Don’t Call It an S.U.V.
We’ve gotten a sneak peak at the headlines of various feature stories slated for future editions of The New York Times. Most of them seem likely to run in the paper’s various weekly “bonus” sections (Circuits, House and Home, et al.), while others appear to be scheduled for the main paper. Thought we’d share.
A Blogger Goes Retro With Street-Corner Speech
NASCAR Considers Professional Soccer League
For Enlisted Pacifists, War Can Be Tricky
Back in Style: The Family Vacation
Song of the Humpback Whale
(Set to an Electroclash Beat)
The Return of the Nosy Neighbor
Landfill’s Newest Occupant: Your Old Computer
Fido Goes Shopping
A Beet With an Attitude: In Praise of the Humble Radish
Happy B-b-b-birthday: The Vibrator Turns 150
Oil, Oil Everywhere (But Not Enough for the Family Camel)
Manhattoe Tribe Claims Much of Park Avenue South
Do You Know the Muffin Woman?
Don’t Call It an S.U.V.: The New Station Wagons
In Company of Illegal Immigrants, Siesta Tradition Crosses Border
Don’t Eat the Hemlock. Why? It’s Poison.
For Britney Spears, a Reconsideration of Tried and True Gestures
Living With a Carnivore: Cat Owners Speak
A Room With a View in Sheeps-head Bay
A Tasty Microbrew from the Brothers McCourt
Platypuses Make Hesitant Return to Staten Island
A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma: In Praise of the Humble Fortune Cookie
The Perils of ‘F2F’: When Online Friends Meet
Quogue: The Un-Hampton
NASCAR to Sponsor Bike Race
George and Hilly
GEORGE: So this past Saturday, we went to the Bridgehampton Polo event, and I had kind of a meltdown. I mean, it started off great. This was just 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and I didn’t want to have a late night. But I ended up drinking eight mojitos. They were very weak, though. Everything was great—we had scored V.I.P. wristbands and we were in the little V.I.P. tent, breathing the same air as Chloë Sevigny and Heather Graham and who else?
HILLY: Christina Applegate.
GEORGE: We’re having a good time with our friends, it’s sunny out, and I took the last of those mushrooms—two nibbles.
DR. SELMAN: Who was driving?
GEORGE: I was.
DR. SELMAN: And you drove home after drinking eight mojitos and taking mushrooms?
GEORGE: The drinks were really weak and I could barely feel the mushrooms. Didn’t I seem fine? On the way home, we stopped at the driving range, and I was hitting 300-yard drives.
DR. SELMAN: I have to tell you, I’m really horrified by this.
GEORGE: Hold on! And then I swam for half an hour. But I understand. I’m 205 pounds—O.K., it takes a lot to get me drunk.
DR. SELMAN: Doesn’t the fact that I said that I was really horrified by this have an impact?
GEORGE: Those mojitos were like little samplers. You could barely taste the alcohol. Weren’t they weak?
HILLY: Yeah, they were really small.
GEORGE: But the problem was, people kept coming up to me and saying, “Oh my God, your face is so red!”
DR. SELMAN: But why didn’t you drive?
HILLY: I can’t drive. I don’t really know how to drive. I got my license when I was 16; I was in boarding school and I didn’t ever drive—I was kind of scared. I took the class, I got the license, and I never drove again.
DR. SELMAN: Or maybe a car service?
GEORGE: Honest to God, I could’ve driven 600 miles; I had my wits about me. But after hearing “Your face is so red” about 10 times—talk about paranoid! I skipped the cocktail party—you went—and I skipped the dinner party—you went. I locked myself in our room and escaped into Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. Transported to the Texas-Mexico border in the 1850’s.
DR. SELMAN: There was a dinner party in the house where you were staying and you didn’t attend?
HILLY: Locked himself in the room.
DR. SELMAN: You went to the dinner party, I take it?
HILLY: Yeah. He wouldn’t even let me in.
GEORGE: I stayed there for a couple hours, and she persuaded me to go downstairs and apologize. I just needed some alone time. Anyway, the next day I was happy—capital-H happy. At peace. I played golf. I’m telling you, that game centers me. Then we had a nice train ride back. I read aloud from Blood Meridian, some violent passages. Buzzards pecking away at a dead boy. But we were having a good time, right?
DR. SELMAN: Sounds like you were having a blast.
GEORGE: And we went home and watched I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! Peter Sellers is the uptight guy in 1968 and he’s about to get married, but he meets this hippie babe and she makes him hash brownies and his life is transformed. He leaves his fiancée at the altar, drops out of society, lives in the psychedelic car—
DR. SELMAN: Sounds like a psychotic break.
