies from such giants as Newt Gingrich and Gerald Ford, is apparently gabbing away to his former wife and singing partner, Cher, AP reports.

The willowy chanteuse said this week that although she had not spoken to the living Bono for several years, now that he's dead he's been communicating with her through Hollywood medium James Van Praagh. "He told me things only Sonny could have known," said Cher, who, as it happens, is hosting a television retrospective of her tabloid-topping days with the pint-sized pol -- one of her first public appearances after years of obscurity.

Cher's not the only Bono-babe cashing in on the interest generated by his death. His widow, Mary, recently won a special election to fill his seat in Congress. Her office has refused to say whether Sonny's spirit has been whispering sweet nothings -- and maybe policy advice on the tobacco bill -in her ear as well.

Cannes of Worms

The glamorous bazaar of Beautiful People at the Cannes Film Festival was almost thwarted by a bunch of smelly plebes this week, when French fishermen blockaded the port in a protest over a planned fish farm along the coast, The Daily Telegraph reports.

The motley armada prevented many of the monstrous yachts rented by film companies from docking and disgorging their spangly cargo. The proletarian buccaneers finally relented after local officials agreed to meet with them later in the week.

The quick climbdown allowed preparations to go forward for the festival, which will draw some 250,000 people this weekend alone. The proceedings will be chock-a-block with "dark" films, said selection director Gilles Jacob. "They reflect the world, and the world is not particularly joyful," he said, referring to entries like "The Idiots," featuring a gaggle of Danish X-ers who "explore the less appreciated values of idiocy" for approximately 117 minutes.

However, after too many dark films, "you are not just depressed but suicidal," said Jacob. "So we need to compensate with a film that is happier or funnier." To that end, the prestigious festival will be capped by a film of a happy, funny, giant lizard causing mass destruction in the streets of America: "Godzilla."