'Pal' would have been fine

It's not so much that Mayor Juan Olivares of Arvin, Calif., minds being ticketed by a deputy sheriff for driving in nearby Bakersfield with a town councilwoman late last month. Nor does he dispute the charges against them, such as operating a vehicle with illegally tinted windows. But what frosts him about the incident was being called "dude." Olivares said he asked "five times" for the officer to stop because "I'm not a dude." "I'm 41," he went on. "I'm a businessman ... and I consider myself a gentleman." Now, if he has his way, he'll also be responsible for the lawman being fired for showing disrespect. No comment, for now, by the deputy's superiors.

I won what????

In Thailand, buyers of special New Year's cards for the nation's 443 Army medical and engineering personnel serving in postwar Iraq will automatically be entered in a drawing. The prize: a free trip to ... Iraq.

Fashion plates: ranking the best-dressed women of 2003

In case you were waiting, the results of its first best-dressed survey were announced earlier this week by A.C. Chase, the Reston, Va., company that calls itself "jeweler to the stars." Named No. 1, on the basis of ballots submitted by TV and motion-picture industry wardrobe professionals: actress Nicole Kidman, who, the voters said, dresses "like a goddess." The judges also produced a worst-dressed list, (topped by TV personality Anna Nicole Smith); an all-time best-dressed top 10, led by the late Audrey Hepburn; and a would-like-to-dress list, on which US Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) of New York finished No. 1. The 2003 fashion plates:

1. Nicole Kidman
2. Catherine Zeta-Jones
3. Sarah Jessica Parker
4. Charlize Theron
5. Halle Berry
6. Queen Latifah
7. Ashley Judd
8. Diane Lane
9. Diane Sawyer
10. Michelle Pfeiffer

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