Liz Smith's Cranial Hygiene

Ever wondered about that goofy-grinned, slightly cross-eyed look that always seems to ambush Liz Smith's face whenever there's a photographer around?

Perhaps it's the result of her unusual cranial hygiene regime. Apparently when the venerable rumor-monger confronts a book or movie that offends her, she actually feels compelled to scrub her dingy gray matter until it's all sparkly clean again. According to Smith's March 17th column, Kathryn Harrison's kiss-and-tell-again memoir was the catalyst for Liz's most recent cerebral rinse. After reading it, she had to "wash out my brain with soap..."

But please don't get the idea that Smith's a prude or anything. A little later in her column, she declares: "It's not that incest can't be written about...It's not that certain approaches even to pedophilia can't be seen as pure literature..."

Exactly what it is that validates certain approaches over others she doesn't dwell on, but we suspect it has something to do with celebrity. Indeed, how else could Smith, in the same column, gush so happily about the fact that 66-year-old Robert Duvall is currently spit-polishing a trophy girlfriend 45 years his junior?

-- G. Beato

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