Heidi Fleiss Does 'Dirty Laundry'

From news worth an honorable mention, a look at the Hollywood Madam's coin-op venture, a record for a sitting in a tub with rattlesnakes and really big haul for Ron Paul

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Thank you so much for taking part in THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

And now, our very own, very subjective assortment - nay, a bouquet of news you can't use. We call it The Ramble.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: Luke, Rachel, are you ready? I'm going first.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, you know, he's into his first term, broke up with his wife…

RACHEL MARTIN: Poor Gavin.

STEWART: …brought an underage girlfriend to an event where she was seen drinking alcohol, admitted himself he was an alcoholic - all that kind of stuff.

LUKE BURBANK, host:

Rough year.

STEWART: Rough year. You would think so. But you know what?

BURBANK: Rough year, rough year.

STEWART: He is supposed to be a shoo-in for mayor in the elections today in San Francisco. He's still very, very popular. He's got about 12 opponents on the ballot. The most serious is a florist who's run three times before. He's also facing a nudism activist, a homeless taxi driver, and the owner of a sex club.

MARTIN: You know, I hate stories like this, because it always make San Francisco sound like this completely bizarre, freakish place where politics isn't serious. It's a very serious place.

BURBANK: Sure.

STEWART: Lots of intellectuals and all.

MARTIN: Yeah.

STEWART: And their mayor is going to be Gavin Newsom.

MARTIN: Indeed.

STEWART: Rachel, what's up?

MARTIN: Well, The New York Times has apparently tracked down former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. That's her name, Heidi Fleiss. And they found her in a laundromat. She - Heidi Fleiss was - if everyone remembers. I'm sure you were tracking this. She was convicted of tax evasion and pandering in 1997 in connection with this prostitution ring she was running.

BURBANK: Which was very famous because it was the Hollywood clientele.

MARTIN: Exactly.

BURBANK: She had all these people's names in her black book.

MARTIN: Yeah, Charlie Sheen got busted, if you know what I mean.

BURBANK: Speaking of "Two and a Half Men."

MARTIN: Mm-hmm.

STEWART: Mm-hmm.

MARTIN: So after she served three years in prison, she had this business plan to start up this brothel designed for women. Only men will be servicing the lady clients. But she's had some licensing problems. And so, instead, she's decided to open up a laundromat called, appropriately, Dirty Laundry. And her machines are efficient. Reportedly, they use a lot less water so the clothes dry faster, and it's decorated like a casino.

STEWART: Right. That's the whole theme…

MARTIN: Yeah.

STEWART: …like slot machines and the like.

MARTIN: She says everyone deserves a little fantasy under it all.

BURBANK: But if you look - I mean, whether you read the story or not, you got to look at the photo.

MARTIN: Totally.

BURBANK: There's an amazing photo accompanying the piece of her just in the back office of this laundromat in Pahrump, Nevada.

MARTIN: In her sweatpants.

BURBANK: Yeah.

MARTIN: Yeah. It's…

BURBANK: The photo says about as much as the article does, I'm sure.

Well, speaking of getting intimate with fellows, 87 rattlesnakes got intimate with Jackie "The Texas Snake Man" Bibby yesterday. They joined Bibby in a transparent bathtub. It was part of Bibby's effort to shatter his own personal record of most rattlesnakes - I guess it was the most rattlesnakes in a bathtub.

Thursday, by the way, is the deadline to make it into the next Guinness Book of World Records, which is why, you know, the heat was on for Jackie Bibby. He said, as - in relation to sitting in a bathtub full of snakes, they can go wherever they want as long as they don't start biting. He said the key to not biting is for me to stay still. Rapid movement scares a rattlesnake. If you move real slow and gentle, that doesn't seem to bother them.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: My favorite thing about stories like this, there's always people named like Jackie Bibby.

BURBANK: Yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I wonder which comes first? The odd name or the behavior…

MARTIN: The Jackie or the Bibby.

STEWART: …or the behavior and then the odd name?

BURBANK: I don't know.

STEWART: Okay. So this is a success story. A kid named Seth went to UPenn, went into the dorm kitchen. And instead of making pizza for his friends, started making cookies, right? It became this hugely popular thing on campus, Insomnia Cookies. He's branched out. He's opening - they've opened their 13th location in Ohio. It's become this whole big thing after four years. The idea is that the way you order a pizza up, you can order up cookies. They're 90 cents each.

MARTIN: I could order out.

STEWART: Minimum order is six bucks. Middle of the night, you got the munchies, you don't want to study, you order up. They're called Insomnia Cookies. Smart kid.

MARTIN: I don't know…

BURBANK: I guess. But you're going to sell a lot of cookies at six bucks a batch to - you got a guy who's got to take them out…

STEWART: Yeah.

BURBANK: …and deliver them, come back.

STEWART: I don't know.

BURBANK: Well, if I was in town while he still had his business running, I would definitely order them. It sounds delightful.

STEWART: No doubt.

BURBANK: Speaking of hauling in dough - great segue, Trish McKinney - it's Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul. He had a one-time fundraiser yesterday tied to Guy Fawkes Day. He took in more than $4.2 million from 37,000 contributors. It's the largest single-day haul of any Republican this year.

By the way, Guy Fawkes, if you might remember, was the leader of a small band of English Catholics who, in 1605, planned to bomb parliament in London and destroy the country's Protestant king and aristocrats.

It's not really celebrated in America, Guy Fawkes Day. But in England, they set bonfires. Kind of a, you know, a little bit of a, what would you say, controversial…

MARTIN: Oh, yes.

STEWART: Yeah.

BURBANK: …event to tie your, you know, money raising efforts to for Ron Paul. But certainly, it seemed to work.

MARTIN: Whatever works, right?

STEWART: Yeah.

BURBANK: Yeah, absolutely. The Ron Paul money train cannot be stopped, as we've said on this show before - $4.2 million. That, our friends, is The Ramble.

Thank you, Rach.

MARTIN: You bet.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.