Well-known author, announcer and tattletale Jim Bouton did not have to make much of a pitch to get the role of Terry Lennox in the forthcoming movie The Long Goodbye. "I went figuring there would be a big screen test," Bouton shrugged. "The director, Robert Altman, took one look at me and said, 'You'll be fine.' I never even had to say hello. I couldn't believe being discovered was that easy. Just think of all the time I would have wasted sitting at a drugstore soda fountain in a tight-fitting sweater." After seeing the rough cut of the completed film, Bouton said, "I can't say if I was good or bad. I never please myself. Even when I pitched a two-hit shutout, I'd be mad at myself for giving up the two hits. Anyway, Altman told me not to act." Bouton had only one trouble with that piece of advice. In one scene Lennox murders his wife. "Since I'd never murdered my wife," Bouton said, "I had to guess what my mood would be."
Newark Mayor Kenneth Gibson went three rounds with an ex-professional boxer, thereby earning $1,000 for charity. His Honor said he felt good after the exhibition and reminded all interviewers that he left the ring on his own two feet. George (Buddy Gee) Branch, the pro boxer, had another version. "I made the man look pretty good for the public," he said.
Bill and Carol Kruse, British Columbia's leading worm ranchers, suffered a serious setback when approximately 70,000 earthworms ran away from the Sunnyside Worm Farm in White Rock one dark night. The escapees wriggled out of their plywood boxes, crawled over a six-inch-high fence and made off into the woods. The problem with earthworms, apparently, is that they get this irresistible urge to crawl when it's really dark. The Kruses have seen the light and are now back in business, having replenished the farm with about 180,000 head of livestock and a 15-watt light bulb (25¢), which is all the glow a worm needs to believe in eternal daylight.
Robby Brunhuber tried out for the Westport, Conn. Little League and impressed coaches by hitting a hard line drive and fielding well, but still didn't make the team. "We're chartered by the national Little League of Williamsport, Pa. and their rules state that girls are not eligible," explained the chairman, Mrs. George McCarthy. "I wouldn't be against having a Little League for girls, but I think they should be segregated. I've been in Little League for 19 years and I think the most important thing is the relationship between the boys and their managers. Girls would tend to minimize that relationship."
Charles O. Finley's most recent brainchild—the colored baseball—got a testing by the California Angels and Oakland A's, and some of the players got pretty testy. Angel Pitcher Clyde Wright complained that the ball, dyed something called Alert Orange, was so slippery that there was no way to get a good grip on it. Wright's suggestion was to "hide it somewhere and pretend it's an Easter egg." Catfish Hunter had a better idea. "Dye it white," he said.
Coach Tommy Heinsohn is not a man to paint himself into a corner. His Boston Celtics might do that, but away from the color and dash of the playoffs with the New York Knicks he relaxed at his home in Natick, Mass. by depicting basketball players, presumably his, scoring artistic successes.
Even young Wendell Phillips looked dubious about Prime Minister Ted Heath's handling of a cricket bat at the prestigious annual Lord's Taverners lunch. Maybe Heath should stick to sailing, at which he is very good. His new Morning Cloud III, recently launched, may well win a place on the British team defending the Admiral's Cup. But even if it does, Heath will not get to participate. Unfortunate planning has dared to schedule a Commonwealth prime ministers' meeting in Canada at the time of the race.
Thinking it was cow manure he spied while stalking deer in the hills of rugged Sierra County, Calif., John Rose changed his mind when he took a closer look. The lump was one of the biggest gold nuggets found in the Northern Mines country since the early 1900s—a nugget six inches long, 3¾ inches wide and 1½ inches thick, weighing 28 ounces. Although Rose tried to keep his discovery secret, a gold rush has hit the Sierra Nevada foothills. Not surprisingly. The nugget is worth $2,800 at present gold prices and perhaps $15,000 as a collector's item.
While playing the Hyde Park golf course in Jacksonville, Fla., Henry Pike lost a quarter—and nearly lost his good health—coping with a nonstandard hazard: a vending machine. Pike told police that he put 25¢ in the machine, then began to pound it when it ungratefully swallowed the money. A spectator booed Pike for unsportsmanlike treatment of the machine and eventually hit Pike with his golf club in impassioned defense of the thing. Chivalry is not dead.