Anatomy of a Column
eggy Noonan completed watching the “Death Valley Days” marathon on her old black and white Philco television set in the back bedroom at the Aviary 2, the name she christened the new Penthouse (so large, so chic), when she buzzed the concierge.
“A horse, a horse, half my kingdom for a horse,” she whispered into the phone. They quickly made arrangements for a riding lesson in The Park. Watching her beloved Ronnie in the greatest western television series ever inspired Noonan to give horseback riding another try, her previous attempt had ended in failure at the Reagan Ranch in the hills above Santa Barbara, and of course 30 years of mocking from her nemesis, Nancy Reagan.
Noonan shuddered thinking about Nancy’s scratchy voice bellowing over the hills, “Hey Ronnie look! A horse with two asses!”
“This time,” Noonan sniffed, “things will be different.”
Just like for the GOP, she mused. “Whatever word means the opposite of snakebit, that is what the Republican Party is right now.” Noonan took a thoughtful sip of her Mai Tai as she changed into her riding togs, red coat, and black boots, funny cap, and just as quickly changed her mind. “Western saddle, that’s what Ronnie would want.”
Changing into denim jeans, and a plaid flannel blouse, Noonan mused further on the luck of the GOP. “One reason they are feeling hope is that they have received two big and unexpected gifts from President Obama,” she grinned to herself, “The first, of course, was his political implosion—his quick descent and speedy fall into unpopularity, which shaped the outcome of the 2010 elections.” She cursed under her breath while struggling with the skinny jeans that seemed to stop at her ample calves. “Fuckin’ cleaners must have shrunk them,” she snarled as she took a deep quaff of Mai Tai, and tried to peel off the jeans. She worried that she might look like a turtle that rolled onto its back as she struggled to pull them off, writhing on the floor.
“Obama’s second gift, of course, is how he reacted to the election’s outcome in a way that suggested he’s still in his own world, still seeing a reality no one else is seeing,” Noonan huffed, out of breath. Noonan giggled at the thought of the very smart and unlikable man sitting at her beloved Ronnie’s desk not being aware he was not political enough, too serious, too substantive, and no one could see the size of his achievements.
Grimacing, Noonan thought about how the media was going to treat the incoming GOP freshman class, “The mainstream media this January will be looking for the nuts,” she thought as she slurped the pineapple wedge. She had seen this before when the new Republican Congress came in in 1994. The spirited Helen Chenoweth, freshman from Idaho, talked a little too much about “black helicopters.” She was portrayed as paranoid and eccentric. Bob Livingston, from New Orleans, went to his first meeting of the Appropriations Committee wielding a machete. The new speaker, Newt Gingrich, was full of pronouncements and provocations; he was a one-man drama machine.
Iced to the eyebrows, Noonan poured herself out of the cab at the stables in The Park and asked the driver to stick around for the return trip home.
“Howdy, Ma’am. What do you want to do today,” the friendly instructor asked her.
“As Mrs. Patrick Campbell once said, I don’t really care what people do as long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses,” Noonan said as she slipped off her coat, and Lady Godiva-like, mounted her steed.
World Exclusive Photos!
Our intrepid photojournalist, DistributorcapNYC was there!