Wednesday, April 13, 2005

No Calm Before the Storm, It Has Moved In

It was so ugly today that my ears are still ringing. Not just because Thomas Friedman boxed me on them as he said, "Bettina, don't be the global village idiot! We are having a discussion!"
It was not a discussion.

Nicky Kristof came over to try to reason with Thomas Friedman. At first, I was so mad. It had taken me all day Monday and most of Tuesday just to cajole Thomas Friedman off the kitchen floor. For hour upon hour, he remained there curled up in the fetal position, sucking his thumb.

I got him up finally and I bathed him and shaved him. I hauled his butt over to the computer and even then I could not go and clean up the mess he'd made of the kitchen. Oh no, because Thomas Friedman was still saying, "I am a fraud! I am a liar! There is no bigger fake in the world than me! I am the all time liar in the universe!"

I was so tired and, honestly, a little mad, that I shot back, "Quit bragging!"

That snapped him out of it. After he threw the mouse pad at him and after he got over the fact that it did not fly through the air, he began to type.

He worked forever on the title of the column saying, "I'll teach that Gale Collins a thing or two!" Finally he settled on "The Calm Before The Storm?" Which he said was he was of showing Gale Collins just who was boss. Thomas Friedman does not like bad weather, I guess.

He said he was throwing down the gigabyte gauntlet and then chuckled so I laughed today. Stretching, Thomas Friedman finally smiled and said, "I still got it."

At last I could clean the kitchen and it was a disaster. Thomas Friedman might not have moved for almost two days but rest assured his bowels did. With one hand, I cleaned, using the other hand to cover my mouth and nose. Even so I kept gagging.

But he hammered out a column and all was good. He even was in the mood for Iraqi invasion. He played Donald Rumsfeld and I was US troops because Thomas Friedman said he wanted to screw me over the way Rumsfeld had the troops.

At 1 point, he yelled, "No condoms! You hear that, Bettina! No body armor for you! Stuff happens!"

There was a time, early on, when the thought of birthing the great Thomas Friedman's child would have pleased me immensely. But now that I realize how much is involved in the upkeep and care of Thomas Friedman, if we had a child, I think I would be charged with child neglect.
Thomas Friedman is highly demanding.

So I was glad that today went much more smoothly.

But then, this afternoon, Nicky showed up.

"Thomas," he said, "I just read your column --"

"You and the rest of the world," said Thomas Friedman puffing on his bubble pipe.

"And I have to know, are we supporting the war again?"

"We always did," said Thomas Friedman.

"I can not bend this way and that," whimpered Nicky.

"Of course you can, you do it every day!"

At that point, it got ugly.

Nicky started arguing in a very high pitch and saying things like Thomas Friedman was dead and that the paper knew it and it was over and that is why no more Sundays for Thomas Friedman.

I am thinking Nicky was drunk or high or something because Thomas Friedman is not dead.
A little gassy most evenings, I think it is the canned cheese, but he is not dead.

Thomas Friedman began shouting Nicky down.

"Okay, okay," Nicky said finally, "I will be for the war again."

"Good," laughed Thomas Friedman, "We all missed your pom-poms and splits!"

Oh was Nicky mad. He started yelling how dare Thomas Friedman question his manhood and Thomas Friedman replied that he was not questioning it because "how do you question what is not there?"

Nicky was crying and Thomas Friedman looked so happy.

Then the shouting started back up.

"Please," I pleaded, "you two are friends."

That is when Thomas Friedman boxed my ears and told me that Thomas Friedman was Nicky's mentor, not his friend.

Nicky accused Thomas Friedman of being a racist and Thomas Friedman said, "Play the race card, Nicky, it's all you have left."

"You have nothing left!" screamed Nicky. "You are out of date."

"If I am so out of date, how come three cabbies today told me that they lived for each word I wrote. Why is it that the sanitation worker I met todays told me, 'Thomas Friedman, I live for every word you write.' While at a Chinese buffet, the owner came up and said to me, "Thomas Friedman, I live for every word you write."

I do not know what he is talking about. Having finally gotten all the stains out of his shorty robe last night, Thomas Friedman has been in it ever since and he has not left the apartment. Maybe he meant last week?

He told Nicky that he called his column "The Calm Before the Storm?" because he was about to go to town on Nicky and everyone else who had stabbed him in the back.

Nicky left with tears streaming.

I said, "Thomas Friedman, that seemed so cruel."

Thomas Friedman said, "Bettina, my little uninformed idiot, I fucked him over. That is what we do at the paper. Haven't you been paying attention to all of the rumors of cheating?"

I did not grasp the riddle. I was just glad that the yelling had stopped. My ears are still ringing.
I do not know how I will find the energy to play "Back Door" which is the game we play when Thomas Friedman plays Thomas Friedman and I play Nicky. I have been taking my vitamins two at a time all evening on the half-hour. I still do not think I am up for that.