24 MARCH 1990, Page 39

High life

On a higher plane


INew York if giving dinners at home is a sign of middle age, staying put after dinner is a sure indication that old age is upon one. Take, for example, last week in the Big Bagel. I hosted two dinners chez moi and a cocktail party at a club, and failed to follow them up with a night-club appearance in all three instances. If this isn't a sign of approaching senility I don't know what is.

Mind you, the dinners I gave in my house for the soon to be ex-sainted editor turned out a success, despite the fact that the guest of honour wasn't present. (The

reason for his absence was concern for his wife's pregnancy, an unheard-of condition among Englishmen in general, and old Etonians in particular.) When Charles Moore first told me he was coming to the Bagel, I offered to give a bash or two in order for him to meet some high-lifers. Naturally I could not introduce him to any night-club characters. The only professor who speaks to me is Ernest Van Den Haag, and even his reputation has suffered as a result. Finding people who move their lips only when speaking wasn't easy, but I did come up with Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe, John O'Sullivan, Reinaldo Herrera and my publisher, Morgan Entrekin.

I had an easier time finding representa- tives of the fair sex. Brainy American women are as a rule unattractive, abrasive, with egos the size of icebergs and feet to match, not to mention their exhibitionism and vulgarity. Thus I chose to invite six very pretty Southern girls, which turned out to be the smartest thing I've done in a long while. Mailer's wife, Norris Church, a talented painter and playwright, is also from the South, and we had a grand old time praising the ladies born south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Given the fact that Mailer and O'Sulli- van weren't drinking, and my publisher was in a bad mood over a Spy magazine article, it was left up to me to amuse les girls, and as usual I got totally wasted, which infuriated Professor Ernest, until Anthony Haden-Guest arrived after din- ner. And for once he brought a beautiful girl, an English one by the name of Sophia, a mystery lady if I ever met one. The last thing I remember was Anthony passing out somewhere behind one of my sofas and the mother of my children trying to put a pillow under him, or perhaps it was a dream. After all, it's happened so many times before, one can't be sure of anything any longer.