June 28, 2006
It's Celebrity Time!
It's the super summer season! That means all the hot celebs come to town! Paris will be here! And Leo! And umm . . . whoever else is, ah, hot and . . . happening. And I guess that um, Indy will be there. Yeah, Indy will get all the hot shots.
In other words, we'll try to get a photo of Howard Stern the next time we see him.
Who am I kidding? The fact is, I hate this crap. I have no stomach for celebrities, and they have no time for me. Oh, I've run into a few. Paul Simon — nice guy, quiet. Very talented. Martha Stewart? Doesn't much care for me.
My unfavorite Hamptons' celebrity of all time is Puff Daddy, aka P-Diddy. I've never met him but he did threaten to sue me for something like $80 million after I wrote a parody about him for an Internet publication. I thought it was pretty funny, but his lawyers felt it damaged his reputation. I mean, the guy has been arrested several times, is the subject of a slew of lawsuits dating back to a celebrity basketball game he promoted in 1991 at CCNY that left nine people dead, is basically a scowling thug with no talent whatsoever, and I damaged his reputation?
Incidentally, nine years later, Combs, that minor incident behind him, had the gall to host another celebrity basketball game at East Hampton High School. Now there's a school board that did its homework.
Alan Alda. Spielberg. Jerry Seinfeld. McCartney. I've never met them, and probably never will. The reason is, like most of you, I'm a nobody. I don't get invited to Puff's party (and never will, thanks to this column). Come to think of it, if I were the least bit important he would have shot me by now.
I have never been in the VIP room at a local nightclub in my life. In fact, I don't even know the names of the clubs or where they are. I was once asked by a magazine to do a piece about the local nightclub scene entitled "Behind the Velvet Ropes." I was to report on how the hip people got into the overflowing clubs while others were left outside behind the ropes. I bluffed my way through the article without ever leaving my house and got paid $750. My Number One way to make sure you could get into the hip clubs was "Bring Lots of Ecstasy." Hell, even I knew that.
I've written lots of stuff about Martha, but have never gotten so much as a comment out of her, even though a mutual friend gave me her home phone number. I did get her cloying, annoying personal assistant or houseboy (or whatever he is), a foppish little twit with an attitude that I named Sven. I'd always ask for a comment from Martha, and he'd always say she had no comment. Then I would tell him I had to hear her say it to write she had no comment. He would say, "I'm telling you she has no comment." I would say, "How do I know she told you that?" Finally I heard her scream at me through the phone and I wrote "Ms. Stewart had a comment, but it was indecipherable."
The apex of my career came after an article I had written in The New York Times about Martha. William Safire, the linguistics columnist in the Times Sunday magazine, wrote a column about my article, focusing on a word I used to describe Martha, whom I called "the doyenne of domesticity." He traced the origin of the word "doyenne," which he said meant "keeper of the monks." I called Sven to ask how many monks Martha kept in the house, and he said something indecipherable, or unprintable, I can't remember which.
Safire wrote that a doyenne was a female dean, and wondered if Martha was old enough to have earned the title. I assured readers in a follow-up column the old bird surely was.
Referring to Martha Stewart as "the doyenne of domesticity," the phrase I coined, has occurred many times since in publications all over the world, including the jacket cover of her unauthorized biography.
The funny thing is I thought doyenne meant "donkey."