The Breakfast Table

The Nice and the Nasty

Dear Wendy,

If I ever, ever implied that you were/are a “nice” person, please take this as an apology. I know you’re a vicious–and perhaps also a viscous–dumpling (the latter sounds like something you’d encounter in Chinatown). Believe me, all I intended was to say that you were positioning yourself as a nice person in order to make a certain rhetorical point: which is just what a vicious dumpling would do. And by the way, I much prefer Terrence Rattigan to John Osborne. Don’t you?

Wendy, it has been a joy corresponding with you. The way you stood by me on the fourth amendment issue of my right to use dots, in the face of all the pressures that an organization like Slate can bring to bear…well, I won’t forget it. On the other hand, I’m profoundly relieved at the thought of reverting to my usual two-and-a-half minute perusal of the morning papers, augmented by things I overhear people saying at cocktail parties. I feel far too well-informed at the moment.

xxooxx ooxxoo,