Reaching for the Stars

If you don’t have a life of your own and prefer instead to revel in the details of celebrities’ lives, as reported by the gossip magazines, then you are probably adept at interpreting the truth behind what those rags say. You have learned that they can’t just come out and say the nasty things they’re thinking, or else the stars won’t keep confiding in them, and so they hide the truth behind figurative language. But if you’re still a novice at interpreting gossip-speak, we offer as an exercise the following translations of some quotes from the July 2 issues of Life & Style and OK! Weekly.

What they say: “[Julia Roberts’ new son] Henry’s birth was a breeze compared to the first go-round, when Julia was on bed rest for weeks and the twins were born six weeks premature.”
What they mean: “The first time a mare foals is always the hardest.”

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New mom Julia Roberts.

What they say: “Denise Richards, on the beach in Malibu, proves that covering up can be sexy, too!”
What they mean: “Denise Richards has finally stopped showing her boobs to everyone!”

What they say: “Nominee Tyra Banks went home empty-handed at the June 15 Daytime Emmy Awards.”
What they mean: “Tyra Banks’ personal assistants were seen fleeing in terror on June 15.”

What they say: “Kristin Cavallari and Nick Zano have tattoos of each other’s initials!”
What they mean: “Nick Zano is now free to date Kelly Clarkson, Kim Cattrall, or Kevin Costner.”

What they say: “It’s just another shirtless day in the life of Matthew McConaughey. On June 16, the surfer dude and a few friends gathered on the beach in Malibu for a little fun in the sun.”
What they mean: “We found out why Malibu smelled like pot and B.O. on June 16.”

What they say:The View‘s Barbara Walters … received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 14. Her star neighbors? Ryan Seacrest and Destiny’s Child!”
What they mean: “The actual Hollywood stars are far, far away.”

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Ryan Phillippe.

What they say: “‘My priority is and always has been the health and safety of my family,’ Ryan [Phillippe] has said.”
What they mean: “It certainly hasn’t been acting.”

What they say: “Britney [Spears]’s return to chaos could put her career in jeopardy.”
What they mean: “There are some people who believe Britney Spears still has a career.”

What they say: “Reese Witherspoon is the embodiment of a strong, modern woman.”
What they mean: “Reese Witherspoon is a lesbian.”

What they say: “Rosie O’Donnell may get to host The Price Is Right now that Bob Barker has retired.”
What they mean: “Remember how you weren’t sure you’d want to watch The Price Is Right anymore once Bob was gone? Well, CBS is going to make the decision easier for you.”

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Rosie O’Donnell.

What they say: “Nicole [Richie] is taking the pregnancy seriously. After being advised by her doctor to gain 25 pounds … she’s already [gained] eight pounds.”
What they mean: “Nicole Richie now weighs 78 pounds.”

What they say: “There’s also a practical reason [Angelina Jolie] wants to get hitched: She and Brad plan to adopt many more kids … and the process is much easier for a married couple than it is for a single woman.”
What they mean: “There are some countries in the world that will not hand their orphaned children over to just any old rich white woman. She needs to be a MARRIED rich white woman.”

What they say: “Drew Barrymore [said], ‘Of course I’ve fallen for bad boys. All girls go for a bad boy at some point in their lives.'”
What they mean: “Drew Barrymore has dated her heroin dealer.”

What they say: “Jessica Alba snagged two bags of chocolate-chip cookies from the MTV Movie Awards Room Service station.”
What they mean: “Jessica Alba did a month’s worth of grocery shopping at the MTV Movie Awards.”

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Angelina Jolie and family.

What they say: “Newly engaged The Hills stars Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt have put their wedding on the back burner while Heidi records an album.”
What they mean: “We’re now reporting gossip on people even WE’VE never heard of.”

What they say: “Las Vegas club Pure is still promoting a July 2 party to celebrate Lindsay Lohan’s 21st birthday … but a rep for the star, who’s still in rehab, says the event was called off weeks ago.”
What they mean: “Las Vegas club Pure is determined to promote underage alcoholism even if their poster child won’t be in attendance.”

What they say: “Paris [Hilton] will be a huge star again if she plays it smart.”
What they mean: “Paris Hilton will never be a huge star again.”

This is the third time this feature has appeared in "Snide Remarks," the first two being here and here. It's fun for me to write, similar to "Ask Eric Stuff" in that the set-ups are provided and I have to come up with the punchlines. It's like batting practice, except funnier (I think).

I noticed that almost all of the entries in this column were about women. Then I noticed the reason for that: Most of the gossip in the magazines I looked at was about women. Why would that be? After all, there are at least as many male celebrities as there are female ones. I suspect the disparity is because the vast majority of those magazines' readers are women, and women are most interested in other women -- either as role models, or to be jealous of them, or to delight in their downfalls.