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DIANE MAKAR MURPHY When elegant living meets truck driver's son ...



Published: Thu, August 1, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



I just had a great thought -- what if former Congressman Traficant and Martha Stewart could both be sent to the same prison?

"Martha, I'd stand back if I was you. I'm sensing a gastric disturbance coming upon me and I can't guarantee the general direction of the expression of it."

"Have you ever tried chewing on peppermint?"

"Peppermint?"

"Yes, of course. The warden has generously allowed me to turn the southeast corner of the exercise yard into an herbal garden which I've taken the liberty of planting with oregano, lavender, mint and more. Shall I get you a leaf or two?"

"Martha, if you do get me a leaf or two, I'll tell you exactly where you can replant them."

"Well, actually Jim, I believe the area against the chain link fence allows just the right amount of sunlight without too much moisture, and very few of the inmates seem to pace there."

"Martha, as far as your sunlight is concerned, I don't give a rat's ..."

Moving on

"Let's talk about hair conditioners then. A combination of egg whites and ground lavender would make a huge difference in your appearance."

"My stomach is startin' to rumble."

"Peppermint ... And Jim, if you DO get elected from inside your prison cell, do you think you could do something about this prison menu? I've suggested till I'm hoarse. I mean really, it doesn't take that much more time to make a green tomato and leek frittata than a bologna sandwich. In fact, I offered to show the prison chef an easy tomato pesto sauce, but I got nowhere."

"I'd like to send you somewhere."

"At least the Venetian Lace Hemstitch Linens improved the look of my bedroom."

"Your bedroom?"

"Cell. Whatever."

"Venetian friggin' lace ..."

"You know, Jim, one would think it would be difficult to smuggle in the necessities of life, but very few are looking for Venetian lace in a pound cake."

"Martha, I've been expelled from Congress, but that's going to be nothing compared to what I'm about to ex-"

"Actually, Jim, I don't know why everyone says you're so charming. I find you to be ..."

"Everybody KNOWS I'm charming. The only ones who don't know it are the no-good, rotten FBI agents who railroaded me here, the judge and prosecutors who denied me a fair trial, the lousy press that never got the whole story and the Congressmen who were too concerned with covering their own ..."

Decoration

"You're right. You are quite charming. Have you made a fall wreath for your door yet?"

"Uh, what?"

"A fall wreath. You know? To bring the autumnal beauty of the impending season to your front door."

"Martha, I don't have a friggin' front door."

"You can make quite an extraordinary wreath from pine cones and Pippin apples held together with thread from the prison sewing room."

"The ..."

"And by carefully entwining a lovely gingham ribbon, you will easily have a stunning welcome to your apartment."

"My ..."

"Congressman, don't you want to bring civility and elegant living to your environment?"

"I'm just a truck driver's son."

"Ah well, I'd love to chat a little longer, but I'm organizing a stain removal demonstration in the laundry. After that, it's tomato canning with the warden and his staff."

"Martha, I lost my reputation, my freedom and my seat in Congress. But being here with you, THIS is cruel and unusual punishment."

murphy@vindy.com




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