Friday, April 22, 2005

What do you say to Ken Lay at a party?

Tony Curtis, the famous actor, was in Houston recently, being feted at a River Oaks home, where among the party guests was none other than Ken Lay, who may go to prison because of the illegal dealings of Enron.

You've gotta wonder if guests at the party steer around the Enron topic if they find themselves standing by Lay in the line for the bean dip.

I'd guess yes. But if you greet Lay with a standard conversation opener, do you dare ask, "Hello, Ken. What's new?"

Lay could take that as an innocuous question.

"Oh, not much, Bob. What's new with you?"

Or he could take it as sarcasm.

"Whattya mean by that, Bob? WHAT'S NEW? Do you ever read a newspaper? Watch TV news? Have a radio?"

Maybe Lay would just be honest.

"Well, Bob, I spent six hours with the lawyers today. Going over my testimony, the depositions, what I should wear. The fashion consultant says a simple blue Brooks Brothers suit. But not a red tie. A red tie is a power tie, they say. They want a green tie. Green is a friendly color, non-threatening. That's what the color consultant says."

Maybe you could talk about baseball with Lay. No, No! That might lead to the Astros, which might lead to where they play, Minute Maid Park -- which used to be ENRON FIELD!

The stock market? No, not the stock market. The market was the root of all Enron's evil.

The weather? Yeah, the weather, so long as it's not the weather in California. Could lead to all that business about ripping off California consumers on their electricity bills during that long hot summer.

But the weather in Houston? OK. But that will only take up five minutes, tops. Followed by that long, awkward silence, and the wistful sigh.

If Lay's upcoming trial does comes up, should you tell Lay that "I'm pullin' for ya, Ken. It'll all turn out OK," even if you want him jailed the rest of his natural life?

Possibly. Lying in such uncomfortable social situations is completely acceptable.

Even if you lost beaucoup bucks on Enron stock? That might be tough. Lying in this case would only make you feel like a worthless hypocrite, and why make yourself feel bad all over again? You didn't do anything wrong. Just tell him he has a great lawyer and that he's in good hands.

Wait a minute. Tony Curtis is at this party. You could talk about Tony Curtis.
He was in Spartacus. Spartacus was a prisoner, though. Bad topic. He was in The Boston Strangler. Way too dark a movie, with prison overtones. Not that one. Some Like It Hot? Cross-dressing men competing for the attentions of Marilyn Monroe? Fun movie. Jack Lemmon and Tony. High on the all-time great comedy lists. Talk about that one. Then get your bean dip, tell him it was nice to see him and pretend you see someone across the room with whom you simply must converse.

Tony Curtis
[Shelby Hodge High Society column, first item]
[TonyCurtis IMDb filmography]


IThinkThereforeIAm said...

Good article.

To answer your question, I guess you could do something sorta in between acting as if nothing happened, and interrogating him, like asking, "Say, Kenny, did you just double-dip? Yep, I'm pretty sure you just double-dipped in the beans. Hey everyone, Ken Lay just double-dipped!". Then maybe hold a mock trial on the whole double-dipping situation, with Tony acting as Ken's counsel. All in good fun of course ...

Anonymous said...

How do you know what parties and places Ken Lay might show up at? Heck, we might be at the same Polo match or Private Island and never rub elbows.

Could we a get a Ken Lay Sightings going.

You know, which restuarants and golf courses he fancies. He has got to have good taste and if its cool with Ken it's got to be a happening. So do us a favor and let us know where Kenny Boy is liable to pop up next.