Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A party of dishonor for Thomas Friedman leaves him speechless . . . well as close to it as he can come

As I told you Saturday, Friday was not a good night for Thomas Friedman. We went to another party at Jess's upstairs. Thomas Friedman insisted upon tagging along. I had told Ty that I wouldn't be able to dress up for his & Jess's party but Ty said that was fine and that they liked my costumes already. I did not have the heart, or maybe it was lack of pride, to tell Ty that they were not costumes but that these sheets were all Thomas Friedman would allow me to have to wear. Did I mention that the exclusive Goodwill that Thomas Friedman takes me to is not, in fact exclusive and that all the merchandise is second hand?

So with that in mind, I didn't discourage Thomas Friedman from joining me at the party.

"Betinna," he asked standing in front of his closet in only his shorty robe, "what should I wear?"

"Whatever you want, baby," I told him trying to surpress a giggle.

We get there and he's shocked to find everyone, male and female, sporting a mustache.

See, it was a theme party. And the theme was Thomas Friedman.

As the invitation read:

Dress up in the rattiest, smelliest, cheapest suit you can find and don't bother to clean it! Let your head go as dusty as the suit so that you too can repeat "facts" from another age long since disproven such as "The World Is Flat!" It's our first annual Be As Little As You Can Be: The Thomas Friedman Costume Ball!

With his ego, he naturally was quite pleased at the start but even he could not notice as the evening wore on that he was not the celebrated guest but the butt of all jokes.

As Kat said, "He makes it so easy."

And certainly slamming the French again in his snide way doesn't help at all. To think this all results from no rice pudding. As C.I. put it, "I think of him as not Thomas Friedman the op-ed columnist, but as Thomas Friedman the despot."

At one point, Mike found a way to work in what my husband Thomas Friedman felt was the funniest of his zingers from his Friday column, "Yo, Jacques, what world do you think you're livin' in, pal?" Which caused the entire room to burst into a zombie-like chant of "One of us. One of us. One of us."

It was at that point that Thomas Friedman stopped attempting his failed flirtation with Rebecca to tell me, "I'm not so sure this party is really in my honor."

Really? You think?

As they began pelting him with slices of French bread while chanting "The world is flat. The world is flat" Thomas Friedman squealed and ran from the party.

Later, he emerged from his state of whimpering to yell, "Did you have to stay!"

Well the party wasn't over, now was it. Or maybe he assumes that just because he leaves, the party is over. That's sort of his view of the world, now isn't it?

To which Thomas Friedman replied, "Fine. Whatever."

After he did his best Alicia Silverstone and flashed the "whatever" sign, he asked, "But did you have to join in with the tossing of the French bread?"

I was just trying to get into the mood of the party.

"Betinna, the bread was toasted! It had sharp edges!"

He then began blubbering and, honestly, spoiling my good mood. So I grabbed a throw pillow off the bed, went back to the hall where he was still curled in the fetal position and tossed it on the ground beside him.

It was nonstop whimpering and bleating all weekend. Which may explain why he attempts to sugar coat his message today. He gets in the insult of "learn to speak English" and he pushes his "All You Need Is Open Markets" nonsense. As usual. But in an attempt to, as he put it, "be down with the kids of today," he breaks with the usual policy of the paper, or usual policies of the paper, to actually say a few kind words about Ireland. He's convinced that this will make for a more pleasant party the next time "we" are invited. (He honestly hasn't been invited once.) Or as he put it, "This will show the kiddos I'm down with ISP!"

"O.P.P.," I snapped.

"No, Betinna," Thomas Friedman corrected, "it is ISP."

It was at that moment that I started to wonder if what I and others had seen as his attempt to crack wise with puns were actually evidence of his own cognitive failures?