Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Big Boob likes big boobs

So Rebecca is our blonde neighbor with the big boobs. They are nice boobs. I don't give them a great deal of thought but my husband Thomas Friedman does. He's fixated on them. Everytime we bump into her, his tongue is hanging out and drool's dripping from his mouth. They are nice boobs, but they are just breasts. And, point of fact, with all the canned cheese Thomas Friedman's consumed in the last year, his own boobs are almost as big. Give him another year and he may be able to fit into one of Rebecca's bras.

But Thomas Friedman is obsessed with her breasts and I say all that to say, Thomas Friedman is so obsessed with her breasts that he's now attempting to impress her. Now, if you're married to a man on the edge of middle age who's gone from stocky to portly and now beyond, a man who thinks "highlights" in his hair make up for the lack of regular bathing, you learn not to get jealous. Truth is, outside of a few airheads like Patti, there's not much chance that any woman will come along to take Thomas Friedman off my hands.

But Friday, Thomas Friedman's latest made it into print. "Worried About India's and China's Booms? So Are They" probably confused many readers. What, some may have wondered, is Thomas Friedman doing writing that "every country thinks it behind" and that the United States thinks it behind in math and science after Thomas Friedman made a point of screaming, a few months back, that we were behind in math and science?

The answer lies with Rebecca. Large breasts can inspire him more than even illegal wars. See, Rebecca wrote, back when Thomas Friedman and others were screaming for rote education, "more dreamers not just fact checkers" contained the following:

the 60s had street theater. we could use some more of that today. we could use some more art and some more thought that breaks out of the box. and that's where elaine came in on the third estate sunday review discussion. she and c.i. were talking about how we need new ways of seeing things. as u2 once sang, in better days, 'we need new dreams tonight.' or as carly simon aptly put it, 'let all the dreamers wake the nation.'
i hope educators get that. i hope they get that far behind how well some 1 can spit out a fact they've had drilled into them, it matters that children can think and can think beyond the obvious. that's really the future of any nation and how progress can comes about. you have to go beyond the obvious and beyond the same though pattern.
most of the people i know who are creative or think outside the box are music listeners or actually have musical training. i wonder how worried we are that the cuts to music in school continue and that 'leave every child behind' is set on turning every 1 into robots because the testing and the teaching for the test leaves no time for creativity and really doesn't leave time for thought.

If that seems vaugely familiar to you, it may be because Thomas Friedman took Rebecca's points and put them into the mouth of a corporate businessman. It's why suddenly Thomas Friedman is acting like he wasn't running through the neighborhood, naked, screaming, "More science and math, we're being destroyed by other countries!" (He actually did do that. I heard about it from the building manager who says one more nude outburst from "Thomas Flab-man" and we're out.)

He wants Rebecca to like him. More likely, he just wants her to show him her big breasts.

You and I look at Thomas Friedman and see Norma Desmond with more girth. Thomas Friedman looks in the mirror and sees a desirable reflection. It's the sort of delusion that's allowed him to cheerlead an illegal war. It's the sort of delusion that finds him stocking up on General Tao's chicken instead of heading to a gym. It's the kind of delusion that lets him think he learned anything in college. Most of all, it's the kind of delusion that makes him think he has something to say that people need to hear.

Wednesday, he wrote about "A New Grip On 'Reality.'" That came along as a result of Rebecca's mid-winter tan and plunging neckline when she stopped me at the mailboxes to ask me if I'd read the current Mother Jones article about the environment. I thought he was merely staring at her breasts while he licked his lips, but apparently Thomas Friedman was at least partially listening as Rebecca went into how our dependence on fossil fuel has destroyed the environment.

His new grip was the same as his old grip: a grip on Republicans. He can't hand jerk without wrapping his hand around a Republican apparently. Which is why in a column on the environment he had nothing to say about environmentalists who had long argued that we needed to break our oil dependency. He could, however, name check any and every Republican who has begun to think that maybe we might be better off developing alternative fuels. He wrote about "smart conservatives."

