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FLASHES

SNACK ATTACK: Blown Away director Stephen Hopkins was dismayed to find that he had a bomb on his hands. Not his thriller starring Jeff Bridges (due this summer), but what appeared to be a real bomb. ”A box arrived (at the production office) and it was ticking,” says Hopkins, ”so I called the bomb squad.” The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. sent in its hazardous-materials robot. ”When the robot found a clock, people got scared,” says Hopkins, ”until they found the clock was attached to Twinkies.” Also attached to the clock: a photo of Cuba Gooding Jr., a friend of Hopkins from last year’s Judgment Night and a well-known prankster. After the initial shock, ”it was hilarious,” says Hopkins. ”I explained (to everyone) it was a joke and he didn’t mean any harm. Then I had to give Cuba a lot of s – -!”-Vicki Arkoff PARENT TRAP: Eddie Vedder may not be into promoting Pearl Jam, but his mom is. For a recent radio contest sponsored by Chicago’s WKQX, Mrs. Karen Vedder, of Evanston, Ill., recorded this message: ”Hi, this is Mrs. Vedder; you know, Eddie’s mom. Call now .” At first, listeners weren’t sure if this sweet, very midwestern voice really belonged to the front-man’s mother but jammed the phone banks anyway. ”She’d called in before to chat about Pearl Jam,” says program director Bill Gamble. ”We got the idea and she came down to record the material. Listeners thought it was pretty funny.” And what did her son have to say about his mom’s radio stunt? What else but ”No comment”? -Joe Branham

SCREEN GEMS: What’s really intriguing about The Pelican Brief isn’t the plot- geez-but the jewelry worn by Julia Roberts, which is hardly the wares of Harry Winston. Among the choice trinkets are a gold- leaf necklace that costume designer Albert Wolsky modeled after one of Roberts’ own, as well as mismatched earrings (a diamond stud in her right ear, a small gold hoop in her left). ”I wanted her to be quirky,” says the Oscar-winning Wolsky, ”but also your typical student.” However, the best bauble can be seen near the end of the film when Roberts’ new wedding band makes an unscheduled cameo appearance. ”That’s a mistake,” says Wolsky. ”How embarrassing.” -Rebecca Ascher-Walsh

TALES OF WOE: The six-hour production of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (see review on page 41), starring Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis, will air on PBS nationwide from Jan. 10-12. Well, nationwide except for in Nashville, where Maupin’s chronicle of San Francisco life in 1976 has been deemed inappropriate. ”NYPD Blue is child’s play compared to this,” says Nashville’s WDCN programming director Gaylord Ayers. He blames the miniseries’ ”vulgar language, nudity scenes, depictions of adultery, and constant uses of illegal drugs” for his decision to pull it. Maupin says he wasn’t surprised by Nashville’s blanking the show but wouldn’t change a thing. ”Any discussion of urban life in the ’70s without those things would be like leaving bathtub gin out of a Fitzgerald novel,” says the novelist.” Have any other stations reacted similarly? ”This is the only one we’ve heard about,” says a PBS spokesman, ”so far.” -Kate Meyers