My gracious host and employer has given me permission to touch the Sacred Macintosh today on two conditions: that I put out my ciggies and keep liquids away from the keyboard. Right on, chief.
My mail has been piling up, so I'm here to answer it. If you ask me, it's a little early in the day for a lady to be out of her boudoir and dealing with the public, but if I don't get some of these questions out of the way now I'm going to be late for my massage.
Q. I notice you always seem to have a cigarette hanging out of your mouth. Isn't it tough to get the smoke odor out of your fleece?
You should get a whiff of my relatives. They should be so lucky as to smell like a nice, fragrant Pall Mall on a spring morning.
Q. Were you offended when Franklin referred to sheep as "fluffy, grass munching poop machines?"
As a lifelong practioner of Taoism, I find I can only pity the anger at the core of Franklin's being. It causes him to act out in this way. As Lao-tzu said to Confucius, "Put away your proud air and many desires, your insinuating habit and wild will. They are of no advantage to you; this is all I have to tell you."
Q. I notice that in one of your photographs you're wearing a red bow and purple glasses. Are you a member of the Red Hat Society?
Please consult your nearest English dictionary for the definitions of "bow" and "hat" and you may be shocked at what you learn.
Q. You are so mean. What did Elizabeth Taylor ever do to you? You are just a bitter old sheep living on somebody else's nickel and she is a beautiful, beloved legend whose fame and beauty will never fade.
Liz, I'm banning your IP address so don't bother trying to write anonymously again. It's not my fault that I turned out to be right about Eddie Fisher. Get a life, honey.
Q. Since you're living with Franklin, are you in a position to tell us anything juicy and revealing about his personal habits?
How long have you got? We could start with the way he sometimes pretends to be Cokie Roberts while he's listening to "Morning Edition" on NPR in the mornings. And then there was the time I walked in on him in the bathroom and he was singing Olivia Newton-John's "Please, Mister, Please" in front of the mirror using his beard trimmer as a microphone. I would tell you about what he keeps in the little box under the night table, but it's time to move on to the next question.
Q. Where are you from originally? Can you tell us something about your early life?
I was born on a small, rather exclusive sheep farm in a lovely corner of Vermont to Mr. and Mrs. Harold Van Hoofen. I have far too many siblings to name, and as I don't speak to most of them anyhow it doesn't matter. I was always a little different from the other sheep, and from an early age preferred curling up in the barn with a dog-eared copy of Euripides to running around the fields rolling in my own excrement. Call me a rebel.
Q. I, too, am a student of the classics. I consulted the Columbia University library about getting a copy of your doctoral dissertation on the Oresteia of Aeschylus, and they were most unhelpful. Would you send it to me?
I would love to, but my only copy is currently in the possession of Professor Eugenica Doxiades of the Faculty of Ancient Literatures at the University of Athens. Ask me again in six months, I figure she'll have finished plagiarizing all the good parts by then.
Q. Are you dating anybody? What happened to Emilio?
Emilio who? No, I don't have a steady beau. There's just too much good ploughing in Chicago for a girl to stick to one acre, if you know what I mean.
Q. I love you. Will you marry me? I enclose a picture of myself. In the event of a favorable reply, I stand ready to relocate from Manitoba to Chicago.
As I stated in answer to the previous question, I'm not looking to settle down any time soon. However, if you wish to become a stalker, I am sending an application by return of post. Thank you for your kind inquiry. (P.S. What would your mother think if she saw this picture of you, you filthy pervert?)
Okay, enough of this. Mama's gotta make herself pretty for the world at large.
Your faithful correspondent,
Dolores Van Hoofen