Tuesday 22 June 1999
HITS MEAN CHITS: so here in Happyland, Pandora's proud to present another winning innovation - Panda Points. You know those supermarket loyalty cards? And frequent flyer miles? And credit cards that encourage you to spend pounds 3,000 on a meal so you can subsequently enjoy a free, very disposable camera? Panda Points are like that, only way stupider. Our girl dishes them out, you collect and redeem them for silly prizes, awarded to readers, contributors and correspondents on the basis of random criteria that change without notice. Watch this space.
CLAUDIA SCHIFFER (pictured) has been driving round New York. She doesn't have a driving licence. And what do those oh-so-tough NYPD cops say? "Nolle prosequi." (Well, they would if they spoke Latin.) Is this what Nancy Etcoff means by the Survival of the Prettiest?
MORE ON that wedding dress, borrowed by Diana, Princess of Wales, that Elizabeth Emanuel's liquidators are under pressure to sell. The lead creditor's magic number is pounds 360,000. The dress's value is so north of that - especially if Mohamed Al Fayed were to start bidding. Coming soon to a corner shop window near you?
THE US MINT has named Kermit the Frog as its "official spokesfrog."
ROBIN COOK is organising a sit down at Whitehall's 1 Carlton Gardens on July 20 for a klatch of trade union panjandrums - and they can expect something swankier than beer and sandwiches. How frightfully clever of Cook to solicit the opinions of Unison's Rodney Bickerstaffe, the TGWU's Bill Morris and the AEEU's Ken Jackson on foreign policy. Or might his hospitality be connected with the Cookie Monster's semi- closeted desire to lead the Red party?
OH, AND talking of junkets, a grand garden party is scheduled for next month to celebrate the opening of the first Scottish parliament for nearly 300 years. And what is the name of the headlining band..? Garbage.
NEW, IMPROVED reality... as lived on TV. Episode One: "You'll survive any war unless you show anybody else a picture of your loved ones." Two: "The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window of any building anywhere in Paris." Three: "A man will show no pain while taking a ferocious beating, but will wince whenever a woman tries to clean his wounds." Four: "All police investigations necessitate at least one visit to a strip club." Five: "When alone, foreigners prefer to speak to each other in English." Six: "Any woman investigating suspicious noises in a haunted house will do so in racy lingerie." Seven: "It's always possible to park directly outside the building you're visiting."
NEW IMPROVED reality...as lived in newspapers. The National Society of Newspaper Columnists Conference, held in Kentucky this month, had a special panel discussion entitled: "For Spouses Only: A Session on Living with Columnists." Why? The society's research suggests that "writing a column on a regular basis can lead to divorce, alcoholism, even suicide." Oh, guys - only when you do it properly...
THE KINDEST way to describe the human tragedies comprising the Commons administration committee? Megalomaniac paranoids. The tiny-minded Stalinists have just forbidden lobby hacks access to the Commons terrace because, it seems, MPs are frightened of being mentioned in "diary" columns. You should be so lucky...
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musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
- 5 Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
This is what a film sex scene actually looks like on set (mostly awkward)
Taylor Swift, 1989 - album review: Pop star shows 'promising signs of maturity'
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - review: Silly, sensational but still sensitive
Breaking Bad season 6 hoax: Vince Gilligan has not confirmed a new series
Miranda Hart confirms her eponymous sitcom has come to an end as she bows out on a 'high'
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'