April 10, 2007

At a New York City midtown gentlemen’s club a few years ago, I was asked to repeat a joke told to me by a friend who happens to be Israeli. The joke is as follows: An Israeli lands in Tel Aviv carrying two large suitcases. The customs inspector asks him to open one. Inside are fifty thousand dollars in one dollar bills. “What is this?” asks the inspector. “I used to work in public restrooms,” says the man, and every time I saw a man having a pee, I went up behind him, take out this enormous knife and tell him to give me one dollar for Israel otherwise I will cut off ‘you know what.’ This is the result. Fifty thousand for Israel.”
“Well done, you’re a patriotic Jew,” says the inspector. “But what’s in the other suitcase?”

“You’d be surprised how many people hate Israel,” answers the man.

Two days later, in the Washington Post, I read one Lloyd Grove (not his original name but Anglo-Saxonized for effect)saying that I had made a terrible anti-Semitic joke and the WASPS around me had been embarrassed, some of them going as far as leaving the room. It was of course a terrible lie—something in which a crummy product of Grub Street like Lloyd Grove specializes. I was, obviously, not only because the joke was actually philo-Semitic, but because no one mistook it for anything else or walked out of the room. In other words, Grove was making it up.
Grove had been present only because the host of the luncheon,  Captain Chuck Pfeiffer of the Special Forces, a double silver-star winner in Vietnam, holds an annual party for media people just before Christmas. Needless to say, because of the whopper he published, it was Grove’s last luncheon in this particular venue. Fictitious enterprises are the heart and soul of low journalism, and no one is lower in my opinion than Lloyd Grove. The reason he did what he did was obvious. Just that week I had launched The American Conservative magazine, so he needed to put a kibosh to it with an anti-Semitic slur against me. I vowed to kick him in the ass the next time I ran into him, although I had no recollection what he looked like.

This week I found out. He was pointed out to me by Chuck Pfeiffer himself at the chic drinks party Georgette Mosbacher threw for Christopher Buckley’s terrific new comic novel Boomsday. The trouble was that had I cooled this slob in full view of the journalists and opinion makers present, it would have not only hit the gossip pages, it would also have detracted from Christo’s brilliant book. (Buckley, incidentally, is a friend of the lowlife Grove). Yet another reason for a sense of restraint on my part. And to tell you the truth, time has cured the urge to teach a lying slob like Grove a sharp lesson. Let him peddle his bull**** about others for a change.


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