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Original Issue


It has been a while since we had a candidate for the Walking-the-Plank Trophy, but here comes John Gronouski, ex-Postmaster General, ex-Ambassador to Poland and current head of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. Yup, here he comes now, fully dressed, walking out on the diving board over his brand-new swimming pool to make sure everything's just right for his brand-new swimming pool party. And there he goes now: Splash! Seems the diving board has not yet been attached.

Ethel Kennedy canoed down Georgia's Chattahoochee River recently, taking with her "in case there had been any trouble," as The New York Times put it, Fran Tarkenton, Rafer Johnson and Jim Whittaker. You know—Fran Tarkenton, Rafer Johnson and Jim Whittaker, the canoeists?

Women playing rugby? Well, sure, it is something of a rage now in Paris—and here to prove it are some of the lovely ladies from two of the typical teams. A newsman, hunting for just the right quote, asked if such a hearty sport didn't tend to develop the girls in all the wrong places. "It all depends," said one girl named Sylvie, "on which way you look at it, doesn't it, monsieur?" So much for snappy quotes. Now guess if one of the girls in the accompanying picture is Sylvie.

Everybody remembers the "Naked Came the Stranger, Growling Came the Dog" item from last week, right? Well, this week we bring you "Naked Came the Cricket Team, Growling Came Officials of the University of Cape Town," where 11 male students have been fined for playing cricket naked outside a women's dormitory.

Marty Robbins, the country music star who gave us such zingy hits as A While Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation and Big Iron, suited up for Charlotte, N.C.'s World 600 stock car race and qualified at a little over 150 mph in one of race winner Bobby Allison's old cars. "Bobby told me he was going to make a couple of changes to make the car faster," Robbins says, "but I told him the car was running just about as fast as I wanted to go." And durned if Marty didn't go out there and finish 15th which, presumably, was about as close to winning as he wanted to come.

It is Stiff Upper Lip Time again in England, where the week produced this crop of croppers:

Seagoing losers included the gentleman above, who met with disaster during the Offshore Tin Bath Race held at Cowes. His tin bathtub was equipped with pedals, but in order to work them you have to not fall out.

Then came Prime Minister Edward Heath. The P.M. also was racing at Cowes but the wind failed. Heath's Morning Cloud II drifted into David Powell's Mersea Oyster and he decided to retire.

By the way, Heath was racing in the Admirals' Cup Series—not the Tin Bath Race.

Meanwhile, Prince Philip was falling off his polo pony again, in a match at Windsor Great Park. That hurt a little. Then his side was beaten by a team of Americans. That hurt a lot.

As for Margaret and Tony, they were driving home from a party when whom should they run into but Raymond Bellisario. Bellisario is a photographer who has bugged the royal family in the past by taking pictures without permission and he'd been at it again that evening at the party. So when we say the Snow-dons ran into him, we mean they ran into him—with their red Vauxhall. Bellisario claims his car was "badly buckled," but a palace spokesman says, "It was nothing serious." Still, in all the excitement Bellisario didn't lose his head: in addition to writing down the Snowdons' license number he sneaked in a couple more photographs.

Finally, to Rufus, the kooky cocker spaniel who belongs to the Gwilym Rees-Williamses, we hereby give the Well-Meaning But Talk About Incompetent Watchdog Award of the Week. According to the London Daily Express, Rufus saw a strange pair of legs outside the window of his master's bedroom and, barking fiercely, he attacked. Only he forgot he was upstairs. And he missed the legs. And he soared straight out of the window and dropped 20 feet into the garden below. It's not Rufus' upper lip we're worried about. Turns out Rufus is fine, but as Mrs. Rees-Williams observed, "It must have been a great shock for the window cleaner."

The way to the bottom of the Grand Canyon is by foot or on muleback, but when John Boggess hired on as chef for the Phantom Ranch at the bottom he weighed 216 pounds. Since he didn't want to walk—and since the mules are not permitted to pack more than 200 pounds—John dieted mightily and did slim down. Good for John? No, bad for John. When he wanted to come out, after 14 months down there eating his own cooking, his weight was back up over the 200 mark by 10 pounds. Diet again? No way. This time he hired a helicopter to come and lift him out.