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Reliable Source - Richard Leiby

Helping the Wallflowers Bloom

By Richard Leiby
Thursday, February 17, 2005; Page C03

Attention, men of Washington: Are you a dork, wonk or hopeless loser? Or are you simply inept at picking up a woman?

To your rescue, for a fee, comes Angels of D.C., a month-old company that offers a twist on dating services: It supplies attractive females to hang out with men and help them break the ice with other women.


Does he have a girl for a girl for you! Nick Safford offers guys the services of "Angels" to help them woo other women. (Courtesy Angels of DC)

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"Girls are unapproachable," contends Nick Safford, a 21-year-old single guy from Oakton who founded Angels of D.C. "And girls don't like to approach guys -- they're scared to death."

Solution to the deadlock: a hired female "friend" who acts as a go-between. She'll make you look good. She'll chat up a possible target. She'll "do her best to keep the conversation flowing and keep you involved in it," promises Safford's Web site, www.angelsofdc.com. "We are here to help you succeed with women and keep you off of 'death row' . . . that group of guys who lean on a railing, sip their drinks, and watch other people out having fun and meeting women."

Supposedly Washington is a top market for meeting rich, single women, but Safford saw an opportunity here. His new service mirrors a popular New York City site, WingWomen.com, which charges men $50 an hour for their escorts. He's also charging $50 an hour, with a three-hour minimum, and says he has had 20 clients already -- "white-collar classy people -- good people," he assures us.

Safford says he pays the angels up to $30 an hour and has recruited about 10, from age 21 to 37: "One graduated from Berkeley and is going to GW law school, one graduated from Georgetown and is a preschool teacher, one's a real estate agent. . . . We're looking for more desperately." He supplied photos, but said none was immediately available for an interview.

Safford says he sent one of his date magnets to a Colombian Embassy party with a guy "who wanted to meet some ladies." Did it work? "Well, there are no guarantees," he says, but adds that he's received "no complaints yet." He declined to provide any clients' names.

The men and their undercover angels are regularly dispatched to clubs in Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle. "She's out to get whatever his goals are," Safford says. That can mean getting a phone number or "kinky threesomes." But he stresses: "This is strictly not an escort service."

Karl Rove's Bouquet to a Source of Brickbats

• Say it with flowers: Barely a month into President Bush's new term, Karl Rove -- the strategy wizard sometimes called "Bush's Brain" -- seems to be trying to start off the next four years on friendly terms with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, who regularly bashes the prez in print. Last week at a lunch with the Times's editorial board in New York, Rove delivered to Dowd a large bouquet of assorted flowers, including roses and carnations.

"I ran into Karl a couple of months ago in the greenroom of 'Meet the Press' and told him I was worried that my sister, Peggy, a loyal Republican, liked him more than me," Dowd, author of the best-selling "Bushworld," told us. Bearing flowers and a sly grin, the White House deputy staff chief wrote to Dowd on his business card: "Just remember, your family does love you and not everyone hates you."

Rove's office didn't get back to us, but we'd like to point out that we appeared in last year's unflattering "Bush's Brain" documentary and we're still waiting for our Valentine's Day flowers.

SQUIBS

• Message-control Alert: George Tenet, who retired as CIA director amid controversy over intelligence failures, and outspoken former treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, who was shown the door by the Bush White House, will share a stage next week in Pittsburgh at a fundraiser for Gilda's Club, the cancer patient support charity named for late comedienne Gilda Radner. A PR release yesterday promised "a rare insider's view of presidential decision-making." And perhaps it will even be a candid discussion: The moderator is author Ron Suskind, whose book about O'Neill and 2004 campaign writings raised administration hackles.

• Ahnuld Alert: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who cuts a wide swath wherever he goes, will be in town today for meetings with the California congressional delegation and members of the Bush administration.

• Occupational Hazard 1: Authorities booked Kid Rock on an assault charge yesterday after he allegedly slugged a deejay in a Nashville strip club. The singer posted $3,000 bond and said: "Everything is wonderful. It was a beautiful night."

• Occupational Hazard 2: Actress Ashley Olsen has sued the National Enquirer for $40 million, saying she's been libeled by an article in this week's edition linking her to a "drug scandal." Per the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court: "Freedom of the press is a valuable right, but it is not a license for gossipy tabloids to tar and feather innocent celebrities and destroy their reputations and businesses for the rags' profits." The Enquirer said it stood by its story.

With Anne Schroeder


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