By which we parse that parrot cage lining people call "Dan's Papers" (but is really Brown Publishing's Papers, or Jimmy Finkelstein's News Communications Papers) for all its subtext and stupidity. Mostly stupidity.
This week Dan got lost in the Metropolitan Museum. He wandered around the hallowed halls of the museum trying to the remember the name of an artist a gracious girl had gone out of her way to give him.
Well, really, he creepily slithered up to her and made a subtly racist pass.
"You look like a hot little Oriental, tell me. What's your favorite painting in this here museum? I mean besides the artwork and weaponry of the heathen Chinee?" he asked. She rolled her eyes and told him. Then he asked her where it was. She told him. Then he asked what floor. She told him. Then he asked what room. She told him. Then he asked the dimensions of the room. She told him. Then he asked the cieling height. She told him. Then he asked where in the room it hung. She told him. Then he asked how to get there. She shot him.
Turns out, after much searching while he held in the blood of his bullet wound (he seriously went back downstairs to find her and asked her to write it down, and then went back upstairs) he stood in front of the all-too ellusive painting. His reaction? Meh.
He decided to stalk through the museum, find the girl once again, and actually tell her how underwhelmed he was by it. And the angels in heaven cried out: "Run, you poor volunteer at the Met, run like the wind!" And she did, because he couldn't find her. But he'd be back. Oh, he'd be back to tell her what he thought. And when he does, you can rest assured of her reaction. "Huh?" She'll say. Then she'll shoot him.
But back in Bridgehampton all sorts of things were going on not in the Hamptons. Barbara Walters was recovering from surgery, Alec Baldwin was boring swaths of graduates at NYU, Gwyneth Paltrow was consulting a raging drug addict about happy marriages, another novel came out about the Hamptons and shockingly it covers the wealth of the area, and Dan's due to read from his Meh-moir as soon as they find him wandering out from behind the Temple of Dendur.
He kept trying to reach his son's cell phone, but David Lion had his devil horn fingers pumping in the air and was too busy rocking it out to hair bands in Montauk. "What!" he yelled to his friend beside him. "My bone is singing?! Oh, hell yeah! Woo!"
For David Lion it was all the calm before the storm. Before the droves came like locusts and descended upon the Hamptons. It was a time to reflect. Get a few things done. Like empty out the bay with a hand pump. He was devising a new strategy to deal with the oil leak in the Gulf. He just couldn't understand why, when he sucked the bay through one end of the hose, and dumped it back into the bay on the other end, why oh why, didn't the bay drain already?
He gave up. And fell into the slumber of a king. He let his poors fill out the police blotter. They filled it with jokes. Incidents they'd seen at the supermarket. David slumbered. "andamememememe..." while his cell phone rang and rang.
Finally outside the Metropolitan Museum, lonely, tired and disoriented Dan closed his phone. That painting sucked, he thought. She sent me up there on purpose so she could do her Oriental hoo-doo and switch around the museum on me so I can't find my places to write. It's all a big joke to those slanty-eyed people, he huffed. Then he kicked a Central Park carriage horse in the ribs. The horse neighed in pain.
"Aw, knock it off," Dan gruffed. "You like the hustle and bustle of the city, you little bitch!"