The Bruni Digest

In which I sit on a dirt mound somewhere in Brooklyn with my ears pricked, waiting for New York Times head restaurant critic Frank Bruni, who I imagine to be a Venetian count in a huge ruffled collar, to dole out stars from the inside breast pocket of his brocaded chamber robe. This blog is predicated on the suggestion that every Wednesday, in the Times Dining Out section, Frank lays a huge faberge egg of hilarity.

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Location: New York, New York, U.S. Outlying Islands

I am fiscally irresponsible, which means I have weak bones and a dorsal fin. And a penchant for dining out, even though I am, in the words of many rich people, a "poor people". I make a different face when speaking each of the foreign languages in which I am shittily proficient.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Gat DANG these newfangled TERLETS!

"This is an article in which euphemisms will be crucial," the Count admits, rubbing his baby-soft hands together hungrily: by "euphemisms," he means "lots of absurd Brunisms MWA hahahaha."

In fact, I can’t help but feel like Frank’s shitsposèe this Wednesday (“Forget the Specials, Explain the Restroom”) was very British. I felt Frank’s glee bristling through every dainty circumlocution and side-winking euphemism.

Times etiquette binds the Count to tasteful hinting: pee-pee is “catharsis,” a flush of the toilet is a “cleansing aftermath to your departure,” or better still, an “adequate denoument.” And the search for a stall, or, to adopt Frank’s term, a “commode,” is a dubiously entertaining sport:

“I indeed understood … that doors with arrows on them were for men while doors with crosses were for women and the door with both signs was up for grabs: a lavatory jump ball.” It’s a little like tetherball only the ball is made of doodie and you’re standing in a toilet.

But as a sculpture of Star Jones made of fine crystal is still, at the end of the day, just a wall-eyed truffle pig, so the gilded linguistic filigrees that Frank drapes on this article like so many strewn thongs on a Hunt’s Point curb cannot entirely shield the fact that we are talking about Frank’s time in the crapper. Take this intimate moment, per esempio:

“… whenever I was using [a toilet at the Modern], someone in the communal area would rattle the door, not to mention my composure.”

See, call it a “commode,” call it a “farewell station,” call it a “relaxation ass-chalet,” for all I care; Frank can’t hide the fact that he’s painted a portrait of himself shivering in fear on a sleek Scandinavian crapper with his tights around his ankleboots.

“It's an exercise in stress, an invitation to exasperation. You tread tortuous paths to befuddling destinations. You encounter too little space or too much whimsy, the funhouse flourishes sowing enough confusion to warrant operating instructions, which a few restrooms actually have. You wish - oh, how you wish - that you never had to go.”

Maybe the trauma of the sleek Swedish stainless steel cheese-grater toilet paper at the MoMA was the last straw?

Well, here’s where the strident pink of my jackasserie fades into the benevolent lilac of good will: I’ve actually had this Moto-Pooper shipped to Frank’s house. Problem solved!

Now no more scary things like spiral staircases: “I foolishly attempted this ascent with a Côtes du Rhône in my left hand, leaving only my right to grip the metal rail. Upon reaching the top, I encountered a visibly bemused server.” I wonder what he was so bemused about, Drunky McToilet-Wino.

And no more newfangled “'LECTRIC” terlets, neither:

“’Like every electronic device, it has good days and bad days,’ said Adam Tihany, whose design firm installed it in the bathrooms at Per Se in the Time Warner Center, where I recall performing a kind of desperate calisthenics in front of one of these sensors in a futile effort to impress it.” Well now you can put your leggings away, Frank.

So did the calisthenics work? I hear jellicles can and jellicles do.


Blogger Michelle Collins said...

Ahh, if only I could be a fly on the wall of your Google image search, Jules, if only flies could pull triggers to blow their brains out from insanity.


I'm crying blood tears of laughter.

1:58 PM, May 09, 2005  
Blogger Jules said...

No, it's true, I hope the government is surveying me, just so that a man in a van outside my house with a telephoto lens can capture me plug the words "TOILET ELF" or "POOP SCOOTER" into Google.

2:03 PM, May 10, 2005  

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