Friday, July 29, 2005

Thomas Friedman falls down

Did I take the wind out of Thomas Friedman's sails or what?

There's no way that I could read his column this morning ("All Fall Down") without a certain sadistic glee. If it's unkind of me, well we all have our unkind moments.

How things have changed for him.

This time last week, he was screaming about and lashing out at liberals which I think had more to do with his fear that our upstairs neighbor Jess might be interested in me. Please, Jess has enough women his own age to deal with. But when you're old, tubby and sport a bizarre mustache, I guess that a sleek, shiny, young colt like Jess must be very threatening. Which explains the face masks Thomas Friedman now wears religiously.

Just last weekend, he was asking me if he didn't look like Robert Wagner circa Hart to Hart. I told him I thought all the grooming had made him look like the marionette Madame. He didn't take well to that and I actually felt sorry for him.

If I'd known he'd been swapping spit with Patti Nelson Limerick at the time, I wouldn't have given a damn about the big titty baby's hurt feelings.

"All Fall Down" was the title of his column. Well all his hopes of having it both ways did. His hopes of playing me off Patti and vice versa.

There was a tail between the legs quality of his column. A little less boastful, though still as nutty.

When I was cleaning up the desk Monday, I found a bunch of post-its. One of which contained the lines:

If you like emotional dramas, you may want to pull up a chair and pop some popcorn, because this sort of political sound and light show comes along only every 30 or 40 years.

I just wonder how that column would have turned out if I hadn't curtailed his extra-marital activies? Instead, he reworked it for his column on the Middle East as:

If you like comparative politics, you may want to pull up a chair and pop some popcorn, because this sort of political sound and light show comes along only every 30 or 40 years.

He followed that with "How did it all happen?"

A question I'm sure is plauging him. Probably why he went with the Middle East today. Whenever the well's empty and Thomas Friedman has nothing to say, his columns head for the Middle East. It's a print version of a remix. Gail Collins always accuses him of coasting.

She may have a point, but possibly a larger point is when isn't he coasting?

Does anyone really think that his random musings spiced up with pop-cult refs is deep thought?

Mrs. K noticed how strange he looked in his official portrait for the Times. She called me yesterday to find out how it went with Patti Nelson Limerick. When we were through discussing that, she brought up his photo.

"Not to be cruel, but he looks like a turtle."

"Turkey neck and chins," I informed her.


"He said it's a Joan Collins trick. Just out the chin as far as you can and it reduces the flabby extra chins that hang below."


"He's a plethora of beauty tricks from old time movie stars," I informed her. "For instance, I'm constantly having to refill ice trays because there's never any ice in the house."

"Why not?"

"Because he read somewhere that Jean Harlow would ice her nipples to make them stand out."


"Yeah. And because Marilyn Monroe bleached down there, he's taken to adding highlights below the belt and not just to the hair on his head."


By comparison, Nicky K must look like Rob Petrie.

It never would have worked with Patti. Both of them have a desire to be worshipped and be seen as leaders. What happens if they end up with a flat tire?

Patti's offering bromides in the third person and Thomas Friedman's explaining the need for action via a McDonalds Happy Meal and no one's lifting a finger to change the tire.

It would have been like Mutiny of the Boring as they battled one another attempting to have the last overly worded word.

Both dream of creating a community but they don't want a real community. When you're Thomas Friedman and Patti Nelson Limerick you want a cult, a devoted one. So at some point it would have fizzled all on it's own.

But before that happened, Thomas Friedman would have "pulled up a chair" to enjoy the fireworks. (Or "sound and light show." He really doesn't get that most readers have no idea what he's talking about because they weren't getting doped up in the seventies and going to see Pink Floyd.) He wouldn't have popped any popcorn, though. He just would have hollered, "Bettina, corn me!"

Now Patti would never do that. She'd be too busy admiring herself and complaining that the glass on the microwave was see through and not a mirror. I wonder if the two of them had sex? With all the ego stroking they both do to themselves, I find it highly unlikely. They may have had a mutual masturbation but that's all I can see either of them doing together. They're too much into stroking themselves to reach out to anyone else.

Ring a ring o' roses,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down

Thomas Friedman's cheap fantasies did.

Reading his column this morning, I found myself humming the old Gladys Knight & the Pips song "Didn't You Know You'd Have to Hurt Sometime?"

You used to be so proud
Now, your head's a little lower
And you walk slower
And you don't talk so loud

Thomas Friedman's been humbled. For once the great Thomas Friedman had to face that when forced to choose between him or her cats, Patti chose her cats. All in all, it was probably the smartest choice she could have made. Thomas Friedman had to learn that we all fall down, even Thomas Friedman.