GEORGE: And in the middle of the movie, I hit “pause” and we did bam-bam ….
[ To HILLY] Don’t wanna talk about it?
DR. SELMAN: Oh, something else happened?
GEORGE: No, we went to bed together.
DR. SELMAN: In the middle of Alice B. Toklas?
GEORGE: I’ve been thinking about how my libido is so under control from living with Hilly—
DR. SELMAN: What does that mean?
GEORGE: It’s almost like my sex drive is so balanced, it’s almost extinguished.
DR. SELMAN: Living with Hilly extinguishes your sex drive?
GEORGE: Let me clarify: It comes back every 36 hours. Hilly and I go to bed, and then wham—bye-bye—sex drive is just gone. Which is good. Although I do miss morning wood.
GEORGE: I’m just saying I like it this way, having a stable sex life, rather than always getting into this “gotta have sex” trance. Occasionally, some friend of mine will e-mail me some Web site, likeexploitedbabysitters.com, and I’ll be like, “Oh. Yeah. Sex.”
DR. SELMAN: So in other words, she has nothing to worry about when you’re with these, um, other women, because there’s no sex drive?
GEORGE: Right. No interest.
DR. SELMAN [ to HILLY]: Is that reassuring to you?
GEORGE: No interest. No interest!
DR. SELMAN: Hilly, you seem so tense all of a sudden.
HILLY: A little. It’s O.K.
GEORGE: Last night we did it, and I was screaming and having these involuntary convulsions and tremors and my head is shaking, like “ulluguhguh”—
DR. SELMAN: Sounds like he had a good orgasm.
GEORGE: It was like I was about to have a heart attack. It’s explosive, and then it’s over, and then it comes back in 36 hours.
DR. SELMAN: Now why do we need to know that, George? That you had such a great orgasm?
GEORGE: I’m saying that it’s still really good after four and a half years. And I slept—
DR. SELMAN: Slept like a baby, right?
GEORGE: First time in months that I slept through her ironing and showering and puttering around. Honestly, I woke up at 10:30 a.m. Also, I had no booze, which helps with sex and helps you sleep better.
DR. SELMAN: I think you still look tense, Hilly. You’ve got your arms crossed; you’re all, like, tight. Right? Your muscles are like—
GEORGE: I got it. What would you like—would make you feel more comfortable right now?
HILLY: That our apartment is clean.
GEORGE: Anything else? You can have five requests.
HILLY: An armoire. A dresser.
GEORGE: Anything in the world?
HILLY: Ten trunks.
GEORGE: All you want are things?
HILLY: Immortality for my parents. Maybe you. And the ability to become selfless. A lifetime wardrobe at Valentino.
GEORGE: What about Israel defeats Hezbollah? Anything like that?
HILLY: Well, duh, if my parents were granted immortality, they would obviously bring peace to the entire region. Because my mother would instill common sense into everyone and my father would make everyone compassionate and friendly.
GEORGE: Not to change the subject, but it’s my second-year anniversary without television. Don’t watch television. I think in a perfect world, if someone like Katie Couric or Sumner Redstone walks into Michael’s or the Four Seasons, people should get up from their tables and walk out.
DR. SELMAN: Why?
GEORGE: Because they’re poison-deliverers. But there’s one thing that I’ve been doing lately that I’m addicted to, and that’s YouTube.
DR. SELMAN: I’ve heard of that.
HILLY: It’s television that you watch on your computer, so you don’t feel guilty about watching television on television.
DR. SELMAN: Oh, I see.
GEORGE: I’ll find myself sitting around for hours watching shark attacks, documentaries on the Columbine massacre, the Zapruder film, Motorhead videos, 9/11 tapes—
DR. SELMAN: Why would you expose yourself to that?
GEORGE: I think about 9/11 every day. Sometimes 10 times a day. It’s probably a good thing to keep that fresh in your mind. But you don’t want to think about it too much. It could be bad for your brain.
DR. SELMAN: You’ve been doing mushrooms. You think that’s good for the brain?
GEORGE: Did you look at that study? They determined that mushrooms have therapeutic qualities. People have seen the face of God.
DR. SELMAN: It makes you psychotic.
GEORGE: It makes you psychotic. O.K. Anyway, I’m out of them, and I don’t have a delivery service.
DR. SELMAN: That’s why you think of the trade towers 10 times a day.
GEORGE: I’m not going to say one more word for the rest of the session.
HILLY: We only have three minutes, ha-ha-ha!
DR. SELMAN: He sounds like a real picnic to live with! How do you put up with all of this?
HILLY: The good outweighs the bad.
GEORGE: Let’s hear about the good!
DR. SELMAN: What do they call that, the smallest book in the world? Ha ha ha ha ha!
