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"They all took a bath before they came tonight, Kenny. Ain't they purdy?"

Kathie Lee Gifford, to co-star Kenny Rogers, while on stage in the Appalachian town of Bristol, Va., according to New Woman magazine. The audience was filled with locals who had paid $20 each to fill the theater for the taping of a holiday special, the magazine says.

The odds must be crazy

In Atlantic City last weekend, Buzz lost $2 to Donald Trump, via the nickel slot machines (our favorites) in Trump Tower. But we learned from the experience! Before, we fought the idea of casinos in Buffalo. Now we say, let's go for it! Why? 1. Atlantic City forces winter gamblers to walk its freezing boardwalk. We can force people to walk our freezing waterfront! 2. Nickel City, nickel slots. We can make them our trademark. 3. "Bally's Buffalo" has a nice ring. 4. We can lure Caesars Palace by promising them the statue of David which, foreseeing folks that we are, we already have. 5. People say casinos create jobs; well, that's not even counting the spinoff industry. Atlantic City has tons of store fronts screaming, "Gold jewelry bought," "Checks cashed," etc. We can do as well!

Bound for glory

Buffalo is unstoppable. Like a big, slush-smudged Metro Bus, we are rolling forward. We have radio songster Tom Calandra gunning for the Pulitzer with his commentary "Stop This Racial Hatred." Plus, hard rock outfit Cabalyst has been invited to play Milwaukee's Metalfest in July. As if this weren't enough progress, quizmaster Bud Murray, who plies his trade in local bars, is bound for the Big Apple. Murray will be heard tonight on the Joey Reynolds show (the show airs locally at 1 a.m. on WGR). While he's in New York, the flashy Murray will be promoting himself aggressively as only he can. "I'll be hunting for David Letterman, Regis and Kathie Lee, 'Good Morning America,' " he says. "Rosie O'Donnell is the big fish."

World on a string

When the world gets frightening, with anthrax scares and asteroid threats, we tend to click our heels and whisper, "There's no place like Kenmore Avenue, there's no place like Kenmore Avenue ..." That's the street that time forgot. There's a liquor store with a sign: "Roses are red, violets are fine, for $2.99, you can buy this wine!" And Sammy's Barber Shop, 319 Kenmore Ave., the World O' String Art. Sammy's first level (there are two) sports over 30 masterpieces: glittering ships, cartoon characters and even two tiny pistols. The second level is dominated by a giant metallic string-art lion. Where did Sammy acquire his collection? "The flea market in Clarence," he said. There's no place like Clarence ... there's no place like Clarence ...

Fools rush in

In honor of April Fools' Day, Amherst's own Center for Inquiry has issued a list of the Top 10 Strangest Hoaxes of All Time. But, bummer, the list lists only small-potato stuff: the Roswell incident, the Amityville Horror, King Tut's curse, etc. What about ... well, the Rick James phenomenon? He was supposed to play Shea's, then didn't! And those superstitious people who cling to the credo that lawmakers are going to get our gas prices lowered. Ha! Most egregious of all, there was the great coupon hoax. The rest of the country got coupons, but we didn't! References to this were found in Nostradamus! These omissions confirm what we already suspected: Mysterious forces are at work, and even professional skeptics can't explain it.

The buzz

Sit back and relax: The crossword puzzle in Continental Airlines' latest in-flight mag is titled "On the Way Down." ... Eventually, it will be possible to write a personal ad without using the English language at all. A recent gem: "Attractive 21 YO, 5'8", bl/bl, 160 lbs, ISO GWM 20-29 for social outings." OK, GWMs! RSVP, PDQ! ... Spring is in the air, and we need a zither. Or a xylophone. Something! Maybe we'll find it at the Musicians Flea Market, Sunday at 10 a.m., in the Hearthstone Manor.

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