People who need ‘People’

Alyssa Milano had been staring up at me for several weeks now, and I was starting to get creeped out.

The star of TV’s Charmed was smiling broadly, obviously enjoying the happiest day of her life. Her new husband David Bugliari was at her side, clutching her hand and beaming at his good fortune to be marrying one of Hollywood’s hottest young actresses. His stare wasn’t quite as unnerving as hers because, after all, we were in the men’s room and he, as a fellow man, was supposed to be in here. Alyssa was not.

The August 31 issue of People magazine had been lying on top of the tank behind the toilet seat for several months in the restroom at work. True, it was in the handicapped stall, which gave all three of us plenty of elbow room to do our respective businesses. But I had grown weary of the experience of having this happy couple — along with Kourtney Kardashian, Bradley Cooper and “celeb babies” Nahla and Dolly — watching as I evacuated my bladder several times a day.

The bride was radiant, the commode was fairly clean

So I decided to evacuate the magazine from its resting place in the lavatory library on the back of the commode. I’m sure it had provided a comforting diversion to my male co-workers during its eight-week tenure, just as its fellow publications, the June 2003 issue of National Geographic and the TV insert from last Sunday’s paper, were doing. But it was time to turn the page and get this filthy periodical out of circulation.

It had no doubt spent time during its tenancy on the floor, lying open in the bunched-up underpants of numerous squatters, and God knows where else. The magazine didn’t seem to have any pages ripped out, which was probably a good sign given the janitorial staff’s chronic inattention to toilet paper supplies. Still, I wasn’t looking forward to handling it one last time, even if it was for disposal purposes. I’m pretty sure a hazmat suit would’ve been overkill, so I grabbed an old grocery sack from my desk and managed to safely encase these megawatt celebrities in plastic. I washed my hands thoroughly, then I washed them again.

Somehow, though, I couldn’t bring myself to just toss this issue in the can. My interest in the lives of these personalities had been piqued, and I wanted to know more. For example, how was it possible that a Kardashian sister, even one of the lesser ones, could exclaim in a People exclusive that her pregnancy had been a “surprise”? (I know that’s not the brightest tribe in Tinseltown, but surely she knew certain fundamentals of how human reproduction worked.) And what did Jon Gosselin’s “gal pal” Hailey Glassman have to speak out about? I’ve only rarely been afflicted with constipation since I stopped taking that anti-inflammatory medicine earlier this fall, so I hadn’t had the chance to read all about it.

I decided to carry the magazine home with me (in the trunk of the car, and splashed liberally with windshield washer fluid, which I imagined had some antiseptic properties) and research the issue further. I found a pair of surgical gloves, to discourage me from absent-mindedly moistening my fingers as I turned the pages, and began my study of the people of People. Here are some of my findings:

According to an ad for the show Vampire Diaries, “love sucks.”

There’s someone or something famous named Minka Kelly, and apparently Kate Hudson is having a tiff with her or it.

There was something causing pages 8 and 9 to stick together. Gross.

The couple who juked down the aisle at their wedding and ended up with 19 million views on YouTube didn’t mean to promote girlfriend-abuser Chris Brown by selecting his song for the dance.

“It was wonderful to catch up with the cast of Saved by the Bell,” according to reader Jennifer Sherry of St. Paul, Minn.

Does Katie Holmes look better with or without bangs? Find out the results of a poll at (I checked for the winning style, but got distracted by a new feature — Robert Pattison’s 30 hottest stares.)

Director Tim Burton does not look good riding the giant caterpillar at Disneyland with his family.

“Does Jessica (Simpson) want to replace Paula (Abdul)?” asks a headline. No, says the story below.

There’s a “trendwarning” out on denim shorts with the pockets hanging below the hem.

I'd be wearing a rubber glove to hold a picture of Heidi and Spencer even if the magazine hadn't been on the floor of the men's room.

Country music star Kenny Chesney hardly ever stays in a hotel on tour because he’s got “the most comfortable bed in the world” on his bus.

Miley Cyrus has a nine-year-0ld sister. In related news, NNNOOOOOOO!

Important safety information in the ad for a new birth-control device called “Mirena”: Less than 1% of users get a serious infection called pelvic inflammatory disease.

It’s been six years since the previous Third Eye Blind album, but don’t expect any major developments from the pop-rockers.

The book Homer’s Odyssey is actually a memoir about adopting a special-needs kitten.

One of the Real Housewives of New Jersey used to buy a lot more toys for her three daughters, but now she’s better, just buying the “supercute stuff.”

Celeb baby Anni, daughter of Grey’s Anatomy star Chyler Leigh, is a happy, easygoing baby who sleeps through the night.

Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu chose a bold font for her son’s birth announcement because “he’s a robust little guy.”

Former child actress Soleil Moon Frye, against all odds, is still alive.

Rachael Ray was 41 on Aug. 28. But within days, her size had ballooned to a 44.

Model Crystal Renn used to be a size 0, which made her pretty much invisible.

Oprah likes candied fruit slices dipped in chocolate.

Whether you choose a vibrant dress or just a strategic pop of color, there are lots of ways to work the purple trend.

Cash for Clunkers is a success — what else would you like the government to give you cash for? Dane Cook answered “refrigerators” because he has three broken ones he doesn’t know what to do with.

Correction: Alyssa Milano is not a hot young actress at all. She’s 36.

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2 Responses to “People who need ‘People’”

  1. sandysays1 Says:

    Didn’t Shakespeare write about the subject? “Much to do about nothing.”
    Great post!

  2. morethananelectrician Says:

    As sad as this is, I may have read the same one in a dentists lobby somewhere. I’d gather that there was something “nice” on pages 8-9…I seem to remember that one having them stuck together too…

    Can anyone in “Charmed” be labeled a “Star?”

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