Celebrity gossip is just so much juicier when you hear it firsthand

Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009

"The last time I talked to Tiger Woods, we stood in the middle of a country club parking lot talking about golf." - Bryan Burwell, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec. 1, 2009

The last time I talked to Tiger Woods, we were having breakfast at Denny's and I was telling him I'd get through my Grand Slam before he got his. Eldrick (his friends call him "Eldrick") laughed the way he does and said he was going to Australia. I'd just read about a guy who got attacked by a kangaroo, so I said be careful, and he said, "Why? What have you heard?"

I think about that conversation now.

The last time I talked to Barack Obama, we were shooting buckets in my driveway and he was saying he'd just watched "The Princess Bride" with his daughters.

I said, "Remember the scene where Westley and Vizzini are matching wits over which goblet contained poisoned wine? And Vizzini says, 'You only think I guessed wrong! That's what's so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - the most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia"' and then he drops dead?"

And Prez (his friends call him "Prez") said, "I don't remember that scene."

I think about that conversation now.

The last time I talked to Abraham Lincoln, he was sitting in the Oval Office, reading dispatches from Appomattox. It was a Friday and Lee had surrendered to Grant the previous Sunday. Abe (his friends call him "Abe") said, "I'm beat, but we made it."

Get some sleep, I said. He said, "The wife wants to see 'Our American Cousin' tonight."

I said, "Wait for the DVD."

"Nah," he said. "It's not the same as seeing it in the theater."

I think about that conversation now.

The last time I talked to Glenn Beck, it was at the monthly UFO Study Group meeting at Miss Sheri's Cafeteria. Becks (his friends call him "Becks," as in "Posh-and-Becks") told me he just signed a deal to bring one of his patriotism-and-trinkets-sales to St. Louis University in February. He said, "Whaddaya think?"

I said, "You'll kill. But I've got to warn you. You might get Horowitzed."

I explained that David Horowitz, another conservative activist, recently had been disinvited as a speaker at St. Louis University because he wanted to talk about "Islamo-facism."

"I've never said anything that controversial," Becks said.

I think about that conversation now.

The last time I talked with Sarah Palin, she borrowed my KA-BAR knife to skin a moose. "I've got to make this book tour," she said, gutting the moose. "The publisher wants to do it as a bus tour. They've painted this big bus to look like the book cover. But I totally hate riding buses. I've gotten used to better, ya' know?"

I told her I fully understood. I said, "Why don't you make them lease you a G-II so you can fly ahead of the bus? It can land at small airports at night and then you can sneak out to the bus and pretend you just rode into town like common folks."

The 'cuda (her friends call her 'cuda, as in Barracuda) smiled that dazzling smile. "Hey, that might work. Do you think anybody will catch on and think I'm a fraud?"

Don't worry, I said. Your fans will believe anything.

I think about that conversation now. But the moose sausage was good.

The last time I talked to Lou Dobbs, we were having lunch at his favorite spot, the Grill at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York. Lou said he was thinking of quitting his show at CNN, which paid $6 million a year, so it made me worry that I'd have to pick up the check for the $45 crabcakes and the $58 filet of bison.

Dobbsie (his friends call him "Dobbsie," like he was a hockey player) said not to fret, he still had his radio show. Besides, he was thinking of getting into politics, maybe first running for the U.S. Senate or, what the heck, taking a shot at the White House in 2012.

Then I heard him on the radio the other night blasting President Obama's delusions of grandeur for planning to commit the United States to an international climate treaty.

"Who the hell does this president think he is?" Lou asked.

I hate to drop names, but I think about that conversation now.

• Kevin Horrigan is a columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Readers may write to him at: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 900 North Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63101, or e-mail him at khorriganpost-dispatch.com.



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