Gail Goofs Again

* "It is worth noting that his marriage, to a woman smarter than he, did not survive," psychobiographer Gail Sheehy writes about Clinton pals Mack and Donna McLarty on Page 123 of her just-published "Hillary's Choice." It may be worth noting--but it ain't so. The McLartys have stayed happily married for three decades.

Hamburger Helper

Sharon Adl-Doost, a cafeteria worker at U.S. Geological Survey headquarters in Reston, has hit the mother lode. Already known to thousands of callers from across the country as the "Lunch Lady" for her daily recording of the cafeteria's menu, she's now doing radio spots for McDonald's.

The commercials feature Adl-Doost, 45, as the ever-exuberant spokeswoman for Mickey D's Dollar Deals. In her little-girl voice, she rattles off the specials, to wit: If "you buy an Egg McMuffin Extra Value Meal, you can get another scrump-delicious Egg McMuffin for just a dollar." Then she croons (often off key, but always with gusto) the chain's tag line: "You get more for your money 'cause McDonald's treats you right."

When Adl-Doost started out recording the USGS lunch menu four years ago, she simply listed the day's specials. Then she added a song at the end--a different one each day, from rock to show tunes--and became a cult figure. Now some 50,000 Lunch Lady fans dial in every month. The McDonald's gig is "like a dream come true," Adl-Doost, a Big Mac addict, told us. "I just like cheering people up." She added that she's earned more than $5,000 for her Mc-spots so far, a nice bonus to the $10-plus an hour she earns at the Geological Survey. The McDonald's people are equally pleased. "She has a great attitude and an ability to add something special to everyone's day," said spokesman Robert Palmer.

George W. Bookworm?

* Talk about foreign entanglements! It looks like international policy expert and Dean Acheson biographer James Chace--a longtime Democrat who used to edit the wonky quarterly Foreign Affairs--is the new favorite author of Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush. Bush's reading of Chace's book "Acheson: The Secretary of State Who Created the American World" has come up during both televised debates in which the Texas governor has participated. Bush, eager to display his foreign-policy gravitas, revealed during last week's debate that he'd cracked the 528-page volume. And at Monday night's debate, he fielded a question about what he has learned from it.

"It's almost as if he's my press agent," said a delighted Chace, who was at the State Department yesterday to pick up an award for his book from the American Academy of Diplomacy. "All I can say is that if Acheson were alive today, he would be pleased but also bemused that Republicans--who were not always so friendly toward him--would decide that he's a person we ought to study to construct American foreign policy."

Asked his reaction to Dubya touting his work, he told us: "I guess I'm a little surprised. I hope he reads the whole book."


* Television power couple Maury Povich and Connie Chung will emcee tomorrow night's fund-raiser for Port Discovery, the year-old "kid-powered" museum in Baltimore. "They had Rosie and Montel there last year," Povich told us yesterday, "so we don't mind sucking up behind them." Meanwhile, Washington homeboy Povich said he's negotiating a deal for a "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"-like prime-time game show with an unnamed television network. "It's already in development, but we haven't finalized anything, so I can't get too specific," he said.

* Washington-reared moviemaker Alexandra Kondracke, talking head Morton Kondracke's 30-year-old daughter, has directed a 14-minute film, "Ice Fishing," that will be shown at next month's Sundance Film Festival. "It's about--how do I say this nicely?--lower-class whites in Upstate New York," the proud papa told us yesterday.

* The reviews are in for President Clinton's crooning half brother, Roger Clinton, who played Sunday in a rare pop concert in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. Clinton is "well known among the pop music circles for presenting many lively and optimistic songs," government apparatchik Ri Jong-Hyok told the official Korean Central News Agency. Clinton told "Larry King Live" that Big Brother had given him permission to perform. "Apparently he approved of it or I wouldn't be here, not that I can't do things on my own."

* Rep. John Dingell was in fair condition at George Washington University Hospital last night after fainting at the close of the Peace Links gala. The 73-year-old Michigan Democrat rallied to give a thumbs-up to the crowd at the Capital Hilton as he was taken out in a wheelchair.