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Confidential

A Quiet Night out With the President

March 07, 2000|BOOTH MOORE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

President Clinton was in Hollywood the other night, not for a job interview, but to help raise money for the Democratic Party. He and 60 close friends, including Gregory Peck, Calista Flockhart, Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, Olivia Newton John and Dean Cain, dined at Cafe des Artistes, an intimate French bistro near Highland Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.

Chef Jean Pierre Bosc said he had plenty of company in the kitchen, where a Secret Service guard was stationed to watch that the president's food was prepared safely. The guard also had to personally deliver the top banana's meal to him.

A buffet was set up for White House staffers, said Bosc, one of whom good-naturedly urged the chef to give the president his dinner before setting up the buffet so the president wouldn't Hoover their food before moving on to his own plate.

Poor Bill. I bet he's not going to miss the fat jokes. And frankly, neither am I. They've gotten so cliche.

*

Speaking of fat . . . what is it that annoys me about people who get up at the crack of dawn to jog? The health nuts . . . I mean, the virtuous exercisers . . . were out in full force Saturday morning prepping for the marathon, strutting their Adidas and Nike stripes like proud peacocks.

"Oh God!" I blurted out as I passed a well-toned pair of thighs trotting down Santa Monica Boulevard. "Get a life!"

And what was I doing awake early enough to have such an outburst? Normally, I'm not even out of bed, much less elevating my heart rate, before 10 a.m. on weekends. But I had to take my car in.

Because I am so deeply envious of the runners on marathon day, I started a little tradition a few years back: The night before the big race, I stay up as late as possible, ideally until 3 or 4 a.m. Then, I simply sleep through the whole sweat-soaked thing.

Which explains why my lips were puckered around apple martinis at a karaoke bar called the Brass Monkey in Koreatown until the wee hours Saturday night. And what a good night it was: The party-hearty wheat was separated from the snoozing virtuous exerciser chaff, and we had a blast! I was having such a good time that for all I knew it was Neil Diamond himself squawking out "Sweet Caroline."

Despite my best efforts (I slept until 1 p.m.), I didn't miss all the runners. On my way home from El Cholo after finishing off a plate of fajitas, I spotted two dedicated stragglers wrapped in Mylar surfacing from the subway station at Western Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. It was 8 p.m. It took nearly two lights for the women to hobble across the street.

Don't think that I don't have the utmost respect for those who get their jollies from running, walking, or, in these women's cases, possibly crawling 26 miles. By sleeping through the marathon, I'm simply giving them their day. They deserve it: I'm going to exercise hell and they're going to an Eden of great bods and expensive sneakers.

Hmmm . . . perhaps I could tempt them with an apple martini.

*

Correction: In Friday's column, I gave an incorrect date for the Latina Youth Conference. It is Saturday.

Booth Moore can be reached at booth.moore@latimes.com.

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