A Soprano Sings for The Mayor

Dear Rudy G: Hey, long time, no talk. But I got wind of your situation in Manhattan, and figured you might get a lift of spirits hearing from one of your old targets in North Jersey. I mean-not to put too fine a point on it, Rudy, but, Jesus: For somebody who’s spent the past few years running down canine leash-law violators in the big city, you’ve really stepped in it yourself this time, haven’t you?

O.K, O.K. I’ll admit that was a cheap shot. But the truth is that my shrink-yeah, that’s right-my shrink told me that I should do some “community outreach.” Charity work. Something to put my own problems into perspective.

So let’s run down yours:

You’re separated. You’re miserable. You’ve got a wife who wants revenge, a First Lady who’s muscling in on your turf, a girlfriend who wants God-knows-what, and at least one, maybe two ex-mistresses running around who’re probably getting ready to sing about your nookie for a book contract.

Damn. And I thought I had female problems.

But the real bitch of it all-that’s right, the thing that’s even worse than that $1,200-an-hour Park Avenue divorce lawyer who’s just started the clock on her next 15-minute billing increment-yes, the real bitch of it is that thanks to you, Rudy, there’s barely a strip joint left in Manhattan where a man such as yourself can sit down, enjoy a cocktail and spend the rest of the evening pouring his heart out to a 21-year-old in a G-string named Tonya, who wants nothing more in the world than to see him smile.

Hey, I’ve got nothing personal against Disney. I’ve seen The Lion King . But has Mike Eisner ever done anything on a personal level for you? Come on. Am I right, or what?

Anyway, Rudy, what’s done is done. My goal here is to get you through the next six months.

To keep you out of the “pathetic bachelor” department at Roche-Bobois and Ikea.

To make sure none of the other honeys in your life is tempted to join those Vagina Monologues .

And for Christ’s sake, to make sure you don’t give ’em enough new material for a sequel.

So listen up, and do as I tell you.

Item One: The Transitional Woman. Judi Nathan may be a terrific gal. But you don’t need a wiretap to learn that when it comes to newly separated men, the first relationship out is always doomed. Think not? You can barely keep your cool with those reporters in City Hall every morning. So how are you going to deal with stuff like “Where is this relationship going?” “What are we doing together?” “When are you getting the divorce?” My advice? Whack the relationship. Now.

Item Two: His Honor, the Dater. Like it or not, Mr. G., you’re gonna be out there in the gene pool again. So if you want to survive, keep the following in mind:

1. When Patricia Duff calls, forget it. You can not afford her.

2. Get yourself a support group. A bunch of guys you can hang with. I would not, however, form a posse with The Donald, Howard Stern, Geraldo and Bryant Gumbel-the idea of the five of you, standing in the sunroof of a Lincoln stretch, cruising for babes on the Upper East Side is not a pretty picture.

3. Maybe give a shout out to Sean (Puffy) Combs. Think about joining his crew: You’ll pack the heat; he’ll give you someplace to party on summer weekends in the Hamptons.

4. Do not power-trip on a first date. When Keith McNally keeps you waiting 45 minutes for a table at Pastis, do not pull his liquor license or call in the Board of Health to shut him down. Your date will not find this endearing. Instead, wait till you get home and express your anger in a more constructive manner: Fire the police commissioner. Sack the schools chancellor. True, they have nothing to do with Pastis. But either way, you’ll feel much better in the morning.

5. As you walk your date home, do not arrest the homeless. Instead, toss ’em a buck. Maybe a five-spot. This will impress your date, and make yourself feel both charitable and guilty at the same time.

6. When Pat Duff calls a second time, do not be tempted. You still can’t afford it.

7. Be careful about dating writers or socialites. They say, “Hell hath no fury like a high-profile woman scorned.” But don’t take my word for it. Just ask our friends Mort Zuckerman and Charlie Rose.

8. Broaden your horizons. Sure, you’ve got the opera. But if you want a really great place to meet women, go to an art museum. Oh. Never mind. I forgot. Next:

9. Find a soul mate. Rudy … Rudy, in relationships, like everything else, you’ve gotta have the courage of your convictions. You need somebody who’s political. Somebody who understands public life. Somebody who’s been through a difficult marriage.

I think we both know who I’m talking about here, Rudy: She’s a New Yorker. A lawyer. A Yankee fan. She’s perfect-and who knows what shape her marriage is going to be in a year from now.

So pick up the phone. Call Hillary. Hey, politics makes strange bedfellows, and stranger things have happened to all of us.

See you around the courthouse, pal.

Yours affectionately–a big hug.

Tony Soprano A Soprano Sings for The Mayor