Friday, July 08, 2005

Friedman on the Fourth Part I

I have to live with it. Do I also have read it's writings?

We had a "roof picnic" Monday. It was a nightmare. Nicky K and Mrs. Kristof were there as well as this woman named Patti Limerick Nelson.

There was Thomas Friedman, the not so great man, up on our roof wearing a "Kiss the Chef" apron. Did I mention it was over his shorty robe?

I kept begging him to put on some clothes but he insisted on wearing the shorty robe because he wanted an "all body tan" to go with his highlights. He's had more done. Mrs. K again asked if he was getting more gray hairs and Thomas Friedman again pouted.

While he was pouting and on the ledge of the roof insisting that since no one understood him, appreciated him, valued him or even wanted him for their partner in charades (his fault, he can't keep his mouth shut even when he's acting out the clues), he might as well jump, Nicky K, probably because of the heat, launched into a version of Van Halen's "Jump."

Might as well jump
Go ahead and jump

Thomas Friedman stopped sobbing long enough to give Nicky K a good glaring.

Mrs. K tried to save the moment by launching into her own version of Third Eye Blind's "Jumper:"

I wish you would step back from that ledge my friend,
You could cut ties with all the lies,
That you've been living in,
And if you do not want to see me again,
I would understand,
I would understand.

Wiping his eyes on his the bottom of his apron, which unfortunately was caught on his shorty robe therefore leaving us all with a not so good look at his Thomases and Friedman, Thomas Friedman decided to rejoin the picnic.

But by that time the burgers had burned. And then some.

Thomas Friedman had put all the patties on at once because he knew what he was doing, he said, and we weren't supposed to go near it. And then when he was rejecting Mary J. Blige and insisting on more drama and more and more drama, they all burned.

Mrs. K didn't want any burgers anyway due to the health scare with the Mad Cow headlines. And of course, there's the fact that no one's really sure they've ever seen Thomas Friedman wash his hands. That will kill an appetite.

Thomas Friedman insisted upon putting them on buns.

We all sat down to eat.

Mrs. K said "If this wasn't a Mad Cow before, it is now!" and threw the patty over the ledge. I admire her spirit but the "ouch" from below reminded us all that they truly were like bricks.

Nicky K was staring at his burger but not eating it while Mrs. K scooped up some of the cole slaw she brought along and made a cole slaw burger. It looked good, and much better than the charcoal on a bun, so I tossed my brick burger and followed her lead.

Patti Limerick Nelson pooh-pahed Mrs. K and myself for doing that.

"One must embrace the wonders of life when one seats one's self at the banquet of adventure and fulfillment for otherwise one is not just starving, one is deprived from all that what we know as life might offer. Therefore, it is incumbent on one who sees one's self not only . . ."

She was still going on and on when I tuned her out.

Mrs. K leaned in and whispered, "Betinna, you said Patti didn't bring anything. You were wrong! She brought the hot air!"

We were laughing so hard at that we didn't notice that Thomas Friedman was still staring at Nicky K who was still eyeing his "burger."

"Well, what are you waiting for, Nicky? A goddamn UN resolution telling you it's okay to partake?" Thomas Friedman snapped.

"I, I, I" Nicky K gulped and stammered. "I was just waiting a moment to enjoy the flavor of the smell."

"Yes," Patti said chipping a tooth, "it is a wonderful stench, we must embrace the stench as my guidance counselor once told me when I happened per chance to be sitting across from him in a utalitarian object that was not quiet a folding chair but was not what anyone amongst us could call a standing chair . . ."

"Shove it, Patti," Thomas Friedman barked without looking at her, "You're only here because Nicky felt sorry for you. It's rare that he finds someone who's more of a dithering idiot than he is. Now, Kristof, are you going to eat the damn burger or not?"

Mrs. K and I exchanged a look wondering if Nicky K might stand up. But he backed down as usual, or as Thomas Friedman says, "he folds quicker than a Mormon and a liberal playing Texas Hold 'Em."

I have no idea what that means. I seriously doubt that Thomas Friedman has any idea what it means.

Eyeing the missing crowns that kept flying off Patti's capped teeth, Nicky K gulped again and appeared to shudder.

"Of course I will eat it, Thomas Friedman. You are my best friend. You are my mentor. You are my guide on this life's journey --"

"Shove it, you little candy ass," Thomas Friedman spat out. "I think Patti's served up enough crap for one meal."

"Oh goodness my. One should . . ." Patti chattered away nervously but no one was paying attention to her which, as Mrs. K pointed out, really is the story of Patti's life.

With a look of inspiration, Nicky K suddenly declared, "I was waiting for you to say grace, Thomas Friedman."

"What the hell? Are we in a red state all the sudden?"

Thomas Friedman was studying Nicky K really close but Nicky K had obviously seized on what he saw as inspiration.

"Now with dear Judith facing the legal problems --"

"Do I look like Bill Keller?" Thomas Friedman asked in a manner that clearly implied he wasn't waiting for an answer. "No, because I don't have 'ass face' written across my forehead. Judy's problems ain't my problems. Eat the damn burger, Kristof."

"But, Thomas Friedman," Nicky replied quickly, "if Judy takes the fall for a source, the paper might look into all of our sources. They might look into my sources. Or even your sources. They might want to track down that wide variety of cab drivers from various nations who all speak the same when they speak to you as they all take time out of their day to praise you."

I belive that's called check mate.