Thank goodness, Donatella Versace was feeling slightly more gracious than her handler.
Autumn Paulson and her mom, Catherine Kane, were at the MOA shopping last Saturday when they noticed the Versace entourage rolling through.
"That face is so recognizable," Kane told me last week. "She was headed toward Macy's, she was right in front of J. Jill. She was with three other people; one was like a tall bodyguard. I said, 'Can she [meaning Autumn] please have a picture with you?' He's going, No, no, no and shaking his head. Meanwhile, she bends down; my daughter's in a wheelchair, I just assumed that was [agreement to being photographed].
"I think it turned out really good," said Kane, who gets a lot of practice taking pictures of her daughter with "Obama and Hillary; a lot of people."
Kane was not in a position to confirm information I have from another source, who'd get fired if quoted by name. The source reports that every time Versace is in the metro, she's with bodyguards who are especially fine-looking men.
"He was tall and dark hair and I don't know," said Kane, who just wasn't paying any attention to the bodyguard. "I'm more focused on her. She didn't really speak. I don't know if she speaks English."
Versace speaks heavily accented English, I'm told. Of course, you might not want to hear her, however, as "Saturday Night Live" has a character parodying Versace, who disdainfully dismisses people by saying "Geeett Out!" Acquiescing to a photo with a stranger is a great concession for someone of Versace's stature.Bad move on Douglas
The best way to keep track of who's out at WCCO-TV may be to watch the station's website for missing bios.
A tip about meteorologist Paul Douglas' suddenly disappearing bio helped me break the sad news on Friday that he had been let go. Douglas hasn't called me back to confirm what reader Maureen J. now suspects was a clue in Paul's Friday Star Tribune column: "Lunch breaks are going to be much longer than usual this noon hour, and some of us may not make it back to the office at all."
Douglas' departure from WCCO-TV is a huge loss and not a smart move. There could be a much bigger backlash than has been registered over the dumping of John Reger, about whom I haven't gotten any happy e-mail.Fancy Ray's lady
Andrea McPipe obviously has a huge sense of humor. It's for certain she's a very understanding woman if she is actually Fancy Ray's girlfriend.
"He's a flirting man. He likes to flirt [with] every girl," McPipe said during our chance meeting at the MOA. The way her comedian man-friend carries on with every woman he sees, it's hard to believe he's in a relationship with anybody but himself. But McPipe said they've been together for EIGHT years.
When I asked her how to spell her name, Fancy Ray interrupted our conversation, saying: "We're not talking right now." Later he responded to my request for the correct spelling of his girlfriend's name.
After leading McPipe away from me at the MOA, Ray came back on camera to promote himself: "I am 'The Best Looking Man in Comedy.'"
I reiterated, for nearly the millionth time, that he wasn't. When I told Andrea that she must be blind, Fancy Ray nearly broke his back falling backwards in laughter.
Hey, maybe I should write a stand-up routine? Until I do, enjoy a few minutes of Fancy Ray's recent performance at Joke Joint Comedy Club, as well as my discovery of Andrea at www.startribune.com/video.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or firstname.lastname@example.org. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.