Drugs, Pilfering, and Sucking Up

Patty Marx and Daniel Menaker

Drugs, Pilfering, and Sucking Up

Patty Marx and Daniel Menaker

Drugs, Pilfering, and Sucking Up
An email conversation about the news of the day.
May 11 1999 7:50 PM

Patty Marx and Daniel Menaker

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Oh, how delightful that you like me for my connections! Now if only an infamous social climber would try to befriend me, I will know I have really made it. Am I giving away too much of my value system? I'm just kidding, of course. I am after only truth and beauty and peace ... and the mementos of celebrities. Yes, I did steal one. A memento, not a celebrity. And I mean, borrow--not steal. I took a copy of the house keys of said (i.e. unsaid) celebrity. It's more decent than it sounds. The airline had threatened to cancel my flight due to bad weather, and so it seemed wise to keep the keys when I left for the airport in the event that I had to return to the hacienda, as you call it. That's not the main reason I kept the keys, though. I kept them because I wanted to send my host, who hates presents and needs almost nothing, a present that he could really use. His own house keys seemed like the perfect gift idea. Do you think it's immoral to steal stationery supplies from the office?

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You take St. John's Wort? Sounds too much like "wart" for my tastes. Also, I'm suspicious of anything that comes from a health food store. I like my products looked over by people who harm lab animals. However, I know of a woman who, unbeknownst to her husband, laces his orange juice every morning with an anti-depressant (I don't know which one). She claims his mood has improved dramatically. He now hates to go away on business trips, but doesn't know why. OK, now I think we're in the zone of immorality.

Just read the article you mentioned about lie detection. "Will we ever know what other people are really up to?" you ask. If we go through their drawers and read their diaries, we will. For your information, I never lie, not because I'm innately honest, but because I have a deep fear of getting in trouble. I am blind to other people's lies because I assume they, too, would never risk getting in trouble. The weakness in this thinking, of course, is that some people are arrogant or insane enough to think they will get away with lying, and they often do, especially if they are dating me.

You've asked a couple of times, so I think it's time I told you that no, Dan, I don't know Catherine Zeta-Jones. If you'd like, though, I'll try to meet her and ask her to do a book for you. I think our readers, if there are any, should know, if they don't already, that you are a very prominent book editor. Hmmm. I write books. Maybe I should suck up to you.

Righteously yours,
Patty

Daniel Menaker is a senior literary editor at Random House and author of The Treatment (click here to buy the book) and two collections of short stories. Patty Marx writes comedy for movies, television, and print. Her most recent books are Meet My Staff (click here to buy the book), a children's book illustrated by Roz Chast, and The Skinny (click here to buy the book) written with Susan Sistrom.