Like a ripped pillow, stuff and stuffing seep out ofmy husband Thomas Friedman's head. It ain't alwayspretty.
Thomas Friedman hates it when I say "ain't." While he finds it amusing to use it from time to time for"street cred," he really hates it when I use it.
Just the other day, I was dusting the end tables and singing softly to myself. "If you need me
. . . call me . . . ain't no mountain high enough to keep me from you."
"Betinna!" Thomas Friedman hollered, his voice climbing ever higher on each syllable.
He's been drinking a lot of Mountain Dew since his book tour so, assuming he was blocked again and needed his prune juice, I headed for the kitchen. He started right after me insisting that I not use "that word."
"Wouldn't it be better to sing 'Isn't no mountain high enough?' I think it would be. I think the best way of conveying a message is to use proper grammar."
"Thomas Friedman," I said, slamming down the bag of prunes, "the song is titled 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough.' If it was good enough for Diana Ross, it is good enough for me."
"But it does not sound pretty, Betinna," Thomas Friedman said gingerly lifting and examining the bag of prunes.
"Well it's accurate," I insisted, "Now go change from your shorty robe into a pair of pants. Gail Collins is coming over and you may think the world is flat but neither your belly or ass are and she doesn'tneed to be exposed to them."
Thomas Friedman stood glaring at me for a moment, but then quickly jogged out of the kitchen, still holding the bag of bruised prunes, his shorty robe flying up in the back as usual.
So I've just gotten the platters of soda crackers ready and am topping them off with canned cheese when Thomas Friedman came rushing in, arm extended to offer me the prunes. As I squeezed them to make a glass of prune juice for him, I looked Thomas Friedman up and down.
Thomas Friedman was wearing a blue t-shirt with "Just Dew It!" on the front and a pair of pajama bottoms. While he wasn't looking, I slipped one of my vitamins into his glass. Since he has gone on his Mountain Dew kick, I have worried that he might not be getting enough nutrients or vitamins. I think I was right to worry because, although he still has his pouty episodes, he is now much more easy going. It is amazing how cranky a loss of vitamin C can make a person.
With a giggle, he grabbed his glass of and downed its contents. Noting how happy Thomas Friedman seemed to be, I thought I could suggest that he might want to dress up since Ms. Collins is his boss.
Thomas Friedman spewed his prune juice out of mouth and nose as he began sputtering, "Gail Collins is not my boss! I am Thomas Friedman. I work for no one. Certainly not for Gail Collins! In fact, is that the can of cheese I see on the counter? I hope you are not planning to waste the soda crackers and canned cheese on her because she does not have the good taste
to appreciate the finer things in life."
Patting him on the back, I told him to just drink his prune juice. Within moments, his nasty mood had subsided and he had grabbed the can to make pornographic figures on the soda crackers. I did question their appropriateness but figured he was enjoying himself so much that I'd just keep my opinion to myself.
Then Ms. Collins arrived, not wearing pajamas. She seemed surprised to see me face to face, mumbling something about my looking nothing like my pictures. I didn't realize Thomas Friedman kept photos of me at work. I was so touched, I made a mental note to put a little energy into the next round of Iraqi Invasion.
Ms. Collins was there to explain that Thomas Friedman's book was number one for the second week in a row. You'd think Thomas Friedman would be happy and, at first, he was. However, he wanted a book review in the Sunday section to note that his book had been number one for five weeks. Ms. Collins, who seemed not at all surprised by Thomas Friedman's outfit, explained that couldn't happen because the editor of the book review would not agree to go along with that. The actress, as Thomas Friedman refers to her, had held the number one spot for three of the last five weeks with her book.
Thomas Friedman began to whine and moan about how it would hurt his book sales. Thinking quickly, Ms. Collins replied, "The best P.R. is straight talk."
That was the title of Thomas Friedman's column today.
I could have told her, don't poke the bear.
"How dare you quote Thomas Friedman to Thomas Friedman!" Thomas Friedman yelled.
Then he stormed out of the room, stopping at the doorway to holler, "No 'is!' I used a ":!"
You can't even get that right you regressive cheese eater."
With that he was gone.
Ms. Collins apologized profusely for eating the soda cracker with cheese. I explained to her that Thomas Friedman was not referring to that, he was calling her a "rat."
"Cheese eater," I explained, nibbling on a soda cracker.
Nodding, Ms. Collins reached for another cracker and commented, "What a curious cheese design?"
Before I was forced to think of something clever, Thomas Friedman flounced back in wearing his shorty robe.
After making a raspberry, he proceeded to turn around, bend over and unnecessarily hike his shorty robe to moon Ms. Collins.
"Oh my goodness," gasped Ms. Collins.
"Read it and weep, baby, read it and weep! The great Thomas Friedman cracked another one!"
Roaring at his "wit," Thomas Friedman skipped out of the room.
Ms. Collins looked at me, I looked at her.
What do you say after something like that?