GEORGE: How about some good deeds?
HILLY: Well, I don’t know. He does good deeds all the time. You’re putting me on the spot—I can’t think of any right now.
GEORGE: Took you out to dinner last night.
DR. SELMAN: Are you surprised that she can’t come up with any good things?
GEORGE: I’m hoping that she has a moment of recall.
HILLY: He always does good things. He brings me flowers. He says nice things to me. Makes me feel good about myself.
DR. SELMAN: Wait a minute. He incited violence—in the last session, you told the story about trashing your apartment?
HILLY: I really don’t think that was entirely because of him. That was a weird wave of hormonal ….
DR. SELMAN: He woke you up in the middle of the night and threw you out of bed.
HILLY: Yeah, he does that a lot, though. But I usually go to sleep right away.
DR. SELMAN: He brought strangers home to the apartment.
GEORGE: I gave you $10 last night for a five-minute foot massage and sang you some RuPaul: You better work, work it girl.
HILLY: That’s true.
DR. SELMAN: Drove drunk with you in the car.
HILLY: He wasn’t drunk.
GEORGE: We have 10 minutes, Hilly, so you’re going to talk.
HILLY: Oh, this is exciting: My grandfather is going to send me a ticket to visit him in Florida, and George said that he would come with me. Probably in August. He’s not doing very well, and my family thinks I need to go and see him, but also it’s supposed to be really pretty there. I always thought that he and George would get along really well. He’s brilliant, and he’s always been really super-smart, but quite stubborn, but very, very curious about everything. He was a star athlete his whole life, and up until a few weeks ago he was running every single day and participating in the Senior Olympics all across the country.
DR. SELMAN: So what happened to him?
HILLY: He’s had a couple strokes and he’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. And this last stroke, it was a couple hours before anyone found him, so some of the nerves have been damaged.
GEORGE: What sort of funny stuff does he tell you, stories?
HILLY: Well, he asked me if you were a fruitcake.
GEORGE: Because he read the column?
HILLY: No, because he thought it was weird—first, he’s never met you. Second, that we’ve been dating as long as we have—four years—and you’ve never asked me to marry you. That’s because he’s from a more traditional—
GEORGE: Let’s go visit him! Let’s do that in the next couple months.
DR. SELMAN: I thought you said in August.
HILLY: Yes, it’s probably going to be in August.
DR. SELMAN: Tomorrow is Aug. 1.
GEORGE: Fruitcake, huh?
HILLY: He went to grade school with Mike Wallace, and he went to Harvard with John F. Kennedy and Arthur Schlesinger, and he has the coolest stories about them. It’s incredible, because the other day he was having this really bad day in the rehabilitation center. I was chatting with him on the phone and told him that I just bought him this Mike Wallace biography and I was enlarging it so I could send it to him and he could read it, because his eyesight isn’t so good any more. As soon as I said Mike Wallace, he said, “Oh, what did we used to call him?” And I said, “Myron!” He said, “That’s right, little Myron Wallace. And in the second grade, he sat right behind me in French class.”
GEORGE: I’ve interviewed Mike Wallace a few times. He’s one of my journalist heroes, definitely.
HILLY: Don’t you think it would be a really heroic thing if George got a nice little Mike Wallace autograph in the book for my grandfather before we go to visit him?
GEORGE: Oh, wow.
HILLY: That would mean so much to him. Even if Mike Wallace doesn’t have such fond memories of my grandfather, which is rather likely, it would be so cool.
DR. SELMAN: Maybe you could tell him it’s for someone else.
[ To be continued.]
Prior Articles: George and Hilly published 08/07/06 George and Hilly published 07/31/06 George and Hilly published 07/24/06 George and Hilly published 07/17/06 George and Hilly published 06/26/06 George and Hilly published 06/19/06 George and Hilly published 05/29/06 George and Hilly published 05/15/06 George and Hilly published 05/08/06 George and Hilly published 05/01/06 George and Hilly published 04/17/06 George and Hilly published 04/03/06 George and Hilly published 03/20/06 George and Hilly published 02/6/06 George and Hilly published 01/23/06 George and Hilly published 01/16/06 George and Hilly published 12/26/05 George and Hilly published 11/14/05 George and Hilly published 11/07/05 George and Hilly published 10/24/05 George and Hilly published 10/17/05 George and Hilly published 10/10/05 George and Hilly published 10/03/05 George ’n’ Hilly, Back in Couples, Turn on the Doc published 09/26/05 But Should We Get Married? Part III published 08/29/05 But Should We Get Married? published 08/15/05 Should I Get Married? My Hilly Joining Me In Couples Session published 08/08/05