Mya's Bump in the Road
Homegrown R&B star Mya is practically everywhere these days: as a presenter on Monday night's televised American Music Awards, as a performer in the latest Coca-Cola commercial and tomorrow's ABC special "Disco Ball," as a singer and dancer in the new movie "Chicago" -- and, unfortunately, as the driver of a Range Rover that slammed into College Park resident Jane Hopkins's parked Volkswagen, totaling the smaller car and taking out part of a chain-link fence.
The accident happened around 1 p.m. the day after Christmas as 24-year-old Mya Marie Harrison was turning into the driveway of her mom Teresa Harrison's house in College Park. The 39-year-old Hopkins, a University of Maryland information technology employee, had left her 1995 Passat in the driveway next door, its rear end poking into the street, while she and her two sons played the board game Life with the children of the Harrisons' neighbor (who asked not to be identified).
"I was with the boys and we were having fun when there was this crashing sound outside," Hopkins told us yesterday. "At first I thought it was the wind -- it was a windy day -- and then I heard my car alarm." The crushed car was sitting on top of the downed fence, four feet from where Hopkins parked it. "I loved my Passat," she said. "I bought it used in 1997, with 12,000 miles on it, and I just finished paying it off. It had three brand-new tires on it."
Hopkins, who ended up collecting $6,000 from her insurance company -- a fraction, she said, of the Passat's replacement cost -- told us that Mya seemed shaken. "She's a sweet girl and I don't want to embarrass her. She seemed like a nervous 24-year-old. She told me she had been spooked by another car. But I think she just may have put her foot on the gas pedal when she meant to apply the brake." The police report dutifully records the singer's explanation -- that "an impatient driver brushed [the] side of her vehicle as it was turning" -- but also notes: "There was no evidence of another impact."
Mya's manager, Carol Kirkendall, told us: "She was certainly very happy that no one was hurt and thank God we have insurance. . . . She has a good driving record, and she's very responsible." No speed was estimated in the accident report, so we'll leave it to some enterprising physics scholar to calculate for us the velocity necessary for a 5,000-pound Range Rover to push a 3,000-pound Passat a distance of four feet. We'll have to think up a prize for the cleverest answer.
* Our eagle-eyed Post colleague Mary Remuzzi was intrigued when she spotted freshly minted Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman shopping around 9 p.m. Monday at the Harris Teeter supermarket in Arlington.
Coleman -- the former Republican mayor of St. Paul who beat former vice president Walter Mondale and has just replaced the temporary Dean Barkley -- was with "two young aides pushing a cart, all three in standard blue suits," Remuzzi recounted. "I saw them browsing through the meat department looking for choice cuts."
Yesterday Coleman explained that he was searching for a good steak so he could cook himself a solitary dinner while his wife, actress Laurie Coleman, was on a plane back to Hollywood. She's hoping to get a role in the daytime soap "Passions" and also plays a receptionist in the crime drama "Kingpin," a mid-season replacement on NBC. "It's a very small part. Hopefully, it will be a recurring role," Coleman told us. "She's no Fred Thompson, but she'd like to be."
Coleman, who expressed surprise that we cared about his grocery-shopping habits ("Aren't there 99 other senators who eat?"), added: "I have a recurring role with a minimum six-year run, and hopefully an option to renew."
Get this man a dinner invitation!
THIS JUST IN...
* We hear that CIA director George Tenet's wife, Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, has teamed with CIA employee Julie Sussman to reveal all. Not about national security, but the secrets of fixing automobiles. They've signed a six-figure deal with HarperResource for "Dare to Repair Your Car," a follow-up volume to their successful home repair guide.
* Think globally, act locally: Financier Dick Blum, the rich hubby of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), has given $2 million to the Brookings Institution, reports The Post's Jacqueline Trescott. Blum's grant will support the think tank's "Global Poverty Reduction Initiative."
* Bill Clinton loyalist Paul Begala generously inscribed his new book, "It's Still the Economy, Stupid," a screed against President Bush: "To [The Reliable Source] -- Who, like me, has been given a gold mine of material by this president." But hardly a treasure-trove compared with the material that other guy gave us.