My son J.T. managed to seriously shorten my life by inviting close to 75 young people to my house for an end-of-the-year party, among whom I found some seriously beautiful girls who were out way past their bedtime. My routine for my children’s bashes is a simple one. I train hard either in judo or karate, work up a very good sweat, shower, shave, put on my finest Anderson & Sheppard suit, go to the drawing room where the main battle is about to take place, and start downing vodka and cranberry juice. I never touch food, as it produces a hangover the next day. After about one hour and around five drinks, I am feeling no pain but am completely lucid.
Then the scrum begins. My friends, writers such as Lewis Lapham, Terry McDonell and Jay McInerney, come in first, then the wave hits. One thing I’ve noticed about American ‘good family’ youths and their Brit counterparts, the former don’t puke their guts out all over the place, nor do they break things. Sure, some fall asleep, but there’s never any violence. That’s reserved for stately-home British types, and I’m glad to report only one young Brit was at my boy’s party and he behaved impeccably.
Around 6 to 9 a.m. I started to ask the young things to leave, but only because the staff were passing out from exhaustion. More than 50 bottles of Château Lafite had been drunk, and I’m only talking about the red wine, young people today preferring white. Despite the carnage in my cellar, only one boy was found asleep under a piece of furniture a few hours later. See what I mean about the difference an ocean makes? I felt surprisingly chipper after four hours’ sleep, but then, slowly but surely, it catches up with one, especially if one’s been bad the night before the big night.
This was the Bright Lights, Big City author’s fault, who scheduled his blast the evening before mine. By the time I arrived at 21 Club, the place was jammed and I couldn’t make any headway. One man in particular was anchored in front of me, so I shouted ‘EXCUSE ME’ as loud as I could, but it was like asking an Albanian to wash his feet. A total waste of breath. So finally I gave him a push and broke through. ‘Do you know whom you’ve just pushed?’ said a friend of mine, smiling like the cat that’s swallowed the you know what. It turned out to be the governor of New York, and blind to boot. I quickly went over and apologised profusely, but the gov just smiled and said, ‘Don’t worry about it, people have been pushing me around all my life...’ It made me feel real good, as they say out west, so I headed for the bar and alcoholic redemption.
Things did not improve when my great buddy Michael Mailer, son of Norman, arrived with his new blonde and very beautiful girlfriend. Boys will be boys, and soon we were being busybodies and rather obstreperous. That is when I noticed a man staring at my unlit and unfiltered Lucky Strike, which I had in my mouth and removed only while downing my drink. It is my way of protesting against Bloomberg’s tyranny, so I challenged the man with that boring old threat ‘So what are you looking at?’ followed by looks that kill. ‘Nothing at all,’ said the stranger. ‘I like unlit cigarettes.’ It didn’t make much sense, so Michael butted in with, ‘What’s it to you?’ The poor man was at a loss but smiled politely and then the penny dropped. ‘Weren’t you a big shot once?’ said I. ‘The Veep?’ He smiled. ‘Yes, Dan Quayle, nice to meet you.’ Nice going, I said to Michael, and then we both burst out laughing like two school kids.
So, here we are, about to enter yet another new year, with both Iraq and Afghanistan still killing fields while we dance the nights away. Abdullah of Saudi Arabia arrives in New York in three jumbo chartered jets, drives to the city in 40 stretch limos, then commandeers the VIP floor at the New York hospital, and his entourage turns the Waldorf Astoria into a pigsty with long-term reservations of American clients ignored and Americans being asked to leave their rooms for the Arabs. Oil money doesn’t talk, it screams. The Brits were first in prostrating themselves in front of oily types. The Swiss and Yanks are not far behind, not to mention the Frogs.
Mind you, why should anyone care about injustice when we have Alan Greenspan (past chairman of the Federal Reserve), Robert Rubin (then Treasury Secretary), and Lawrence Summers (his deputy) still riding around in style giving interviews instead of being behind bars being interviewed by their lawyers. These bums were once put on the Time cover in 2009 as the committee to save the world, as infamous a cover as if Gaddafi was placed on the best-dressed list of all time. Journalists still pursue them and ask their opinions, and these three shameless jerks continue to offer them to all and sundry.
It is an unfair world that is becoming unfairer by the day, and with this I shall wish you a very happy new year and retire to my chalet in Switzerland and the warm embrace of the mother of my children who is threatening to murder me after the three greatest weeks of my life.