of snow, a winter cover
white down comforter
A sight to be seen
glistening on mountain peaks
crisp, clad and pristine
Clouds retreat, blue skies
give way to vibrant sun rays
all thoughts melt away
A rebirth awaits
deep, underneath to spring up
near a flowing creek
• Q: What do you say when you’re on a date with a woman who has just eaten worms on Fear Factor? A: “I don’t believe in kissing on the first date — or any date.”
• When Ashton Kutcher, one of the stars of That 70s Show, was growing up, his older sister, Tausha, played practical jokes on him. For example, she would put make-up on him as he slept. Ashton says, “Can you imagine how scary that was for a little kid, to wake up with lipstick, eye shadow and mascara?” Of course, he grew up and had girlfriends, both for real and on the movie screen. For example, Piper Perabo played his girlfriend in the movie Cheaper By the Dozen. When she met Ashton’s real-life girlfriend, Demi Moore, on the set, she said, “Hi, you’re gorgeous! I’ll be kissing your boyfriend in about 10 minutes.” Ms. Moore, who has kissed several actors in her own movies, was amused.
• While on tour in Edinburgh, Scotland, John Gielgud played the lead role in Macbeth. Unfortunately, he found a matinee of Scottish schoolchildren very difficult, as they giggled during the performance and threw paper cups. However, Mr. Gielgud was astonished when they laughed when his character kissed Lady Macbeth at breakfast. When he made a speech a few days later, he mentioned his astonishment at the laughter, and the next day a letter in The Scotsmanappeared which explained the laughter: “We do understand Mr. Gielgud’s feelings, but perhaps he did not realise that husbands and wives in Scotland do not kiss at breakfast-time”!
• Phyllis Diller’s first movie with Bob Hope was Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number!In it, her character was supposed to ride a motorcycle, but her stunt double was unable to do this because she had broken her leg. Therefore, a short stunt man doubled for Ms. Diller, wearing her fright wig and funny clothing. Unfortunately for the male stunt double, Ms. Diller’s husband visited the set, saw the male stunt double from behind, thought the male stunt double was Ms. Diller, and spun the male stunt double around and planted a big kiss on his lips.
• Faron Young recorded Willie Nelson’s “Hello Walls” and had a huge hit. Because Mr. Nelson needed money, he offered to sell the song to Mr. Young for $500. Mr. Young declined to buy the song, saying to Mr. Nelson, “You’re crazy! That song has already sold more than that. Here’s the five hundred. Pay me back when you have it.” Later, Mr. Nelson received his first royalty check — it was for $20,000. Mr. Nelson immediately went in search of Mr. Young, and when he found him, he gave him a big kiss right on the mouth.
• One of the best movies by Mel Brooks is The Producers, starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder. Mr. Mostel was hired first, and he attended Mr. Wilder’s audition. Before the audition, Mr. Mostel reached out his hand as if he were going to shake Mr. Wilder’s hand, then suddenly he grabbed Mr. Wilder, pulled him close, and kissed him on the lips. Before the kiss, Mr. Wilder had been nervous, but after the kiss, he relaxed. (By the way, both Mr. Mostel and Mr. Wilder are straight.)
• Before modern dance pioneer Isadora Duncan went to Russia, she visited a fortune teller, who told her that she would get married — something that Ms. Duncan, who was philosophically opposed to marriage, scoffed at. However, she met a handsome Russian poet and soon was shocking her elderly language tutor by saying to her, “You’d better teach me what I ought to say to a beautiful man when I want to kiss him.” And yes, she and the handsome poet were married.
• When African-American Duke Ellington reached his 70th birthday, he celebrated it at the White House at the invitation of then-President Richard Nixon. In the receiving line, Mr. Ellington kissed each person four times — twice on each cheek. When President Nixon asked him about it, Mr. Ellington replied, “One for each cheek, Mr. President.” When President Nixon gave him the Medal of Freedom at the birthday celebration, Mr. Ellington kissed him four times.
• Famed photographer Yousuf Karsh once played tennis with a partner who promised him a kiss from “one of the most famous actresses in Hollywood” if he were to win the match. Motivated greatly by this promise, Mr. Karsh did win the match, and as promised Joan Crawford kissed him and served him cocktails. In addition, she always sent him a handwritten personal note on such occasions as his birthday and important holidays.
• While performing live, Whoopi Goldberg played the part of a little girl who was dying. In the character of the little girl, Ms. Goldberg stepped off the stage, walked up to a man in the front row of the theater, gave him a hug and a kiss, and asked him to pass it on. The hug and the kiss traveled down the front row as audience members passed the hug and the kiss on to the next audience member.
• After ice skater Peggy Fleming won her gold medal at the 1968 Olympic Games, she was given both her medal and a kiss by Avery Brundage, the aged chair of the International Olympic Committee, who was vigilant in making sure that the athletes participating in the Olympics were amateurs. After Ms. Fleming got her medal and kiss, reporters asked her what Mr. Brundage was like as a kisser. She replied, “He was an amateur.”
• When Renata Tebaldi received her first kiss, she was disappointed. Her biographer, Victor Seroff, asked if the disappointment stemmed from the youth and inexperience of the man kissing her. She replied, “Too young and inexperienced at twenty-five? Not in Italy.” (Fortunately, the second time he kissed her, she liked it.)
• Thomas d’Esterre Roberts (1893-1976) was a Catholic Archbishop. Once, a woman approached him and asked for permission to kiss his ring. Archbishop Roberts said, You may kiss my ring, madam, but I must warn you that it is in my hip pocket.”
• When he was a young man acting in England, Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) preferred to kiss actresses on stage who used very little makeup. That way, he didn’t risk getting a mouthful of carmine or powder.