TATTLE ISN'T one to criticize May-December romances, but January-December? When we consider that 84-year-old Hugh Hefner is engaged to marry 23-year-old Crystal Harris, it makes us realize that a possible Mrs. Tattle may not even be born yet.

OK, that's kind of weird.

So what would prompt a woman to marry a man who was AARP-eligible a decade before she was born?

1) It's easy to say "Money," but there are plenty of men richer than Hef who haven't hit their midlife crisis yet and would happily wed a Playmate.

2) Fame? Not only will the future Mrs. Hef get her photo in magazines constantly (some even with clothes on), she also gets her run of the Playboy Mansion, TV exposure and a "job" requiring her to make sure her teeth stay white, her boobs stay perky and she looks good in painted-on lingerie.

Any other jobs are between the happy couple.

3) Love.

Oh, don't be so judgmental. Crystal could have an old soul - or a bathrobe fetish.

Besides, actuarial tables indicate she is likely to have a chance to find "true love" again before she's 30.

4) There is, of course, the fourth possibility. Anyone bringing a shotgun to the wedding?

Anyway, the story is that Hef (or a reasonable facsimile) tweeted early yesterday that he'd given a ring to Crystal and she burst into tears.

Usually she only bursts into tears when he plays peek-a-boo in his silk pajamas.

"This is the happiest Christmas weekend in memory," Hef wrote.

Well, at least it's the happiest one he can remember.

This would be the third marriage for the Playboy icon. He divorced Playmate Kimberly Conrad last year, although the pair separated many blondes ago.

Curious George vs. the Nazis

German Jews Margret and H.A. Rey are the husband-and-wife team behind the famous Curious George children's books. They fled Paris in June 1940, two days before German troops marched into the city. They rode bikes for several days and then traveled by train through Spain and Portugal before boarding a boat to the United States.

The Reys later built a summer cottage in Waterville Valley, N.H., where an exhibit about their escape is on display at a center dedicated to the couple's legacy. Based on a 2005 book, it describes how they were allowed to continue their journey after showing their Curious George manuscript to suspicious officials.

Spider

-Man walks

Christopher Tierney, a stunt actor who fell 30 feet while playing Spider-Man on Broadway, is walking again, and he can't wait to return to the role, despite injuries that have him confined to the ICU, his father said Saturday.

Christopher walked Friday for the first time since his fall during last Monday's performance of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" and was spending Christmas with his mother and brother in the hospital while recovering from back surgery, Tim Tierney told the Associated Press.

Tim said he believes his son will regain close to full mobility after recovering from injuries that included a hairline skull fracture, four broken ribs, a bruised lung, internal bleeding and cracks in three lumbar vertebrae.

The "Spider-Man" musical really is giving new meaning to the theatrical term "break a leg."

Christopher will remain in the ICU until at least today, then stay in New York City for rehab.

As for when a return to the show might be possible, Chris' dad said he was more positive than his son's doctors, who did not give a time frame for recovery.

"Doctors - they're always pessimistic," he said.

The actor's plunge from a ledge into a stage pit, despite a safety harness, was not caused by equipment failure, Tim said. State Department of Labor officials have said the cause is still under investigation, and Actors' Equity has said the fall was caused by human error.

Tattbits

* Tyler Perry is offering to rebuild the Georgia home of Rosa Lee Ransby, an 88-year-old great-grandmother who lost all her belongings in a fire.

Rosa Lee and her 4-year-old great-granddaughter escaped the fire Tuesday that destroyed her home of 40 years in Coweta County.

Coweta Fire Chief Todd Moore said Perry's decision "made my Christmas."

* NYC prosecutors say Tamara Tunie, who plays medical examiner Melinda Warner on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," was swindled out of more than $1 million by her business manager.

According to court papers, Joseph Cilibrasi and his accounting firm started stealing from Tunie in 2002, listing himself as her husband to secure a credit card tied to her account. He is also accused of writing checks to himself.

Cilibrasi pleaded not guilty and is being held on $100,000 bail. His attorney says Tunie was "fully aware" of the transactions.

Huh?

* New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Marvel Studios co-president Louis D'Esposito announced last week that "The Avengers" will be shot primarily in New Mexico.

The film is expected to employ hundreds of New Mexico-based cast and crew, and use hundreds of local vendors.

Its cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo.

Principal photography is scheduled to run from April through September.

Whoever the arch-villain is, he better not destroy the food stand in the Santa Fe public square. Those fajitas were delicious.

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.