Being a celebrity has its downside, of course, as we were reminded while reading the latest issue of Hotline, the Radisson SAS employee magazine.

In the issue's Finland section, it is reported that the legendary James Brown -- the Godfather of Soul, the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business -- left behind his "curler" under a table in his suite at the Radisson SAS Hesperia Hotel Helsinki.

The magazine -- whose foreign sections read as if they're either translated or written in English as a second language -- adds about the James Brown curler situation, "so we just wonder what his fringe looks now??" (complete with the two question marks and a missing or misused word or two).

We have to wonder about the propriety of publishing just what items might have been left behind by whom in guest rooms -- unless, of course, the singer told the magazine he wouldn't mind.

We'd hate to think of what-all Insider might have left behind in our different incarnations over the years. Fortunately, we're not only unfamous but anonymous, and no one would care.

The search for lost time

Sometimes the best intentions of advertising copywriters don't translate so well to the printed page.

Take a copy of the ad we received for the Casa Del Mar, a Los Angeles property scheduled to open in late summer. The tag line reads, "We can make your business trip feel much longer than it actually is."

The ad, by the Colby Effler & Partners agency, clarifies this statement in the body copy with descriptions of luxury and relaxation that lead guests to wish "the clocks weren't in such a hurry."

So the ad is really trying to say that a stay at the Casa Del Mar goes too quickly. We wonder whether the ad agency has any dentists for clients.

News from downwind

Eclipse sugar-free gum was named the "official breath freshener" of the 1999 Gilroy (Calif.) Garlic Festival, officials of the event announced.

The festival, a 21-year-old international food expo in the state's premier garlic-growing region, is scheduled this year for July 23 to 25. Gilroy is 30 miles south of San Jose. The event will serve tons of garlic-enhanced food to an anticipated 130,000 visitors.

The choice of Eclipse chewing gum was announced at a press conference that introduced two entrees to the menu of the festival's Gourmet Alley. The two new dishes -- garlic salsiccia polenta and garlic pollo polenta tre colori -- are the first additions to the Gourmet Alley menu in 16 years.

Eclipse is a new gum from the Wrigley Co. of Chicago. Cristin Reichmuth, chairman of the committee charged with identifying a preferred breath freshener, said the committee was formed two years ago to offer festival attendees a recommendation on an antidote to "garlic breath."

The committee, consisting of six men and six women (the women are former queens of the Garlic Festival), tested any products available to Northern California consumers before selecting several items for an extensive "field test."

"Eclipse was a last- minute consideration because it is just coming on the market," explained Reichmuth.

"It was actually the first gum to make the final review, and in our group's ultimate comparisons, it ran the table."

Eclipse will be distributed free of charge to the Festival's visitors, courtesy of Wrigley.


One of our reporters was reading up on Spain's Year of Velazquez, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of the artist's birth, when he encountered an amusing misprint.

In a fold-out brochure detailing important events in the painter's life, Velazquez' apprenticeship with Francisco Pacheco was described. Pacheco, it was noted, was the author of the treatise "The Art of Panting" (italics ours).

Velazquez ended up marrying Pacheco's daughter. Must have been all that panting.

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