Wednesday, June 01, 2005

It's all liars poker with Thomas Friedman

Well today I read my husband Thomas Friedman's column in print. It's called "America's DNA" and it carries a dateline slug of "New Dehli." I don't know what New Dehli is supposed to mean. It's a chore to get him out of that shorty robe each afternoon since we got back from the brief book tour. Trust me, Thomas Friedman is going nowhere.

For a moment, I considered that perhaps it was supposed to read "New Deli." Every now and then he talks of maybe checking out Utterly Delicious. He brings it up every weekend and usually at least once during the week. But he never goes. He'll decide it's too long of a trip.
And remind me that the 2nd Avenue Deli is both kosher and close by, so why bother?

He'll have the beef goulash or the stuffed cabbage. He has to have the noodle pudding "or why bother going?" he always asks. Due to his cholesterol, his doctor's been on him to have more fruits and vegetables. So lately Thomas Friedman has been having the Whitefish Salad. It's a "salad" in the way that potato salad is a "salad" only less so.

And if you think his shorty robe is a daily nightmare, you should see his shirt and tie after a trip to the 2nd Avenue Deli. It's as though Julia Child merged with Jackson Pollock -- a dirty canvas of culinary delights.

Me, I always get stuck with the potato pancakes. If Thomas Friedman's feeling especially generous, I get a bite of his mud cake. But Thomas Friedman tells everyone, "I don't know what the problem with Betinna is, she only loves to knosh."

So let's be clear that not only is Thomas Friedman not in New Dehli, he hasn't even visited a new deli. While we were on the road with his book tour, he did sample a Jason's Deli but he pronounced it to "goyish" and we left without ordering.

From there, the lies just pile up. In the first paragraph, he mentions his daughter.

"Thomas Friedman, is there something you need to tell me?"

That's what I asked. There are no children around our apartment. No grown children come to visit. I am not aware of having birthed any children. So what was that lie?

"Oh, Betinna, people love children," Thomas Friedman explained without looking me in the eyes. "They love to imagine that a man as great and powerful as I, Thomas Friedman, would be highly potent and a modern day Abraham siring an entire dynasty."


Later on, he tells a story about a man who had clipped a Thomas Friedman column and carried it around with him. The closest that ever came to happening was when the young man kept yelling for Thomas Friedman to pipe down during Monster-In-Law and kept threating to "clip your mustache if you don't shut up, John Bolton!"

That's the sort of thing that happened over and over. People usually thought he was John Bolton. And Thomas Friedman would get so mad.

But outside of a few elderly woman, not a great many people recognized Thomas Friedman on the book tour. The few who did usually made a remark along the lines of, "I did not realize that you weighed so much." Thomas Friedman explained that real life adds ten pounds. I followed that by noting that fake cheese from a can probably adds twenty.

But he just got on my every nerve during the road trip.

Look, some of the things he had to say in his column today were worth hearing. But, as I told him, when I pick our laundry or go to that "exotic" store on 488th on 8th Street to pick up whatever item my husband Thomas Friedman has ordered, the people there are going to think that he is New Delhi and that we have children. He is not in New Delhi and we do not have children.

Thomas Friedman told me that I have a "reality hang up" and advised me to go with the times.
I was not sure if, by the last part, he was trying to sell me a subscription or if he was trying to tell me to go with my gut? But Thomas Friedman only uses the word "gut" to describe the fun he has with fish and, of course, when he reaches orgasm and, admist huffing and puffing that would concern me if this continued for a great period of time or even more than thirty seconds, and cries out "Gut check time!"

Thomas Friedman says no one takes it seriously. While my husband Thomas Friedman has lost some prestige and influence, we are still known at the places where we pay our bills.

I said to him, "It is all a game with you."

Thomas Friedman snapped back, "Liar's Poker! And I never lose!"

That about says it all.