Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The hopping mad Thomas Friedman

My husband Thomas Friedman is hopping mad. He doesn't hop too high, laws of gravity prevent that for a man of his size, but he is hopping mad.

Why? He claims "those damn kids" stole his "don't hand out the car to the kids" thread in one of his recent columns for "Darfur." No, they didn't. I told Thomas Friedman that they wrote in terms of refusing to loan your car to a friend, not from the position of a grouchy old man ending his middle-aged years who wanted to ground his children. There is a difference, it's subtle, unlike Thomas Friedman's latest batch of highlights, but it does exist.

He's been so cranky of late. Attacking the Democrats he never agrees with as well as the Republicans he courted so aggresively it was like watching a love sick Sally Rogers decide that, Pickles be damned, Buddy was a man!

With no one left to root for, he invents notions of third-parties (just none existing today -- as if in two years time, a viable third party can be created and win offices) and continues his employer's hobby of smearing Hugo Chavez. Well why not? The paper's about as diverse as a GOP fundraiser.

That's an issue a real thinker could tackle, but Thomas Friedman isn't interested in real issues.
It's so much more pleasing to toss out psychobabble like "First Law of Petropolitics" which is not a new idea but he's trying to coin a phrase since that's really all he can aspire today.

The public shaming of my husband is no one's fault but his own. And he's gotten downright nasty about Nicky K's Pulitzer win. With Memorial Day on the horizon and me about to be buried in college courses, I suggested that we do a b-b-q for that weekend which he was all for. He had a new pair of pumps he wanted to wear and a thong in red, white and blue. I suggested he might want to save that for the Fourth, which caused him to pout, but he really exploded when I suggested that we invite Nicky and Mrs. K.

Like "the kids," Nicky K just ripped him off. He kept insisting that. Telling me I was too stupid to realize anything, insisting that he had "birthed" all the thinkers of today ("And I've got the hips and stretch marks to prove it, Betinna!") but that he is not given his proper credit. It was part mad genius in a James Bond type film, part Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" and totally disgusting.

"Your ego is on full display in everything you write," I informed him, "but until you learn to put it back in your pants in real life, you're going to find yourself with a lot of 'alone' time."

What did I know, he screamed.

I knew enough, I informed him, to be against the war he cheerleaded.

He pooh-pahed that in a fussy manner, with a ridiculous facial expression that I won't characterize, while insisting that I was a fool because I still trusted Nicky K.

He was pacing around the room, shorty-robe flying in the breeze that motion from a man of his girth creates. (That could solve the energy crisis!)

Finally, he stopped, spun around (like Linda Blair in "The Excorist" -- or maybe I just thought that because he'd spilled split pea soup on his robe two days ago and refused to let me wash it), and hissed, "Saint Nicky! Sweet, innocent Saint Nicky! What do you know, Betinna, you idiot, is that Saint Nicky's the one who found you!"

With that he stormed out.

Nicky K found me? What did he mean by that?

I haven't been able to ask because Thomas Friedman's now been gone for three days in a row. He has a column in print tomorrow so I'm sure he'll show up then, demanding I read it.

If he's still alive. It was rather later when he stormed out and I can imagine what could happen to a portly man with badly frosted hair who was wearing a shorty robe and thong as he stalked the streets of NYC in the dawn hours. I keep checking the TV for a "Dateline" special on a cross-dressing, middle-aged man, found raving in Central Park after a vicious attack.