"He knows how to treat a woman. He's the sort of man who opens a door for a girl and holds out a chair. I've never had a guy do that before."
-- Brande Roderick, 25, Hugh Hefner's latest girlfriend
What happened to the old days, when women's magazines adorned their holiday issues with pictures of champagne glasses and sparkly dresses? A shiver passed through us recently when a friend gave us a list of stories hyped on the covers of his wife's December 1999 and January 2000 issues of Glamour. Here are a few: "How to Do Everything Better in Bed (and we mean everything)," "Women Swap Risque Fantasies -- Did You Think Only Ally McBeal Had Dirty Daydreams?" "21st Century Sex Dos and Don'ts," "Love Positions," "Lust advice.com," "Droopy Butt Begone! Quick Saves To Keep Your Rear End Up, Up, Up!" Eeeuww! We'd rather pick up Martha Stewart Living and learn how to make wreaths. Make wreaths, not love. How's that for a season's greeting?
Next on the table
God created food for one reason alone: that it may be deep fried. Witness Montana's Cookhouse Saloon, a chain that recently arrived in Orchard Park. To celebrate the grand opening, you can enter a sweepstakes (top prize: accompanying Henry Waszczuk, Canada's celebrity TV host of "Fins and Skins," as he scouts the world in search of great fishing haunts). But first, a look at the menu. Why stop with onion rings when you can have an Onion Hay Stack, "onions and spices dusted with flour and deep fried into a golden crisp loaf"? And why eat mere cheesecake when you can eat . . . ta da, Fried Cheesecake? "A slice of creamy cheesecake wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep fried," the menu trumpets. "Served warm, crisp and smothered with icing sugar and whipped topping." Oooooof. Lucky we don't have to fit down anyone's chimney.
Swing we Nowell
Seeing that Buzz lives right next door to a house surrounded by twinkling lights, snow men and Santa's helpers, with an electronic sound system playing "Bring a Torch, Jeannette, Isabella," over and over, you'd think we'd be burned out on holiday sounds. Au contraire! We love Christmas songs, especially when they're torchy. Which is why we were happy to hear that Mary Stahl's sultry "Santa Baby," which so beguiled Philharmonic listeners two weeks ago, charmed guest conductor John McDaniel as well. "I'm in love with her," the bandleader confessed on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." Breathless, we asked Stahl what exactly was going on. She hadn't heard from McDaniel yet, she said. But she'll let us know if she does. Sing it, Mary: "Santa Baby, I'd really, really like to be . . . on national TV."
Good night, bad night
The other night, missing John Otto, Buzz and a friend found ourselves replaying a show we'd taped a few weeks ago, when the late WGR talk show legend was discussing the riots in Seattle. This was classic Otto, shouting "Shut up! Shut up!" as he hung up on troublesome caller Jim the Screw -- and, afterward, venting freely: "Oh, Jim, Jim! Oh, he gets on my nerves. What a pain in the a--!" A tough act to follow, to be sure. Larry Hunter, Otto's current replacement, is making an effort. But . . . for one thing, he talks too much. He should listen to his callers (one woman called who said she used to be an acrobatic dancer on the Canadiana, and Larry didn't even ask her about it). And when he got a phone call from Joanne the Just, and didn't seem to realize what an honor it was. Didn't he know that, to Otto listeners, Joanne the Just was legend? We weep for the future.
Curses on WGR, for still playing that mean-spirited "Guess who died? You'll have to wait to find out" game. "Here are the stories we're working on this hour!" we were told last weekend. "A jazz great dies!" You had to wait an hour to find out it was Grover Washington Jr. . . . And you think you're saving money, making things yourself. Martha Stewart advertises, "Any occasion becomes more special with the gift of a handmade card. Handmade-Card Kit, $38." . . . There is life after Christmas! Sunday at 5 p.m., wild piano man Wally Jedermann brings his excellent trio to the Sportsman's Tavern.