That's Thomas Friedman for you, always in denial and with very limited vision. Add "bad breath" and you'll practically be repeating what our "waitress" told him Friday night. She was counter-help at McDonalds, but Thomas Friedman insisted upon calling her "waitress."

"Waitress," he said drawing out both syllables in an annoying whine, "I believe I'd like you to carry our trays to the table."

"Doesn't work that way, Grandpa," said the woman who couldn't have been more than eighteen.

"Do you realize that in India, people would kill for your job!" Thomas Friedman demanded. "You don't know how good you have it!"

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Children are starving in India, I've heard it all my life."

"No, you stateside twit, in India they are competative!"

"Are you saying India's better than America?" the woman demanded. "Rob, Vernon, this guy hates America."

They come up to the counter wiping their aprons and asking "What guy?"

"This one," she said pointing at Thomas Friedman, "This idiot in denial with the bad vision and bad breath."

Checking out Rob and Vernon, especially Rob who looked a bit like Slater on Saved by the Bell (we all know how obsessed with that show and the male cast Thomas Friedman is), he began to stammer out a response.

"No, no, I love, I love America."

They stared at him, he averted his eyes. Finally, they walked away from the counter as Thomas Friedman attempted to wipe away his flop sweat.

"My, oh my," Thomas Friedman sighed. "That was almost as dangerous as the Green Zone. I wish they would put me in the Green Zone, then I could really teach them something about inventing stories."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Thomas Friedman got ready for his close up

If there's one thing worse than his writing, it's a photo of my husband Thomas Friedman.

Mrs. K called yesterday to ask me about it. Seems Nicky K couldn't stop laughing.

"Betinna, what look is he going for?"

"What look do you see?"

"Well, honestly, he looks like Angela Landsbury in the midst of dance rehearsal for a road tour of Gypsy."

That's exactly the look I was going for.

I didn't sell Thomas Friedman on it that way.

But I told him his blonde highlights would really be set off by a simple black jersey. I explained that it was "very Audrey Hepburn" and that's really all it took. After an hour of listening to him speak of his own understanding of "empathy."

He claims it was Funny Face that set him on his current course. He was a young 12 year-old boy who happened to come across Funny Face late one night and decided that he too was an empathatic. Or at least that he wanted to be someone "who the whole world wanted."

He can dream, right?

I told him I was just glad that was his first Audrey Hepburn film. Imagine what would have happened if he'd seen Roman Holiday first?

He got very nervous and told me "someday" he'd tell me all about his initial encounters with William Safire.

So what did the New York Times' "empathatic" write about most recently?

Staying the course in Iraq?

It's an unpopular position so it's a natural for Thomas Friedman.

Or as I put it, "People will love your brave voice."

Flattery gets you everywhere with Thomas Friedman.

So he heaped hate on Iran and urged staying in Iraq.

Except for correcting his repeated use of the term "Iranese," I just hailed it as "brilliant."

He wasn't going to praise fellow war pornographer Michael Gordon but I convinced that the paper would keep presenting his underwhelming The World Is Flat as the second best selling book regardless of how Gordon's pornography sold.

He's really scared Gail Collins pretty good if she keeps arguing for it be at number two despite the fact that it's not selling. Or maybe it's just her own little joke: saying his book is a "number two."

It does tend to stink up a room.

"Is it really brilliant?" Thomas Friedman asked of "America's Iran Policy: Iraq."

"It's as brilliant as your carefully manicured nails," I offered. "And as needed."

"Oh, Betinna," Thomas Friedman smiled, clasping his hands together in such a manner as to show off his carefully groomed and clear-polished nails, "You're too good to me."

I truly am.

That's why I didn't even point out, as he twirled around the room singing, that "I'm the Greatest Star" is from the film Funny Girl, not Funny Face.