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Tom Cruise's publicity tour for M:i:III has kicked off in earnest, with the actor temporarily abandoning largely immobile Miracle Baby incubator Katie Holmes to jet off to Germany (where even the most unconventional of America's stars are embraced with open, Teutonic arms) to hawk his blockbuster wares. A round-up of recent Cruise tidbits:

· Always more than happy to squat upon an obvious symbol of his rugged heterosexuality, Cruise delights the hosts of Germany's Wetten Das by mounting a motorcycle (pictured above). He then promises that should Holmes call and tell him she's ready to deliver "their" child (due any minute), he'll demonstrate his incredible dedication to family by riding that bike across Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, and the continental United States to be by her side in the silent birthing chamber during the offpsring-extraction procedure. [AP]
· It's a girl! It's a girl says unfailingly reliable British gossip wire service based on intel about gender-indicating purchases made during a Holmes shopping spree that may or may not have taken place. [Life Style Extra/BANG]
· Next week's Parade magazine will apparently feature a Cruise-positive story (his team clearly wanted to avoid a Pennysaver hatchet job) including the words "Who's To Say What's Normal?", forcing us to rethink everything we thought we knew about normalcy. [Parade]

[Photo: AP]