Thrusday, December 31, 1998

Psychics' record as good as Bengals'

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Oh my word, they blew it again. The tabloid psychics, we mean, in the annual Startling! Predictions! they make to fill us in on Amazing! Events! in the coming year.

        And how'd they do in '98?

        Zero. Not one, says the Skeptical Inquirer, a New York newsletter that keeps track of such things.

        Let's see, there's that job from Athena Starwoman (yeah, we're sure it's her real name), that '98 would be Frank Sinatra's year. “Plenty of zing left in his zodiac” she said. Frank passed, making it not a very good year for him.

        Then there was the one about Kathie Lee Gifford ending the year in a mental institution after Regis and Kathie Lee was canceled. It wasn't and she isn't. Yet.

        And of course psychic Sylvia Brown promised us President Clinton would be exonerated. Ooops, a bit wide of the mark, 'eh.

        Fidel Castro was to move to Beverly Hills after a Cuban coup. He didn't get canned, and he didn't move, and he still hasn't learned how to dress any less tacky.

        Patsy Ramsey was supposed to confess that she killed JonBenet Ramsey, thereby putting this relentlessly boring story to bed. Nope.

        Whoa, hold on. At least one came semi-true: The NFL was supposed to eliminate tackle football in favor of two-hand touch. Most teams didn't, though we don't recall the Bengals tackling anyone this year, so that one gets a 10 percent.

        FINAL THOUGHTS: A few Christmastime odds and ends left over from the party circuit . . .

        • Sing it: Well dang, they raised their voices and made a haul at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

        Specifically, the Christmas Carol cast — it closed Sunday — working in groups of about 20, donated time after every show for a bit of caroling in the lobby as theater goers munched desert and sipped coffee.

        And not just a few of them, says PIP stage manager Bruce Coyle, who organized the singers. Every member of the cast sang at least once, though never all together.

        Even Joneal Joplin (Scrooge) sang, no matter how wiped out from a role that keeps him on stage for most of the play.

        After songs, they asked for money to give to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and AIDS Volunteers of Cincinnati.

        So how much? Drumroll please: $8,300, a new record for the 3-year tradition.

        • Yeah, but who?: Hmmm. Strangest party invitation we got has to be this job from Inside Media: A fax promising an invitation for a Christmas party in January, on a date to be announced, with a mystery headliner singing.

        Here's the story: Inside Media exec Rob Riggsbee throws his annual Christmas party in January when the holiday pace finally slows. It's usually in Mount Adams (Longworth's) and usually has a headliner: Herman's Hermits, The Outsiders, Climax, Gary Lewis and the Playboys have all played it.

        For '99? “Can't say,” Riggsbee says. “It's taking shape with one of two bands. I'm working on it.

        “But here's a clue: It's between two bands that both had TV sitcoms in the '60s and '70s and both are named for animals.”

        Just guessing here, but we know Riggsbee had lunch recently at Bistro Gigi with David Cassidy, of the old Partridge Family, and we also know Cassidy's going on tour next month. We also know Riggsbee and Davy Jones of the Monkees are good friends and that they're on tour too.

        So then: Animals, sitcoms, early '70s. Do we get a prize?

        Psst! appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.

        Psst! appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.