Better Make It a Sharpie-or Else
A father's influence on his son can be incredible, from shaping a boy's outlook on life to the tiny, seemingly unimportant things like choosing between Bic and Sharpie. That's certainly been the case in the Bush family, where President Bush has sometimes gone Texas-big with his dad's lessons. Where the 41st president played baseball, the 43rd owned a baseball team; while Dad stopped troops short of invading Baghdad, W made it his target; and as the former prez prefers to use Sharpies, the current prez demands them-and even gives them as presents.
"He asks for them by name," says a Bush insider, "and if someone hands him something else, he barks, 'Where's the Sharpie?'" How come? "They're so easy to use," says another Bushie. "And you can see what you've written." Bush's isn't just any Sharpie. Like those famous boxes of peanut M&Ms, Bush's Sharpies carry his signature and the words The White House. He even has Camp David Sharpies. If you're an important aide, the presidential Sharpies are included with a signed golf ball, baseball, tie clip, and cuff links in the White House trinket bag each gets.
Sharpie boss Howard Heckes, president of Sanford Brands North America, says lots of celebs-like tennis star Maria Sharapova-have personalized pens, but "it's pretty cool" to supply the prez. "Sharpies are good for the president of the United States or the president of the PTA."
Can Magnum P.I. Replace Moses?
That old National Rifle Association TV ad in which Magnum P.I. actor Tom Selleck says, "I am the NRA" might be making a comeback. That's because he's being talked about as the replacement for former five-term NRA President Charlton Heston, the Moses portrayer who is afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. NRA insiders like the idea of promoting Selleck, an off-and-on NRA-er since he was a kid and now one of 76 board members, to the top job. But some suggest that while it will eventually happen, it won't happen soon. Emilie Raymond, author of the new book From My Cold, Dead Hands: Charlton Heston and American Politics, agrees. "Maybe when Selleck hits a point in his career when he's doing less leading roles and more cameo spots," she tells us, "he'll have time to devote to the NRA in a fashion similar to Heston's presidency."
He Saw 9/11, Now He Sees 'the End'
Joel Rosenberg, the New York Times bestselling author whose books have eerily predicted bad things like 9/11, has a new one coming out, and in it he takes on the superbig question: Is the end near? Seems many think so. For Epicenter, a book on the Middle East crisis, Rosenberg had the polling firm McLaughlin & Associates ask 1,000 adults if they agreed that current events were evidence of what the Bible calls the last days. In the poll, provided exclusively to Whispers, a remarkable 42 percent agreed. The breakdown is even more startling: Half of women agree, 75 percent of blacks agree, and 57 percent of those ages 18 to 25 agree.