We called eight high-profile people because we wanted to know if they kept a diary and because eight is a nice round number.
* Maryland Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes: "I don't think anyone who keeps one would admit it now. I don't keep a clean piece of paper around me, much less a diary," says the senator's press secretary, Bruce Frame. For the record: "No, the senator does not keep a diary."
* Maryland Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski: Ms. Mikulski, a member of the Senate Ethics Committee seeking Sen. Bob Packwood's diaries, does not keep a diary. This confirmation came from press secretary Bill Toohey, who asked the senator in person.
* Baltimore filmmaker John Waters: "I don't want proof of anything."
* Cal Ripken Jr.: He does not keep a diary, says a spokeswoman for the Orioles legend. How does she know? "I don't know for a fact, but I'm not going to call him at his house and ask him," JoAnn Peroutka said. She faxed him the question and he responded, "I'd rather not answer that."
* Author Garrison Keillor: In between overdue pregnant pauses, Mr. Keillor told us: "I don't keep a diary. I never have. To write and attempt to be ignorant of an audience is not what a writer should be doing. They should be writing letters. To write a letter is to create an artifact."
* Gov. William Donald Schaefer: "Nobody is aware of a diary," says press secretary Page W. Boinest. But "a great deal of his thoughts during the day he jots down. He walks around with a pad."
* Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke: "No, he doesn't," says his press secretary, Clinton Coleman.
* Humorist Dave Barry: "I don't keep a diary. I write a column, which is more accurate than a diary. You can syndicate a column but not a diary, although Packwood has got a real good shot at syndication," Mr. Barry said.
"No guys keep diaries, only 11-year-old girls. So, there's reason to believe Bob Packwood is an 11-year-old girl."