On the morning of October 2, 2009, like many of you, I learned about the attempted blackmailing of David Letterman. As I watched the clip of his Thursday night telecast, and observed Letterman’s masterful retelling of the events leading up to revealing his affair and subsequent role as victim of blackmail, I found myself yelling at the screen. I was yelling at the blackmailer, are you some kind of idiot?! What are you doing?! You never, EVER, back a professional comedian into a corner! They will CUT you!
And sure enough, in my opinion, that blackmailer got owned. You know he was thinking, I’ve got Letterman right where I want him. Unfortunately, the blackmailer ignored my number one universal truth, never, ever back a professional comedian into a corner. Now we’ve seen the result. The blackmailer was doing his best Dirk Dastardly laugh, meanwhile Letterman was prepping to go on HIS show on NATIONAL television and tell everyone, you know what? I did have sex with female staff members. Obviously the blackmailer was already in custody, but you know he saw it somehow, and Letterman telling the world his $2 million secret had to be an extra punch in that guy’s gut.
If only this man had known my number one universal truth! Therefore, in an attempt to prevent future tragedies, I thought I should share my short list of universal truths.
Number one, never, EVER, back a professional comedian into a corner. They can, and will, CUT you! Anyone who watches The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Colbert Report has probably witnessed this universal truth first hand. It eventually happens that one of them has a guest who is “highly educated” and/or an “expert” and they decide to take Stewart or Colbert to task. Stewart will usually take a hit or two, but just when the guest thinks they have subdued Stewart, he will come out with an uppercut that would make anyone cry. We’ve all seen Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire, right? There is a short list of people I fear, Jon Stewart is probably in my top ten. (Ironically, Anthony Bourdain, who I get to meet in November, is on the list too. Lord have mercy on my soul.)
Number two, always be nice to maintenance personal and people in the service industry. They bring you food, fix your toilets, ring out your purchases in a store, etc. Yes, those guys. It always pays to be nice to these folks. The less you would want their job, the nicer you should be to them. Trust me, you’ll be richly rewarded.
Number three, a compliment is a compliment. Recently I was joking with some friends about going to a strip club. I hear the strippers will buy me drinks if I go, so I’ll be drinking for free. My husband helpfully pointed out, you realize it’s because they’d be hitting on you, right? This prompted a round of laughter from the group. My response, so? I’m straight, I know I’m straight. Why should I get weirded out if I think a woman is hitting on me? More or less so than a man hitting on me? Let’s do a little straight talk here people, I’m 33 years old, with some acne that would probably bury most teenagers, and the cutest little pot belly that makes people go, is that a cute little pot belly or is she starting a baby bump? Ladies, if you want to tell me you think I’m hot….THANK YOU! My vanity far outweighs any sexual hang-ups I may be lugging around. You find me attractive, you compliment me, well thank you. I’m happily married to a wonderful man, but it is always nice to have someone say, hey good looking. To reiterate, a compliment is a compliment. Fellas, some gent gives you a line, thank them. Would you prefer no one letting you know that you still got it?
Number four, never withhold information about a death in the family from your children. They WILL find out before you tell them and they WILL hold it against you for a very, very long time.
Number five, you should always be clear about what you want, and never be afraid to ask questions, but at the end of the day, you need to let professionals do what they do without pestering them. They are professionals for a reason, give them a little trust and more often than not, you will be greatly rewarded.
Number six, always, ALWAYS, look at how much money goes to the actual charity before buying something for a “good cause”. If you really believe in the organization, just cut them a check. A $275 necklace may say I support a cause, but when only $5 goes to the organization it also says, but I don’t care enough to give the actual charity any real money.
Number seven, it’s okay to be annoyed by stupid people, as long as you’re able to recognize when you’re being the stupid one.
Number eight, I am not a rock star. You’re probably not either.
Number nine, if you’re in junior high or high school, and you have a friend who is aggressively trying to set you up with one of their friends of the opposite sex, it’s because they have a crush on said friend. Don’t ask me how I know, just trust me on this one.
Number ten, all the really cool people read The Magical Buffet. It’s a universal truth!