Hardy Plumbing
June 28, 2006

Low Tidings

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."

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