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Ready to Rumble

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While the rest of the nation gave itself over to other preoccupations—the catastrophic weather in California, the second inauguration of George W. Bush in Washington, D.C., the Brad-Jen breakup in between—the city insouciantly carried on with the ordinary business of life. Some were cheered by the news that Laura Bush and her daughters had at least chosen New York designers for their inaugural frocks, thereby tempering the ostentatious vulgarity of the upcoming festivities. The FLOTUS went with Oscar de la Renta, who created for her a silver-blue tulle gown with bugle beads and Austrian crystals, whereas the twins—whose Secret Service code names are “Twinkle” (Jenna) and “Turquoise” (Barbara)—plumped for the somewhat hipper Badgley Mischka, who indulged their desire to exhibit plenty of cleavage. As for the wedding of Donald Trump and fashion model Melania Knauss, scheduled to take place two days later, nothing could possibly mitigate its ostentatious vulgarity. Aged rock stars loomed large in city life. Ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz began his new job as the morning D.J. of the golden-oldies station WCBS-FM, while the competition wondered whether Ringo might be available. On East 57th Street, an excited teenage boy accosted Paul McCartney in front of the Prada store, crying, “John Lennon! John Lennon!” To which Sir Paul’s wife, Heather Mills, gelidly responded, “No, you fool, he’s dead.” And in the Bronx, former Van Halen lead singer David Lee Roth continued his noble work as a city ambulance paramedic, while a new Website, savedbyroth.blogspot.com, was set up to field first-person stories from those he rescued. On his first day as a Yankee, pitcher Randy Johnson—a.k.a. the Big Unit, a.k.a. the Big Jerk—copiously apologized for his behavior the previous day, when he shoved a TV cameraman and growled, “Don’t get in my face.” Meanwhile, the rather younger and better-looking slugger Carlos Beltran was telling the press how delighted he was to be a newly minted Met. Beltran had reason to be happy: His contract is worth $119 million—plus, with the Mets, you get Octobers off!


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