Seiji Ozawa is a guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic and a second baseman for the Penguins, the orchestra's softball team. Earlier this month, while the Philharmonic was performing at Iowa State, the Penguins took on a fraternity team. The Penguins won the game 9-8 but almost lost a conductor. Ozawa was knocked down by a determined base runner and suffered a fractured coccyx. It's nice that conducting is something you do standing up.
Sarah and Theo Roubanis (she is the Duke of Marlborough's daughter, he is the Greek actor-composer-producer) took a little cruise on their new 60-foot motor yacht, Imperiale, not long ago, and according to the best reports, it was, so to speak, uphill all the way. Their first captain dropped an anchor on his foot and went to a hospital in the South of France. The yacht shipped so much water in a force-eight gale on the crossing to Corsica that she had to stay in port a week until the weather cleared. She ran out of fuel off the Italian island of Ponza. There was no room for her in the harbor at Capri. The second captain drank diesel oil, possibly by mistake, and went to a hospital in Naples. Near Crotone, in Italy, they unwittingly anchored in a bay frequented by smugglers running cigarettes from Malta and were boarded by the Italian coast guard. They got to the Corinth Canal and found it closed for cleaning. They ran out of fuel again off Piraeus. Said Lady Sarah (family motto: Faithful, though Unfortunate), "I think even Ulysses might have given up."
TCU Tackle Gerald Kirby worked for Douglas Aircraft last summer, in the finance section, and had been on the job for a week when he was put in charge of what he identifies as "cash flow." Then the woman who put him there went on vacation, and Kirby was off. Way off. When he balanced the books he found himself short $12 million. "I sorta panicked," he recalls. He rechecked the books and came up short only $1 million, but that was the best he could do, so the company brought in experts, who balanced the books. "I think I had left out some aircraft engines," Kirby speculates.
Norman Mailer was boating recently off Provincetown, Mass. when a whale surfaced nearby—a potentially dangerous state of affairs, but as Mailer observed, "What a wonderful way for a novelist to go!" It would be, but he didn't, and an effort to learn more about Mailer in his unpublicized role as a yachtsman elicited the mysterious information from his secretary that "Mr. Mailer would rather keep his boating habits to himself." What a wonderful way for a novelist to stay!
"My little play toy," says A. J. Foyt of the 385-pound lion he was seen with at the Du Quoin, Ill. fairgrounds. "I was just playing with him." And vice versa. The lion belongs to a friend of A.J.'s and has been trained, says Foyt, "to wrassle people. He runs after them and tackles them. I didn't think he could do it to me, but he did—he knocked me down." Not that A.J. minded. "I like anything that's mean," he says approvingly. "I like them just like my women." The only thing he didn't like was the report that the lion had bitten him in the rear end. "He did not," Foyt says with dignity. "He only pinched me a little in the back."
Senator Eugene McCarthy got a look at South American soccer when he was in Brazil recently but was a trifle distracted when he was hit on the head by a number of paper cups—part of a general barrage loosed by fans seated above him. Senator McCarthy was more distracted when rolled-up balls of paper succeeded the cups. "They can acquire a lot of velocity," he observed. "But," he added, "it was the shower of chicken bones that puzzled me more than anything else." No offense, Senator. Brazilians eat fried chicken at soccer matches and impersonally, apolitically fling the bones around.
Andy Warhol's film Blue was found "obscene" and "without redeeming social value" by a New York court last week. No wonder. At one point in the trial Defense Counsel Joel Weinberg called a witness who testified that "the picture had a particular social value in that it showed the attitude of the cool world toward sex." Said Judge William Ringel, "What is 'the cool world'?" Weinberg thought for a moment and explained, "It's like when Swoboda hit two home runs last night." Said Judge Ringel, "Who is Swoboda?"