Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you a broken man. Although many of the stories you’ve read in the paper or seen on television have been wild exaggerations, the damage has been done. My name isn’t worth a peacock’s fart in a coal mine. I rely on this column and your good faith as my last opportunity to set the record straight.

First, I am not responsible for leaking anything, let alone anything “Wiki.” Typing the word makes me feel slightly dirty.

Second, I don’t care what “photographic evidence” you’ve seen, I am not dating Ke$ha. She’s a friend; that’s all. Sure, now and again she places bets on the horses for me, and once she killed a man who looked at me the wrong way, but our relationship is purely platonic.

Third, and this is particularly directed at one insistent e-mail correspondent from Covington, La., I am not responsible for McDonald’s removing the McRib sandwich from its menu. I do not have 17 cases of frozen rib-shaped patties in my possession, and even if I did, I would not trade them to you for a gift certificate from Parran’s “Poor Boys.” Please leave me alone.

Finally, I have a few other true things to share with you. To wit:

On Saturday, Dec. 11, chef John Besh will sign copies of his book My New Orleans at the Books-A-Million store at 150 Northshore Blvd. in Slidell. It’s an excellent cookbook and one you might consider as a gift for someone this season. Chef Besh will be at the store at 1 p.m.

Speaking of gifts, Sucre has officially opened its location at Lakeside Mall in Metairie. The new shop is larger than the original Magazine Street location and is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until midnight on Friday and Saturday.

Tonight the “clean coast” wines of  Susie Selby will be featured in a tasting at Bouche. Benefits from the tasting will go to the Greater New Orleans Foundation. In addition to the wines, a $15 entry fee will get you hors d’oeuvres and a chance to win door prizes. Bouche is located at 840 Tchoupitoulas St., and you can contact them for more information at 504/267-7485.

From Dec. 9-23, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse will be open for lunch during the week from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Check out the Web site for the menus. Dickie Brennan’s is located at 716 Iberville St., and you can call them at 504/522-2467 for more information.

On Sunday, Dec. 12, Microsoft’s search engine Bing will host a competition for the National Tailgating Championship at the Superdome before the Saints take on the St. Louis Rams. No, I do not know how a search engine “hosts” anything, but there you are. The competition is part of a national event  started by the self-proclaimed “Commissioner of Tailgating” Joe Cahn. Previous events have taken place in Houston, Denver, New York and Phoenix. Four local teams will compete, starting at 12:30 p.m. If you’re at the game and looking for something to do in advance, this may be your ticket.

The Green Goddess restaurant is holding its Christmas Party on Dec. 15 with a wine tasting it’s calling “Pinots on Parade.” The event will benefit the local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Animal Rescue of New Orleans and will go from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wines will include pinot noirs from around the world selected by chefs Chris DeBarr and Paul Artigues, and cheese and small plates will accompany the wines. You can make reservations for the limited-seating event by e-mailing chef DeBarr at Tickets are $60 per person, and proceeds will be evenly split between the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Animal Rescue of New Orleans.

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to share your thoughts below.