Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Sandy

SOLID GOLD: An eight page NY Mag write up on Sandra Lee.

Have I ever told you about the time that I bought Sandy's (cleverly titled) memoir for $1 at Housing Works as a joke for my friend Alison, and then "accidentally" started reading it on the train ride to her apartment and then couldn't hand it over until I finished it three days later and suddenly started defending her meatloaf and infamous Kwanzaa cake in mixed company? Yeah, that happened.

Moving on! Let's now turn to one of my favorite essays of all time, to hear Anthony Bordain's experience with the lady in white:

I’m standing there by the boeuf bourgignonne station, sucking down martinis with my wife (they drink a LOT of martinis in the movie), minding my own business, having an innocent chat with some friends, when I notice someone has their hand on me. An icy, tendril of fear runs down my spine. I turn and find myself looking straight into the deceptively attractive and reasonable looking face of Sandra Lee.
To make matters worse–and more…..uncomfortable, she’s standing next to her boyfriend, Andrew Cuomo, the Attorney General of the State of New York.

Now, I’ve said some unkind things over the years about Sandra. Far too many and far too terrible things to ever apologize for. Plus, I pretty much meant every word. Once you’ve seen Sandra making Kwanzaa Cake on YouTube, there’s no backing down . My head is reeling with the thought that one phone call from Cuomo and my last twenty years of tax returns are getting audited . I’m paralyzed, wondering what the statute of limitations is on various things I may or may not have done twenty years ago. Sandra is talking. I know this cause her lips are moving and she’s saying–overtly anyway, nice things. Like “You’re a very naughty man,” and she’s chatting amiably with my wife. But one hand is picking over me like the meat buyer at Peter Luger selecting a rib section–like some demonic bird of prey is poking and prodding, deciding where the weakest, most tender point of entry is, giving, as I recall, a point by point review of her investigations to my wife–who ordinarily, I have to say, would have been across the table with a tomahawk chop elbow to the top of the skull by now, but who, like me, sits mesmerized and grinning insanely, frozen by the ..bizarrenessof the moment which seems to go on forever as Sandra’s hand wanders upward, tugs an ear lobe and asks if my ears are red yet. (They were.) Having had her way with me, she leaves the emptied husk of my carcass teetering at the table and moves on.

I felt like the victim of a drive-by shooting. “What just..happened?” I said with a weak, trembly voice. I looked around to see if anyone else had noticed the quiet but very thorough disembowelment that had just occurred. Nothing. It had looked, to anyone who’d care to notice, like any other cocktail party conversation–but I knew better. I had looked into those eyes. I’d seen. Oh, she was smiling all right, but I’m pretty damn sure you could have dragged a rusty butterknife across my carotid artery right there at the table and her expression would not have changed, maybe only the eyes, they’d roll over white as I geysered onto the chafing dishes.

As we say on the show all the time, “What have we learned today?”

I learned that were a nuclear weapon to fall on New York, I’m pretty sure that if no one else, Sandra Lee would survive to clamber out of the rubble. That if it came down to a fight over the last can of food, she would surely emerge the victor.

I learned that I am truly and deeply afraid of her. And I’m pretty sure she’s a Democrat.

And for some completely unrelated reason, the photos of Cuomo and Lee remind me SO MUCH of Botwin and Reyes (possibly because Cuomo so closely resembles Mr. Tijuana, but most likely because I've been watching way too many episodes of Weeds before bedtime but that's also beside the point.) Can't you just imagine a fantastic Sandra scandal in the future involving a hidden tunnel straight from her sunny upstate liquor cabinet right to the heart of the Columbian drug lords? One can dream.

No comments: