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"I have been asked many questions about you by journalists, and I have made many comments telling them that I thought your record was a great pop song and I like the way you shake your hips. I couldn't care less what your sexuality is, but, of course, if you were gay it would be fantastic."

-- British glam rocker Boy George, apologizing in a British tabloid for gossipping about singer Ricky Martin's sexual preferences.

Borderline insanity

Cuban cigars aren't allowed into the country -- so why should Cuban music be? That's the message we got on Saturday, when Jane Bunnett and Spirits of Havana, the smoking Latin group from Toronto scheduled to play the Calumet Arts Cafe, were halted at the border. "I don't know why they got held up," said Calumet proprietor Charlie Goldman. "They didn't seem to know, either." Luckily the Calumet, like most area clubs, is used to dealing with international incidents, so the opening band simply played all night. (The opening band, a local band outfit, doesn't have an official name. As Goldman explained: "We found five Latins who knew how to play music. We put them together.") Buzz accepts the substitution. Still we rage at U.S. customs officials: How can they forbid us our Cubans when they keep letting in that annoying Celine Dion? Explain it to us, somebody!

The party's over

Yippee! Here's an invitation. It's a spiffy card, every calligraphed line neatly centered. It even has chic British spelling! "Michael J. Smith, President and CEO and the Buffalo Museum of Science request the honour of your presence at the opening of 'destination: Space' on Saturday, the Twenty Fifth of September, Nineteen hundred and ninety nine ..." All right! We're stepping out! We can strut among those dinosaurs and stuffed grizzly bears, wearing that sequined number we picked up at the last Nichols Nearly New sale! We can be like all those society babes in W magazine. But ... but ... but wait. At the bottom, fine print: "Admission is free with the purchase of a Family Membership at the preferred discounted cost of $30." Aw, c'mon! Tacky, tacky! At least the Buffalo Zoo's mailing gives it to you straight: "Eat ... sleep ... join the zoo."

It's 11 p.m. ...

... do you know where your barstool is? When The News, updating Gusto listings, called various area watering holes to ascertain their addresses, lots of people were at a loss. At Mac's City Bar on Hertel, the woman who answered said, "Just a minute." Then she yelled, "Hey, Joe, what's the address here?" A spokesman for Warsaw Moose was frankly flummoxed; so was a spokesman for the Springville Moose Lodge. "I don't know," the Moose man said. He consulted a buddy, then came back to the phone. "He says it's a P.O. box." The News asked, patiently, "What street are you on?" "I don't know," he said. He asked his buddy, "What street are we on?" Outlook hazy, as the Magic Eight Ball used to say. Finally, at the Alps Chalet, on Military Road in Niagara Falls, a woman said: "The address? Hold on, let me run outside."

Soupy sales

A dark day indeed it was when at our desk, like a ugly blind date, arrived "Chicken Soup for the Single's Soul." This is a simplistic tome that quotes Ellen Burstyn ("What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be"); Aristotle ("Happiness depends on ourselves"); and the heading on the Buffalo Beat personal ad section ("Hook up tonight!") (OK, that wasn't in there. But it should have been.) Fie on these feel-good quotes. We prefer thinking of how we can cash in on this market. Then we'll be really rich, and everyone will want to date us. Think of it: "Chicken Soup for the Sabres Fan." (We could throw in a free No Goal bumper sticker). "Chicken Soup for the Ford Escort Driver." "Chicken Soup for the Yoko Ono Fan." "Chicken Soup for the Galleria Shopper." "Chicken Soup for the Buffalonian Who Couldn't Care Less About Football." There'd be a market for that, this time of year.

The buzz

The Buffalo band Overkill describes its new CD, "Necroshine," as "a musical montage of aggression, power and strength, married to thought-provoking lyrics, steeped in the former's qualities." Huh? Well, what the heck. This is a heavy metal band, not Joyce Carol Oates. Overkill plays Classic Roxx on Friday at 11 p.m.

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