EDITOR’S NOTE: Today National Review Online continues its new series of exclusive contributions from the most eminent figures of our age. Drawn from all the proverbial walks of life–even your own!–our contributors will reveal themselves as never before to you. The rich, the powerful, the influential, the famous, the really smart, the vulgar…they will all be here only at National Review Online. Celebrities, authors, journalists, TV stars, politicians, international statesmen, top CEOs, rock idols, will unbutton themselves solely for your pleasure. Imaginatively invented and edited by Alexander Rose, It’s All About Me’s contributors represent the grand comedy and faintly depressing tragedy that is American life as we know it.
“Let’s get this straight, stupidos. I did not say “Shove it” to that vulgar little man; I said, “Love it.” As in John Fitzgerald Kerry. As in America. As in The Heinz Corporation. Anyone who questions me about this is a complete idiot.
‐My love for John burns brighter than the Mozambican sun, and his for me blazes hotter than a VC rocket fired at a Swift boat during a Cambodian Christmas. How clearly I can recall the day that John and I met at the World Bores Conference in Rio. Ay caramba! When I first saw him-dressed in a tuxedo and red clip-on tie-at the drinks reception, I was so besotted, all I could say was, “White wine and spritzer, waiter, and make it snappy.” “Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.”, chortled this craggy-faced Adonis as he impaled me with his blowtorch eyes. “Actually, I’m an elected representative, from Massachusetts.” Fancy mistaking him for a lickspittle! Silly moi!
‐We immediately fell for each other. I loved how John’s normally grim visage-furrowed deep from grappling with the vexing issue of bike-path tolls: pro or con, or both?–lit up like a Pittsburgh dawn when I bought him the Tahoe house for our special one-month going-out anniversary! “By the Sacred Skull of Mithra!, as we used to say in Bones, you’re just the kind of woman I’ve been looking for,” he cried. Reader, I melted. Being a woman of experience whose veins pump with spicy Mozambican-Portuguese blood, I can tell you candidly that his kisses became ever more enflamed with passion as we jetted to Fox Chapel aboard Ketchup 57, my second-largest Gulfstream. “By the Knight of Euloga, this would make a great campaign plane,” he murmured, enigmatically. I even adored his nickname for me-”honey-bunny”-though Andre says he once overheard John tell Ted I was his “money-honey,” whatever that is.
‐John and I are like Siamese twins; when the two of us put our heads together, it’s like there’s one brain working. But I am an independent woman, so we don’t agree on everything. Take our favorite films. I can watch The African Queen (that’s me, a real African-American!), Love Story (my John IV went to school with that nice Oliver V), and The Philadelphia Story (it reminds me of home) over and over, while John often takes careful notes during Kind Hearts and Coronets, Barry Lyndon, and Gosford Park. But his all-time faves, he once told me, are his own, director’s-cut movies, Silver Star (1969) and Testimony (1971). I could watch them a thousand times-and John already has.
‐True, there were kinks we needed to work through in our relationship. All the attention has been on John, who told George W. he married up, but look at it another way, my way: I married down. It was difficult-at first. After all, Heinz Meanz Greenz, and I had never gone out seriously with a pauper before. Sure, there had been the carefree flings of youth with poor-but-cute guys like Nelson Rockefeller (who could forget his last words before I left for Pennsylvania, “Baby, don’t go breaking my heart”?). But John was different. To me, no matter what that Breck fellow with the funny foreign accent says, there is just one America-the United State of Love.
‐John taught me so much about the way the other 99.3 percent live. One time we went to Jim Rassman’s cute little suburban house for dinner and there were these metal bands around the napkins. I glanced nervously at John. He caught my eye, and said quietly, “They’re napkin rings.” Napkin rings? I had never heard of them. “What are they for?”, I whispered, as Jim poured wine out of the box for everyone. “They’re for people who can’t afford to have their linen starched every day,” he replied. My mind reeled. Horrified, I looked square at John and said, “Can such poverty really exist? Something must be done.” Consequently, I have instructed my people in Bermuda to raise my tax contributions to 13 percent. We must go forward together.
‐The centerpiece of John’s national health-care reform agenda is my Home Remedy proposal. Ask a menial to get a handful of white raisins from your vineyard and soak them in Heinz Gin for two weeks; then eat nine of the raisins and take a swig of the gin before you go to work. It usually relieves your arthritis, and it really takes the edge off the day. Here’s another, a heady brew, for when you want to make your husband the president: you’ll need the eye of a newt, a frog’s toe, some wool of bat, one tongue of a dog (small), an adder’s fork, a blind-worm’s sting, and a lizard’s leg. Boil and let simmer. Add the scales of a dragon, a few wolf’s teeth, the maw of a salt-sea shark, and a root of hemlock. Stir well. Season with finger of birth-strangled babe (I’m against it, of course). Don’t forget the liver of a blaspheming Jew, a Turk’s nose, and the lips of a Tartar (all available at Dean & Deluca, but order in advance). Make the gruel thick and slab. It is a dish best served cold. Remember to wash hands, repeatedly.
‐I am Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira Heinz Kerry. Hear me roar.