"Give yourself a break, honey. How were you supposed to know there were two Wheaton Colleges?" I said to Ann Curry as she sulked while flipping through her morning National Inquirer, "You're a journalist for goodness sake. You can't be expected to be factually accurate without a working TelePrompTer in front of you. It was an easy mistake."
I was in a chipper mood this morning, so I didn't mind offering her a little TLC after her embarrassing gaffe at Wheaton College's commencement ceremony where she mistakenly raddled off a bunch of notable graduates who never actually stepped foot on the Massachusetts campus because they attended the other college in Illinois. She is one of my dearest friends, but she can be somewhat of a dingbat sometimes.
For example, I haven't had the heart to tell her that the National Inquirer she's always reading isn't actually the Wall Street Journal. But she appears so well-informed after reading it, so I don't make a fuss.
I do realize that this kind of an embarrassing mistake probably comes as a complete shock to most people - because she's usually so polished and poised as she's reporting the news to us every morning on “The Today Show.” But anyone who knows her like I do isn't the least bit surprised. She's been attending game night with the girls for ages now, and she still gets every one's name wrong and can't seem to remember what game we're playing at any given time. She's been calling me "Aunt Jermaine" for weeks. For a year before that, it was "Aunt Jemima" ... and before that, it was "Aunt Bernice." Of all of them, I favored Bernice the most.
"GIN!" Ann cried in excitement as she threw down her cards in triumph.
The reaction around the room was mixed.
"Well look at that," I said, "You do have Gin. But we're playing Poker, darling."
Laura Bush just rolled her eyes and took a sip of her Highball. Donatella Versace grimaced and threw a lit cigarette at her.
Betty White, delighted by the suggestion, reached into her pocket and pulled out a flask.
"I love gin," Betty said, taking a swig.
Appearing confused, Ann turned to Tim Gunn and said, "Teresa, so does this mean I didn't win?"
He looked at her with the lack of expression only found on “Orange County Housewives” just after a Botox party, and said, "Just make it work."
I said (as I pointed in Donatella's direction), "Honey, just go over there and sit next to Donald Versace. She'll teach you the game. I'm going outside with Lolita to smoke a bowl." I took Laura by the hand and off we went.
When I came back, the group was playing Twister. Donatella appeared to be winning (she is really quite flexible, that one). Ann was circling around a bar stool waiting for a signal to pounce on it. Rather than break the news that we weren't playing Musical Chairs, Betty awarded her for winning with a used BevMo gift card from her purse.
Love ya like a Full House of Gin,
For years now, Aunt Johnny has been doling out advice to celebrity friends and family - bringing a little dose of wisdom wrapped in wit, sprinkled with satire and sautéed in drama to those who can't seem to get their act together. He's helped to prevent fashion catastrophes, stupid career choices and petty romantic theatrics to some of the most famous names in show business and politics ... all from the comfort of his martini glass. Now, he's bringing his celebrity and pop culture buzz to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News. With tongue in cheek, he's taking pop culture shaken and stirred. Then he's shaking it some more.
To read the Ann Curry story, click HERE.