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  INCOMING! JULY 19, 2004.  



  President Bush, Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell are scheduled to meet with Ricardo Lagos, the socialist president of Chile today at the White House, about democracy, trade and economic opportunity in the region.

Expected dialogue: "In Texas, we call it chill-ee."

Get it? Chili. hahahahahahahaha. Ahem. That Dubya.






  Today is the 35th anniversary of the day Neil Armstrong walked on the moon and uttered his famous line: "This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

Yeah, yeah. It sounded pretty good then, Neil. But 35 years on, ask yourself this: Was it really one big step for mankind? Seriously.

I mean, what has the moon done for us lately? It's not like we've learned how to make use of it. No one wants to live on it, or even visit, barring those kids from N Sync, and who knows why they want to -- it's not like there's a lot going on up there. No people, no plants, no Target. We're not even using


it for like, storage.

And I'll be frank with you, Neil: The moon has lost a little of its buzz. Seriously: Have you heard anyone saying, Oh, did you see what the moon did last night? I heard the moon did this. So-and-so made a video if the moon; Or: Sorry, I can't go out tonight, I have to watch the moon. When was the last time you saw our moon on the cover of a magazine?

Or on TV? Everyone knows a true -- pardon the pun -- star would get that kind of exposure. But it seems like these days everyone's all, oooh, look at Saturn's moon, yeah, you know Saturn, the cool one with the rings and well, it looks like our moon is like, so totally over. But don't worry: In a couple years it should be able to catch a retro-nostagia-wave.




  Bill Clinton will sign books today at the Chapter 11 bookstore in Atlanta for a mob of people who have a lot in common with in common with the rest of the country: They probably won't make it through his book, My Life. Why is that? Maybe we're just sick of reading about it -- the slew of reviews that have appeared in the weeks since its June 22 pub date number in the hundreds. Or maybe we're just too busy. The fact that Calista Flockhart was recently photographed by US Weekly leaving a Barnes and Noble with a copy of the book supports    

this theory: Only someone who neither works or eats has time to read this book.




  Today is Alex Trebek's birthday, and one imagines that as he leans over his Zone-approved birthday cake, as the candles cast a warm glow on his 64-year-old visage, he is wishing for one thing: That the terrible reign of Ken Jennings will soon come to an end.

Poor Alex Trebek. Al-our-pal. He's hosted "Jeopardy" for 16 years, and these last few years have probably felt like cruise control -- away from Britney Spears-level scrutiny, Trebek lived on a comfortable level of celebrity, the gods grinned


down at him, life was good. Now, things have changed. Think of the jokes he must endure! From the parking lot attendant, the dry cleaner, the shoe-shine boy (of course he has a shoe shine boy), So, you gonna knock KenJen outta the ring today?

Sure, the ratings boost is a boon, but does Alex Trebek really need this kind of aggravation right now?, he's asking himself in the bathroom mirror, a square of toilet paper stuck to his chin. Ah, Alex. It must be a bittersweet anniversaire, indeed.





  Donald Trump brings his disturbed, coiff-obscured gaze to rest on budding Apprentices in San Antonio today for auditions for the "reality" show's third season. (Trump is only showing up at open auditions in San Antonio and New York.)

It's supposed to hit 95 degrees in San Antonio, so the first test the hundreds of quivering hopefuls expected to wait in line for the chance to humiliate themselves on national television will be a sartorial


one: Potentially wrinkly cotton, or pit-stinking polyester? It should be a tough one.


Jessica Pressler writes the "Pressler's Miscellany" column for Philadelphia Weekly.


INCOMING! runs every Monday on The Black Table. Writers will be rotated, and if you're interested in contributing one, email Will Leitch at