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GUESS WHO'S NOT COMING?
The stunt was shaping up nicely until the French Alpine Club heard about it. A special luncheon was to be served atop 15,781-foot Mont Blanc, complete with lace tablecloths, fine china and crystal, and featuring champagne, lobster salad, roast quail stuffed with p�t�, chilled souffl�, coffee and cognac. The diners would be whisked to and from that lofty site by helicopters. The whole scheme had been crafted by P.R. men to promote Grand Marnier and the Association of Young Restaurateurs of France, and invitations were in the mail. But, non. Outrageous, said the Alpinists. Scandalous, even farfelu, which means nutty.
When the restaurateurs, the luncheon guests and newsmen assembled at Chamonix last week, they were met by demonstrators blocking the heliport. What's more, 10 mountaineers had already climbed to the summit to stop the banquet. Mission accomplished: the diners had to set up their portable gear and eat their meal in the parking lot near a cablecar terminal.
Later, relenting just a bit from its purist stance, the Alpine Club proposed a post-lunch, legitimate climb to the summit for anyone who wanted to go. But the restaurateurs and guests declined in favor of an even purer idea. They all adjourned to the bar in a nearby hotel for after-dinner drinks.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
First the promoters put together what is projected as the world's richest harness race, a $300,000 go-round scheduled for July 27 at New York's Monticello Raceway. But that didn't seem to be enough. What the event really needed was a special gimmick, they figured.
So, when the winner of the race reins in for the usual ceremonies he won't get a check. Someone—two people, probably—will hand him a chunk of solid-gold bullion worth $150,000, at 75 pounds, 33 more than his sulky. The other seven of the first eight finishers will be paid off similarly, right down to a $3,000 brick for coming in last. The winner can cash in his bar at the nearest bank. If he can carry it.
PEARLY TEETH, DEAR
Judging from early reports, the movie Jaws is spooking audiences as much as any thriller since Frankenstein made the scene back in 1931. Swimmers seem to spook most of all, which has resulted in a snapping good story for Dan Rattiner, who publishes five weekly newspapers in the Hamptons, a collection of well-to-do vacation communities on the eastern end of New York's Long Island. Hardly had Jaws opened out there when Rattiner's East Hampton Summer Sun headlined a warning: BOYCOTT JAWS. "Don't Let a Phony Shark Bite Off All of Eastern Long Island," the paper urged.
Rattiner noted that the movie is set in a mythical town known as Amity, and while the film doesn't specify, the novel Jaws puts Amity halfway between the real Bridgehampton and East Hampton. Since the shark eats about a dozen folks before he gets his, Rattiner wrote that residents are afraid the film will frighten away visitors and destroy the tourist economy.