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Babs gets Critical Path stock for a song

I've always liked the flicks. As a lad, I would cut class at Attrition Valley High to sneak into the matinee, where I watched Hollywood classics--dubbed in French, bien sur.

    I've always liked the flicks. As a lad, I would cut class at Attrition Valley High to sneak into the matinee, where I watched Hollywood classics--dubbed in French, bien sur. This seemed a permissible alteration at the time, and even more so now that I've seen a few in English.

    But some classics are inviolable, and I was dismayed when a Hollywood acquaintance hit me up to help produce a trio of Barbra Streisand remakes: Money Girl, Hello Dollars, and What's Up Stock?

    I asked my enterprising friend if Mme. Streisand was familiar with his plans.

    "Not yet," he admitted. "But she'll eat it up. The woman's supposed to be an Internet day-trading addict!"

    Turns out there's at least something behind the supposition--sources at Critical Path tell us that Babs was so hot for their monster IPO that she made desperate entreaties to get in on it early at the "friends and family" price. Critically situated fans managed to score five grand for the award-hoarding actress/singer/director/producer/composer, and the company was rewarded with an undisclosed number of cases of Dom Perignon and a slew of balloons.

    "I'm sure many people would be happy if she sang for our Christmas party," mused a Critical Path employee. Not a bad idea--she could sing "Evergreen."

    One last note on Babs: she does not like rumor mongers, and has set up a page on her Web site specifically to discredit us. Oh well, that's life in the low-credibility lane...

    Barbra Streisand isn't the only tech insider with a colorful employment history, we're told. Lycos CFO Ted Philip is supposed to be a bare-knuckle boxer, which must help enormously in crunching those numbers.

    Meanwhile, ThirdAge.com founder Mary Furlong and her erstwhile frequent host Melinda Gates are rumored to be on the outs. Furlong is a friend of Mrs. Gates, wife of the Wealthiest, and will tell you so without the slightest provocation, they say. But it appears that as soon as one starts dropping her name, Mrs. Gates begins dropping one from her guest list, or so Mme. Furlong found out. Invitations to the Chateau Redmond have reportedly dried up.

    And yet another industry faux pas! Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer is having one of those broken-record PR problems that crop up now and again, and investors are griping about it in the chat rooms, presumably with Barbra Streisand.

    "While market conditions will continue to be competitive, we fully intend to expand our business and grow market share profitably in 1999," Pfeiffer eloquently put it in announcing crummy earnings earlier this month. Which sounded strangely familiar to investors who had heard him say, a year prior, "While market conditions will continue to be competitive, we fully intend to expand our business and grow our market share in 1998." Meister Eckhard is nothing if not consistent. And I'm nothing if not consistently desperate for your rumors.