The Lady is a TrampCould be due to lack of sleep, could be the hormones, or, quite simply, it just could be that I really, really despise Patti LaBelle -- whatever the reason for this post of snark, I witnessed an abomination to top all abominations on the A&E channel, December 23, starring the flamboyant and ever so annoying Ms. LaBelle. She “performed” for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Wangari Maathai, alongside Cyndi Lauper (who I adore), Tony Bennet (dear Jesus, haven't seen the dude in quite a while, but I‘ll be damned if his nose hasn't sprouted arms and legs), with Oprah Winfrey and the delicious Tom Cruise hosting the event. Others performed as well, but I missed most of the first half. Anyway.
Mr. Bennet’s voice was in good form as he spun round the stage in typical septuagenarian style, a little careful, a bit shaky as he whirled and weaved to and fro. Was nervous that he might teeter off balance there for a minute, but he did just fine. I was glad when his set ended.
Then came Patti. Overblown, gargantuan Patti, imposing, disturbing, raucous Patti, who swept in like a garish hot air balloon and devoured the stage lights, just sucked them in black hole-like, along with a few of the audience members who’d been unlucky enough to have front row seats. Nightmarish as that was, the real terror was only beginning. Patti put her hands together in rhythmic time, her paddywackers clacking to the opening beats of the most beloved homage to skanky whores ever written -- “Lady Marmalade.”
Yes, dears, you read that right -- Ms. LaBelle chose to honor the esteemed Wangari Maathai with a song about whoring, and never a prouder moment existed within the realm of TVLand. I sat dumbstruck, my mouth dribbling a thin line of drool as I watched the debacle. My friend O, just as dumbstruck, dropped her cigarette, thus burning a hole in her tutu, and proceeded to rock back and forth muttering “Clowns...I see scary clowns...clowns...”
But it only got worse. Ms. LaBelle thought it a good idea to invite various mentally challenged men from the international audience to join her on stage, goaded them, chided them to dance for her, to sing, to humiliate themselves before God and their countrymen. She cruelly flitted about, pranced and hooved around the unfortunates, her face gleaming as she batted her two foot long false eyelashes at them, reveling in their obvious stupor. Then, oh sweet mercy pie, then...she lifted her dress, almost but not quite exposing her ancient nether regions, kicked her legs high, uncomfortably high as she thrust her hips and shook her gigantic bosoms in the faces of the terrified men.
This lasted for the good part of an hour, I kid you not.
gitchy, gitchy, ya ya...
It went on and on and on.
gitchy, gitchy da da here...
The camera cut to Ms. Maathai, and she was politely swaying, applauding, smiling -- but I knew what she was really thinking. Ms. Maathai was thinking, “I see clowns...scary clowns....”
I’m sure she ran for the exit soon as the performance was over, jumped on the waiting jet, downed many alcoholic beverages during her flight back home, then, upon arriving, knelt to the tarmac and kissed it gently, murmured grateful things to her god, then collapsed with relief under the golden African sun.
To Ms Maathai: I hereby regret the horror you were forced to endure, and I, on behalf of all right-thinking Americans, officially apologize. We are deeply sorry, and we are not about to let Ms. LaBelle’s actions go unpunished. There will be a public wet sponge throwing, tentatively scheduled for January 15, 2005, in the city of Los Angeles, state of California, to be held in the Kodak Theater at 5:00 p.m. Pacific time. The honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger will, if schedule allows, preside, and perhaps throw the first sponge, but that’s all up in the air at this point in time. Again, our sincere apologies, and may you deem us worthy for future visits.