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If You Want to Talk about Yourself, Don't Be Around Nancy or Mookie

If you’re a journalist and you are about to go cover a war and you want to talk about it to people so you can vent some nervous energy because you’re a tad concerned you might be blown to smithereens and maybe talking about it will calm you down a smidgen, well, there’s two people you should not be around while you’re trying to express yourself; Nancy Silverton and Mookie Betts.

Right now I’m on an Air France flight to Paris and then to Yerevan, the unsung capital of Armenia and from there I’ll make my way to Artsakh, aka Karabagh, where the Armenians are at war with the Azerbaijanis. Can’t explain that now.

But, last night, that Nancy Silverton, the revered chef and, more importantly, my girlfriend of almost 20 years, says we are going to a “socially distant” dinner party at our relatively new friends Jackie Applebaum and her husband Stephen over in Beverly Hills, up there in Trousdale Estates. 

So we get to this sleek house and everyone is very nice. I’m talking to the bartender – of course, I am. Glen a Mexican German. Serious. He father was in the American Army. Had a German wife. We’re talking and Jackie and Nancy saunter over.

“Tell Jackie where you’re going?” Nancy says.

“Nah. This isn’t the place.”

“Why?” Jackie says. “Where are you going?”

“Tell her,” Nancy says.

“Armenia.”

Jackie knows about the situation. “I saw the demonstrations on Wilshire. So why are you going?”.

“I’m gong to go cover the war “

Jackie stares at me for a second, then slowly turns her head toward Nancy.

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I know what she’s gonna say to Nancy, a version of “Are you okay with him going to cover a war?” or “Did you try and talk him out of going?”

So Jackie looks intensely at Nancy. And she says, “So I hear you’re doing an event on October. 31st at the Ojai Valley Inn.”

Jeez, lady, I’m going to dodge cluster bombs and you’re more interested in Nancy giving tips on how to grill a ribeye.

About 20 minutes later, I’m in the front room and Game 7, Dodgers/Braves is on a 80, 90 inch TV. A party guest walks over.

“Wow. I just heard you going to go to Armenia and report about the war. Are you scared? Who you writing it for? Should be fascinating. What are you thinking?”

Right then, Mookie Betts shows up, He’s racing back to the outfield fence, he leaps, robs an Atlanta Brave of a home run. What a catch.

“Holy shit! Did you see that? Mookie made the same catch yesterday.”

He starts to walk away, to the dinner in the backyard, but turns back to me and says “We got ‘em by the short and curlies. Yeah, we got ‘em by the short and curlies.”

Me, I’m thinking “Fuck your short and curlies. I’m about to go to a war zone and you’re talkin’ about short and curlies.”

As for Mookie Beets. Damn that was a sweet catch.

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Anyway, I’m flying over someplace called Rouyn-Noranda in Canada now and I’m off to cover a war. Who knows what will happen. One thing I know for sure, though. I gotta be back October 31. Nancy is doing an event at the Ojai Valley Inn.

Michael Krikorian
Krikorian Writes