Pennsylvania: Land of Oz
A dozen years ago Dr. Mehmet Oz served me lunch. Forget pastrami. It was almonds, wet walnuts, Inca peanuts, flavonoid-logged dark chocolate, dried apricots, flat water with lemon.
Yesterday, I’m sitting in my kitchen, dog on my lap. Dr. Oz is on the phone. He talks quickly. Grabbing the broken stub of a pencil, I try to write down why he’s now a Pennsylvania Republican candidate for the Senate.
“My father came from a poor village in Anatolia and I visit my family in Turkey every year. But I never forget that I came here without a penny. My parents had nothing when we came.
“I am a passionate American. I cannot let my country down. Back when I was in an operating room I checked its safety. So now I cannot see this country in crisis without trying to help. I am immersed in America. I love America. Pennsylvania, home of my wife’s family, is now where I live.
“This running for office started as an aha moment. I’m in bed staring at the ceiling. I’m thinking, DC is wrong. Fauci’s wrong. Everything’s wrong. Boosters for children? It’s the family who should decide. Our government’s busy with China, Russia. How about being busy with just us here. Their irrational decisions are hurting us all. Failure’s not an option.
“If we fail, China wins. My TV show plays the world over and they say to me, ‘Please fix America.’ They look to us. But I’m a political outsider. I didn’t know how governmental parties work. I’m learning. I know I have the power to convene people. Like in the Pennsylvania town Old Forge, it was 300 people. A woman began crying. She worked just for tips in a restaurant. During the pandemic, she kept helping people and never saw a penny while our government hands out money to other countries that don’t reciprocate.”
OK, but what happens to your television career?
“I don’t know. I stopped my magazine. My eldest daughter’s now doing my show. I really don’t know.”
A silent film?
Francis Ford Coppola, 82, now onto a $120 million dream project, will put up much of the money himself. He says: “Doing research I eventually came up with the fact that the best hearing aid of all was one you could get from Costco.” What this has to do with his movie, who knows, but, listen if that’s where this multimillionaire shops: Can you hear this? Go there!
It’s my anniversary. I was married about when Lincoln trimmed his first beard. And the husband — not Lincoln — was a nice thing to have. But: We’re now a replaceable society. Instead of cooking, it’s takeout. Instead of driving, it’s Uber. Instead of a person, it’s a robot. Instead of a book, it’s a Kindle. Instead of an office, it’s at home. Instead of a home, it’s a share. Instead of writing, it’s a computer. Instead of hair, it’s a wig. Instead of movies, it’s streaming. Instead of a cigarette, it’s a joint. Instead of teeth, it’s an implant. Instead of a limo, it’s a bike. Instead of a camera, it’s a phone. Instead of a leader, it’s Biden. Instead of mink, it’s fake fur.
So: Instead of bitching and kvetching about feeding your in-laws, maybe we create something called Rent-A-Husband.
So far I have no creative plan on how to do all this — I’m just mentioning it.
Message to our pretend mayor: If you did something great for us, if you stayed off TV long enough to locate City Hall, if you actually accomplished something besides making speeches and welcoming the pig Bragg, we’d praise you instead of lousing you up. So stop bitching about the press.
Things are tough in our post-pandemic job market. One person complained he’d just been laid off. Asked where’d you work, he said: “The unemployment office.”
Only in New York, kids, only in New York.