Pointless References To Rose Hancock's Life In Her Advice Column

It was Spanky the Naughty Little Monkey who first pointed out to us that Rose Hancock Porteous didn't seem to be able to get through a weekly instalment of her New Idea advice column without pointing out how the reader's problem paralleled her own. Given Rose's unique path through life, this seems like a bit of a stretch but, faithful scribes that we are, we have vowed to report every such incident.

October 18: Hang the advice column, Rose has her own feature this week, spruiking her new recipe book Rose's Way . . . To A Man's Heart with a few sample meals. The food is pretty hideous (think chicken and cellophane noodle soup), but not as bad as the picture of Rose sitting on Langley's lap, or the sickening captions: "Langley had mundane food tastes. He preferred everything fried, grilled or boiled."

October 11: A redesign sees less pastels and more bright colours, but the comments that Rose offers are as typical (and unhelpful) as ever. This is what she tells Anthony Quinn (who, needless to say, didn't actually ask): "I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had the experience of marrying a man 40 years my senior. But my man, thank God, was a far cry from you!"

September 27: Rose is in past history reference frenzy this week. Among her gems (and this is just scratching the surface):

September 20: Rose shows unusual restraint this week, with all references to her own life held off until her 'Listen honey' celebrity advice column, where she tells Faye Dunaway: "My late husband Langley used to tell me that although movie stars were good when saying their lines on screen, they were hopeless when it came to talking about themselves. I'll never forget the day I read an interview with you some years ago and, for the first time, my critical tycoon husband said: "Now that's a real woman! Let's get all her videos." Sounds like an unforgettable experience to us, too.

August 30: Not only is Rose a cook, advice-giver and TV celebrity, she's also generous to a fault -- if you believe her own account. "My father used to say I would give my last penny to make someone happy," she writes. "I have been slugged by friends and relatives a hundred times, but I still keep giving -- I can't be happy unless I give." Everyone gag whenever you feel the need.

August 9: We shouldn't pretend that Rose Hancock doesn't know she constantly refers to her life in her column. As she notes in her open letter to Adriana Xenides in this issue: "We are both writers dealing with human pain and both use ourselves as examples." Hmmm, yes. Apart from revealing that she's launching a cookbook (the thought of Ms Hancock in a kitchen is certainly amusing), Rose also tells us that she always believed what her father told her: "Watch how a man treats his mother, for that is how he'll treat his wife up to her old age." I guess my father's infamous third wife can look forward to steady financial support while he moves to another continent, then.

July 13: No really direct references to Rose's life this week, but a few worthy general statements. As well as revealing her expert knowledge of men over 50, she announces -- shock, horror! -- that she'd like another baby. "In fact, if I could, I would want one again," she writes. Someone had better warn Willie.

July 6: Rose is in top form this week. Solo Girl writes to ask how she can meet a harm who is both "good and rich", a topic Ms Hancock Porteous is very well-qualified to comment on. However, she restricts her remarks to: "The only super-rich man I have ever truly admired is my Langley. Inside that tough business wizard was a gentle giant who didn't have one mean bone in his heart of hearts. Why he chose to marry me is also a mystery." You said it, honey.

June 28: A female strangely identified as 'Sunshine Man' writes in with no problem whatsoever, but to proclaim how wonderful her husband is. Rose takes the cue and tells us how her husband "goes to work every day at 7am and cooks dinner for me every night. All the money comes to me and I give him $250 a week." Hope he's living it up.