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31 mars 2007

Virgin and its opposite

Saturday, March 17, 2007

...Britain's Richard Branson arrived first. Jetting into town on a private plane with, of all people, world-music junkie Peter Gabriel. Or so my sources squeak.

The two of them were apparently just returning from spending some quality time together at the invitation- only TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference in Monterey, Calif., where so many of the most fascinating people in the world go every year to be fascinated with one another.

There, Branson -- my all-time favourite toothy Knight -- drew some attention when he begged fellow conference-attendee Goldie Hawn for her abject forgiveness! Recalling an incident from many years ago, he revealed during an onstage talk: "I owe Goldie Hawn an apology. When she told me she was engaged, I put her wedding ring on, and we couldn't get it off. I had to get it cut off."

Well, well, well. Fresh from his great Private Benjamin mea culpa, the brave businessman swept into T.O. And besides zipping around town with his pal Pete, he took the time -- as many might be aware -- to swing gently from a cage above Yonge-Dundas Square. Eventually, he even made a staged escape from his hanging cell -- a stunt that immediately got me crooning, a la prison guard Queen Latifah in Chicago, "He had it comin' !He had it comin'"!

All this in the name of promoting Virgin Mobile in Canada. All this in the name of all-new cellphone number portability in Canada.

So, what else? Well, besides his role in the Virgin vortex that was a big, big party at Level in the Club District, Branson's home-away-from-home during this most recent stay was Atelier, that little-clubhouse-that- could over on King. There he did a bit of work, mugged for a cover shoot arranged by men's mag Sir and even cocktailed a bit with his firm' s local troops.

At one point during his camp-out, the intergalactic Branson was even spotted handing out his own mobile number to some very lucky human!...

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