A taxi tale, or how Brad Pitt amazed a driver - with a tip



HERE's a story to take with a healthy grain of salt, but somewhere within may be a kernel of slanted truth.

Brad Pitt was in a cab not long ago, in the United States. He was chatting up the driver, who said he was a recent immigrant from Africa. Brad said, "I just came back from Africa." The driver said, "Why were you there?"

Brad: "I was doing some work with my wife and the president of the Pan-African Parliament."

Driver: "Who are you, and who is your wife to be working with President [Gertrude] Mongella?"

Brad: "My name is Brad Pitt, and my wife is Angelina Jolie."

Driver: "So?"

Brad: "Angelina is a very good woman. We have four children. One from Africa."

The cabbie looked only semi-impressed. The $50 tip he received on a $30 fare genuinely moved him more.

Brad and Angelina are not married, but Brad may indeed refer to her as his "wife." And he's the democratic type who would, for sure, engage a cab driver in conversation.

I was interested in this story because while I was on vacation, the weekly glossies were adamant that it was absolutely over between Brad and Miss Jolie. These cover stories were so pervasive I fully expected to return to work musing in print over what went wrong between this serious-minded couple. Well, now the mags have taken a 180-degree turn, and everything's rosy again.

Oh, those guys

If you like beefcake, the covers of Rolling Stone and Radar are for you. RS features Zac Efron of High School Musical and Hairspray fame, lifting his T-shirt to give everybody a good look at what a strict exercise regimen can do.

The cover of Radar, the magazine that just won't die, is more interesting. There is young Prince Harry of Britain, slouched suggestively on a throne, shirt open, wearing only boxer shorts. "Dirty Harry!" screams the coverline. Whoa! When did England's "spare" (William is the "heir") pose for this? Well, he didn't. It's one of Radar's clever composites. It's Harry's head on somebody else's body. It's startlingly realistic.

The story inside? Boy just wants to have fun. And he'll probably love the cover, too.

Time out

I was in Martha's Vineyard for a part of my vacation; that's the Massachusetts island where they try desperately to keep you from even arriving. You make ferry reservations months in advance, you sit in line in your car in the heat, you have to be right on time and once you get to the Vineyard, some areas are "dry" and one can't get a drink, wine, gasoline and imported groceries are sky high, and you need a "key" to get onto a tennis court or onto a beach.

But evenings spent with such Democratic stalwarts as the savvy Vernon and Ann Jordan, mystery writer Linda Fairstein and her politico hubby, Justin Feldman, former Hillary aide Lisa Caputo and her guy, Rick Morris, Hillary adviser Mandy Grunwald and her writer husband, Matt Cooper (he now toils for Portfolio, having departed Time magazine after the recent Scooter Libby unpleasantness), and their ilk? All this was entirely entertaining.

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