LAST CALL: Tales from Tinseltown - Ex-Bunny gets her Donder up asthe holidays hit Hollywood

So there you are, a Playboy Bunny in London in the heyday of the

swinging '60s, making the scene with Austin Powers and assorted future

rock gods. It's a short lifespan, that of a real bunny, and soon you're

shown the door and sent out into the real world. Now what? Back then, an

ex-Bunny's career didn't automatically segue into

"actress-newsreader-whatever," the way it seems to today. It only segued

to the "whatever" option. The most viable in that broad category usually

involved finding a worthwhile cause to lend your post-Bunny support.

Sandy Zuckerman, now a resident of Hollywood-fashionable Boise, ID, did

just that, and has subsequently devoted tireless efforts to righting an

inexplicable wrong - one that is especially pertinent this time of


Indeed, it's only pertinent at this time of year. Almost as soon as the

Thanksgiving turkey, or what's left of it, is cleared from the table,

Zuckerman renews her PR crusade to bring an end to a senseless animal

injustice - one you pay silent witness to every time you watch Rudolph

the Red-Nosed Reindeer without protest, and lend credence to when

reading assorted holiday tales to innocent children.

"On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen." How exhilarating, this

famous call to action from Santa. How terribly wrong, says Zuckerman.

She insists it's Donder, not Donner, citing as reference Clement Moore's

original A Visit from Saint Nicholas. So don't you forget it. Because

each time you do, the dedicated efforts of a former Playboy Bunny melt

like Frosty in the hothouse. Not to mention Donder's chance to collect

some back-due residual payments.

Speaking of the holidays, I spoke to a couple of retail PR folks this

week to see if Christmas promotions had been altered by recent


In true holiday spirit, they all say seasonal activities are proceeding

per usual. (Take that, Mr. Grinch). In fact, since September 11, many

department stores have expanded their PR, according to Rina Neiman, a

Macy's PR spokeswoman. Macy's hosted a swanky cocktail party in Beverly

Hills last week and has held several celebrity promotional appearances

at its West Coast stores.

"When the economy is slow, we lean even more heavily on PR and

promotions," says Neiman. "We've recently held special events with the

Dutchess of York, among others, and have increased our in-store

marketing efforts."

Like many other retailers, Macy's is tying into the surge of patriotism

with stars and stripes merchandising. Small "Americana" shops in its

West Coast stores offer everything from socks and T-shirts to flag pins

and quilts, with proceeds of varying amounts going to relief charities.

Best of all, Santa will be on duty as per usual, which means all the

good little boys and girls can give the big guy their wish list. The

line starts right behind me.

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