Slate's 10th Anniversary

I Like A Hot Towel, But Is That Asking Too Much?

Dear Susan,

It’s your lucky day, because I have answers to all your questions. I will address them in seriatim (I hope you’re impressed with my Latin–it is Latin, right?). Actually, I won’t answer them in seriatim. (By the way, seriatim comes just before the word “sericeous” in the dictionary, sericeous meaning “finely pubescent.” Huh?)

Golf–it is ridiculous. It’s reason enough to distrust Bill Clinton–sorry, William Jefferson Clinton. By the way, I think I’m going to refer to you from now on as Susan Jefferson Orlean, in honor of the New Portentousness.

In re: the slobbos of the Senate. Actually, I was going to make fun of Bill McCollum for going on his first date with Monica in a jacket and tie. I think Asa “The Softer Side of Sears” Hutchinson had the look just right. You know who I’d like to see in a good-looking gabardine pantsuit? Henry Hyde. There’s a picture. (Gabardine: “a firm hard-finish durable fabric twiled with diagonal ribs across the right side.” Alternatively, a “coarse long coat or smock worn chiefly by Jews in medieval times.”)

But speaking of hair. The most interesting story I read today was in yesterday Times, a piece about some news anchor in Connecticut named Janet Peckinspaugh who is all frosted because she got canned by her station. Here’s one priceless line from the story: “She said that one night, after she had her bangs styled off her face, a group of colleagues gathered around a television monitor to poke fun.”

To be fair, she’s also claiming sexual harassment by her male co-anchor (who would imagine a male TV anchor capable of sexual harassment?) But then I lost all sympathy, when I read that her station, as part of her contract, once agreed to provide “hairdressing services Mondays through Fridays at a salon mutually acceptable to you and the station.”

Now here’s my beef–I’m a journalist too, except without bangs, and yet, no one’s paying for my haircuts. Does The New Yorker pay for your haircuts? I would just love it if my editors arranged for me to have regular haircuts at a mutually acceptable barber. I’m easy to please–I’ve had the same haircut since I was 12. All I need is an old Italian guy with scissors. And hot towels. I like a hot towel, but is that asking too much?


Jeffrey Jefferson Goldberg