Up front, let me say that I’m not the sole author of this column. I had help. While I’m the principal writer, I’m rather the reporter here. In the interest of transparency, this meeting of the minds took place at an undisclosed location at an undisclosed time with a number of undisclosed people at a regular meeting of an undisclosed club in an unusual place where the undisclosed club had never met before. Got that? Mysteries are there to be solved.
As I sat down with my lunch at this undisclosed meeting with undisclosed people at an unusual undisclosed location, the conversation turned to last Monday night’s debate between the Democratic and Republican nominees for president of the United States. Again — in the spirit of total transparency — the people at my table were M.K., C.H., L.M., S.K. and B.C. — got that?
The focus of our conversation wasn’t foreign policy. It wasn’t ISIS or the dozens of other topics that we should have been talking about. No, our conversation centered around a commandment that any man who has ever lived with a woman understands: Thou Shalt Not Call A Woman Fat.
You would think a man married three times would know that by now. Let me explain. The Republican nominee got into a pissing match over the 1996 Miss Universe winner and the debate went like this:
Hillary Clinton: “One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy.’ Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name: Her name is Alicia Machado.”
The Donald didn’t have his happy face on — if he has such a thing. Trump fired back, “Where did you find this? Where did you find this?” Clinton was happy to respond, “She has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet she’s going to vote this November.”
The Donald, not known for backing away from a sinkhole, doubled down the next morning on Fox and said, “She was the winner and she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem.”
This is where a thinking man would have said to himself, “Back away from the cliff,” but as my undisclosed table mates at this undisclosed meeting at an unusual undisclosed location all agreed, his refusal to accept the fact that he had broken one of the cardinal rules turned what should have been a one day story into one that had (pardon the expression) legs that lasted into the weekend.
Men, particularly married men, quickly learn not to take the bait. When the woman who shares your name, as Dick Yarbrough is fond of saying, asks how she looks in a particular dress, your reply, as a thinking man’s should be, is, “Babe, you’re gorgeous.” I don’t care if the dress looks like it just came from the landfill. If she asks, “Do you think I look fat in this dress?” Never, ever, say, “Yes.” If you do, it ceases to be about the dress, big boy.
Why would you lie to the woman who shares your name? Because if you don’t, you will get no peace. Check your thesaurus for other appropriate spellings. Capisce?
The same thinking applies to political candidates. You can’t call a woman “Miss Piggy.” You can’t say “Miss Housekeeper” because it’s no longer about Machado, it’s about what every woman looks at when she’s brushing her teeth in the mirror each morning. That brings up something else worth remembering. It starts with “Hell has no fury” — you know the rest. Machado has been waiting for this “gotcha” moment for 20 years.
Trump thought he could enter the mouth of the dragon and not get scorched. Maybe he thought he could talk his way out after swallowing Hillary’s bait, hook, line and sinker ? He still received an old-fashioned butt whoopin’ for his trouble. He forgot: When you talk about a woman’s weight, be dishonest. You’ll live a lot longer. Capisce?