OK, I’m about done with September 11 stuff. There’s a reason that Jews say Kaddish only for a year. Then I’ll move on to the usual inanity.
Just two more pointers.
New York, like many states, runs a passel of gambling games. (A metro columnist for the Albany Times-Union — Barney something-or-other — used to refer to the state as “My Mother the Bookie.”) Among them is a twice-daily numbers racket. Last night’s number came up 9-1-1. There were 14,878 winners, splitting nearly $5 million. A more normal payout, for the afternoon number of 8-3-3, paid 892 people $185,000.
And last night, David Letterman had former president Bill Clinton as a guest. “Apparently,” Dave said during the monologue, “he’s never seen the program.” This program is why I’m such a big fan of Letterman’s. The show was serious, analytical, respectful, and fascinating. Dave likes to pretend he’s dumb, but when he’s not ogling starlets’ breasts it’s clear that there’s an excellent brain ticking behind the glasses.
I kind of wish both guys had acknowledged the Beast in the Corner, though. Letterman’s been beating up on Clinton — in some really personal terms — for more than 200 shows a year for around 10 years. Each monologue has four to six jokes. Let’s say half of them are about Clinton. That’s a low estimate of 5,000 jokes (200x10x5/2). Some of them must have stung. It might have been nice to have Clinton say something like, “Don’t y’all miss me?” or for Dave to get to say, “Hey, y’know, it’s just business. No disrespect meant.”
As it was, the closest they got was when Clinton came out to the strains of “Harlem Nocturne.” The guys chatted for a minute about how Clinton’s gotten back to playing the saxophone, and Clinton used the word “blow.” The audience kind of gasped and tittered and started to laugh, but Clinton just kept on talking, his face not registering a thing. I’d hate to play poker against this guy.
Someone I would like to play poker against is W. I caught the end of his interview with Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes II, the two of them sitting in the Oval Office. Bush has the contemporary politician’s annyoning habit of answering questions with The Message. But Pelley did lay a glove on him, when he asked about all the anti-invasion talk coming from people who might reasonably be considered his father’s proxies — heavyweights like Brent Scowcroft. When the question was being asked, W started blinking very fast. His tone didn’t change, his face didn’t change, the angle of his head didn’t change, and his answer didn’t change. But his eyelids were playing the merengue. Didn’t like the question, not one bit, and I bet there have been some entertaining phone conversations between son and dad over the last couple of months.
OK, so that’s three items. Apply for a refund. I’m done now — or as done as I ever am.