Correspondent at large
T-Bird, Mama-T, and Hillary
It was bound to happen. There I was at the T-Bird Bar and Grill
on the Navajo reservation in Arizona - that's the place they serve
tequila from sunrise to sunset, and the place where John Big Eagle
goes early to find a good seat.
The Unhappy Giant appeared on the overhead monitor well before noon and, quite
elegantly I might add, offered his condolences to a Democratic Party blown
around like blue dust at his feet.
That soliloquy was soon replaced by the image of the Mighty One proclaiming
his prodigious triumph. I had a sudden flashback to Napoleon crowning himself
in Notre Dame, but that was so long ago, in the halcyon days of my youth.
My reverie was interrupted by the noise of John Big Eagle's entourage - that
circle of young men who think Mama-T, Tea Dance and G-Star jeans really rock.
The boys were downing shots while debating the feasibility of shooting flaming
arrows into the rose garden.
Just then my cellphone rang - and lord would you believe it - Stepmoney was
on the line. The shock of it! I dropped a shot glass of Tequila on the floor.
Well, T-money said that she'd been thinking, and that she had decided it was
time to offer the olive branch - to reach out to unify, not divide. Would I
be so kind as to join her for dinner that evening in Pennsylvania?
I had to think about it for a minute. I knew John Big Eagle would be sad, but
to tell the truth, the lack of amenities in his Teepee, not to mention the
lack of bubbly, had begun to wear on my nerves. So, I told T-money I would
be delighted to accept her kind invitation.
Off I went, heading east with my matching Louis Vuitton travelling cases in
tow. From the Pittsburgh airport, the chauffeur drove around the mountains,
down the valleys, and up a long driveway that led to a rambling manor house
perched on a hilltop.
Instead of the mîtress, a frail little maid opened at the door. She led
me through a maze of salons until we reached an ornate reception room bulging
with authentic Louis XVI pieces, the ceiling dripping with Baccarat crystal
chandeliers. T-money was waiting, a diamond châtelaine pinned to the
lapel of her black tweed jacket.
"Santé," she said, touching the tip of a Lalique flute to her lips. "At
least I still have my health." Motioning for me to sit in an armchair,
she wisely chose a plush velvet settee that looked considerably more sturdy.
"Alors," she sighed, sipping the Kir Royal apéritif. "Veuillez nous excuser
pour la gêne occassionée".
I accepted her apologies for the brusque nature of our previous intercourse,
and by way of making peace, suggested that I was heartbroken at the state of
the blue dust.
She said that she had sent the giant to a retreat center in upstate New York,
where he was being attended to by grief counselors. She then went into a long
discourse of how I had been right all along, and how she had had her own suspicions
that things were going downhill, and how the last two years had taken a toll
on her psyche. I had the sense that she was beating around the Bush, and had
not yet gotten to the point.
In due course, we took our places at opposite ends of a mile-long mahogany
dining room table, where a bevy of servants stood by to cater to each and every
The first course was homemade foie gras, which T-money had sautéed herself
from the wild goose the giant had bagged in Ohio. The delicacy was more gamy
than the type from Périgourd, but was buttery and rich all the same.
It was served with a tiny glass of vintage Sauternes.
The second course was Maine lobster, the tail split into fine blades atop a
rich sauce derived from an emulsion of black truffles. It was accompanied by
a glass of slightly chilled Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru.
After a palette cleanser of grapefruit sorbet, the main course arrived -
Pennyslvania grouse. The sûpremes were glazed with a sauce reduced from game stock,
raspberry-vinegar and red current jam and butter. A garnish of caramelized
onions, artichoke hearts and slightly smoked diced bacon topped the dinner
china. That was washed down with a glass of La Tâche Romanée
Grand Cru, vintage 1963.
All the while, T-money picked with a silver fork, and chattered nervously on
about the stress, the problems her second husband had connecting with Evangelicals,
and how her feet had swollen from the constant flying - to the point she could
no longer get into her shoes. She would not, however, come to whatever the
real point was.
When dessert - layers of sand-colored pastry filled with crème chantilly,
ripe blackberries surrounded by a strawberry coulis - had been served, I
cut to the chase. I interrupted her mid-sentence, saying that our evening
had been delightful, especially as she'd finally learned to stop pretending
and to be herself, but that I knew there was something more that needed to
Like Freud with a patient on his couch - I hit the raw nerve. She began to
weep, and in between sobs, she struggled to say that her biggest regret was
that she could no longer get into the largest size Chanel suit on the rack. "Je
suis grosse comme une vache," she added, before breaking into a fresh torrent
I rushed over with a handkerchief, and offered my support. There is hope, I
assured her, and then mentioned a spa I knew near Vichy, where a chef devoted
to cuisine minceur could work wonders. I promised her that by the end of a
month stay, she could expect to easily fit into a classic Chanel tailleur.
I reminded her that if Karl Lagerfeld had the willpower to take off a third
of his bodyweight, she could follow his sterling example.
She soon regained her composure, and promised to check in for calorie-detox.
Then, just as some after dinner fiandises arrived - we're talking dark, dark
chocolate here - she suddenly remembered she had one fence left to mend.
T-money rang a little silver bell, and then the butler emerged with a cordless
speaker-phone which he placed before her on the table. She pushed auto dial,
and it rang.
An angelic voice answered.
"Hello," said T-money. "Could you kindly connect me with the lady of the house?"
"Oh, dear," said the voice on the other end. "This might not be the best moment.
You see, she's just opened a second bottle of Veuve Cliquot."
Suddenly, the unmistakable drawl of Bubba boomed clear as day in the background. "For
heaven's sakes, Hillary. Put down those exit polls and come over here and give
me a hug. You've already demonstrated your faith - your faith is in me. And
just look! Everything we've always planned has just gone Right."
Questions for Bimbo:
FL: Why is Mrs. Kerry's hair
Bimbo: She says she prefers the "just out of bed" look that is de rigueur
among young men in Europe. As for the color , I've suggested a nice stylist
I know in Paris, M. Geoffray LePouf, to no avail.
FL: In what size does
Chanel stop production? We have seen a purple plaid size
18 tweed jacket at Neiman Marcus during their Last Call sale.
Bimbo: The sky is not the limit, especially since Karl lost
so much of his own girth and then turned his venom on women. The
Last Call was the last call - after that only Liposuction remains
at the end of the line.
FL:You are so close with Mrs. Kerry, can you tell us
if she will go into a more intense facial surgery program?
Bimbo: That's a secret only her hairdresser can tell you -
whoever that cuckoo may be. What I can tell you is that if she's
feeling down about her appearance, she need only sit next to Laura.
FL: Can you disclose the spa
you have decided upon to help Mrs. Kerry unwind?
Bimbo: I shouldn't, but this once I can let the secret out. The place
to go is called "L'Aubèrge des Vaches", which is a leftover remnant
of the Vichy government once frequented by the upper echelon of the Reichstag.
In fact, the chef did his basic training at an Austrian retreat called Mauthausen.
FL: Do you speak French when
you are with Mrs. Kerry?
Bimbo: Oui, c'est son langue
FL: An your opinion, is Mrs.
Kerry still in love with Senator Kerry?
Bimbo: Well, I think she was more
in love with the thought of gracing the East Wing, and now that
pipe dream has burst, you'd have to ask her clairvoyant to be