RECENTLY I read in the newspaper that Jane Fonda is happiest when she spends four hours a day exercising.
This was according to her media mogul fiance Ted Turner, who did not specify exactly what Ms. Fonda does in those four hours, but hinted that it was rigorous enough to leave a Green Beret clutching his chest and gasping for breath.
Of course, ol' Ted couldn't just let it go at that. He also felt compelled to blab about his fiancee's eating habits.
According to Mr. Turner, this is what passes for meals in the Jane Fonda household:
Breakfast: a shake made from protein powder, ice cubes and a few berries.
Lunch: another yummy shake.
Dinner: a salad.
Think about that: After subsisting on protein powder, ice cubes and berries all day -- now there's something that really sticks to your ribs -- SHE HAS A SALAD FOR DINNER! Does this woman know how to have a good time or what?
Clearly, what we're talking about is a diet that would barely keep a field mouse alive.
No, I take that back. A field mouse would be dead within two days on a diet like that. MAYBE it would keep a sparrow alive, but only if you loosened up and put some Bleu cheese dressing on that salad and slipped the poor fella a bread stick.
In any event, Ted Turner says he's lost 30 pounds since they started going together. I can see why. If he does one-quarter of the exercising and dieting that his fiancee does, he'll be down to his fighting weight in no time.
The problem is, his fighting weight will be about 105 pounds. And the only fighting he'll do will be with jockeys, dwarfs and underdeveloped sixth-graders. I've heard of well-toned, but that's ridiculous.
Call me a Gloomy Gus, but I see Ms. Fonda's preoccupation with fitness putting a terrible strain on the upcoming Fonda-Turner marriage.
No. 1, Ted's cigars would have to go, if they haven't gone already. Reportedly, Ted used to love his cigars. Every time you saw the guy he was either puffing away merrily on a cigar, gesturing with a cigar or preparing to light a cigar.
But I don't think a woman who spends four hours a day exercising is going to stand for any nonsense with a smelly old cigar around the house.
God forbid Ms. Fonda is doing her aerobics and she happens to wander into the den and there's Ted, puffing on a stogie and chalking up a pool cue for a shot at the 8-ball.
Jane (if I may call her that) will have a fit. An absolute FIT. If we take this imaginary incident to its logical conclusion, I see Jane spotting the stogie, delivering a blood-curdling scream and chasing Ted around the pool table, eventually catching him when he drops from exhaustion and beating him to a bloody pulp with a barbell.
(No, I just don't see Ted Turner outrunning Jane Fonda. Not at this stage of the relationship. Maybe when he gets that body-fat content down and weighs in at a lean, oh, 88 pounds or so.)
But forget about cigars for a moment. What if Ted -- displaying an uncommon degree of good sense -- decides he's not as crazy about exercise as his new wife?
What if he starts laying on the couch all day with Doritos and a six-pack of Heineken, and every time she slips an exercise video in the VCR, he belches and yells: ''ATA GIRL, JANIE! WORK ON THOSE HIPS!''
Tell me that won't start a few arguments around the breakfast nook.
Mealtimes might be another potential source of conflict, especially if Ms. Fonda is still on this powder, ice cubes and berries kick for breakfast and lunch.
Let me say that this doesn't sound like the kind of breakfast that makes you want to throw off the covers and greet the new day.
Me, I see Ted sitting at the breakfast table before too long and whining: "Powder, ice and berries AGAIN, honey?"
Then, in frustration, I see him slamming his fist on the table before fetching himself some Jimmy Dean pure pork sausages and a stack of pancakes the size of a filing cabinet.
Jane watches the syrup collect in a small pool around the pancakes, blanches at the thought of all those calories and stomps out of the kitchen to dial a lawyer -- Marvin Mitchelson if he still handles that sort of thing.
When it all comes out in the press and the two go their separate ways, remember where you read it first.
I hate to say I told you so.
But in this case, I can't help it.