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The Independent Online
Ballad of Andreas and Mimi

FOREIGN correspondents in Athens, unable to follow the Princess of Wales on her visits to the hospitals and TV studios of London, have had to make due with another blonde. Like Diana, Dimitra (Mimi) Liani has her problems. Her husband, Andreas Papandreou, is dying of a plethora of physical and political ailments. Mimi has hepatitis-B and a stillborn political career. And many of her enemies (who have had an itch for revenge) were laid low by a flare-up of Dimitra's rhetoric: ''What are they going to do? Burn me at the stake? Let them!''

Observing the deterioration, journalistic consultants, between rounds, recorded their findings (with apologies to John Lennon):

Eight weeks in the Onassis

clinic

Feeding on IVs from a bag

The man in the suit

Said: ''You're getting the boot,

You know, it's good to see the

both of your backs.''

Christ, you know it ain't easy

You know how hard it can be

The way things are going

They're going to crucify me.

Dope from Ipanema

WISE visitors to Ipanema beach will forget about carrying whistles to summon help should any of Rio's petty criminals grab their beach bags. Oh, the police will come running, all right. But they may well arrest the whistler, as they did to eight people who were caught with 150 plastic whistles last weekend.

The little noisemakers, it turned out, were used by marijuana-smoking sun-worshippers on the stretch of beach known as Post Nine to warn of approaching police.

''They were plainly defending a criminal act,'' a police official said, and thus face charges of criminal association.

Ganja enthusiasts on the beach have since gone natural, having quickly learnt how to whistle. As Bacall told Bogart back in 1944, ''Just put your lips together and blow''. Then inhale.

Pizza nut

IN wintery gloom and frigid weather, a Canadian rabbi ordered 80 slices of kosher pizza. It cost him $300 and took 24 hours to arrive. And then it wasn't even hot. Still, Rabbi Allen Saks was delighted: "When I took the first bite I could picture myself on the streets of New York City. It was like heaven came to Calgary." The rabbi's prayers were answered by Jerusalem 2 in Manhattan - and Federal Express.

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