From The Vault: Where Martha Stewart Went Wrong
I wrote this original article for the June 27, 2002, edition of The Breeze. While I too am getting sick of schlepping out all my old junk from the vault, this week has not been conducive to sitting and writing. It just hasn’t. Forgive, please. I promise original, awesome stuff here soon. This particular article is kinda special though because it won me a Nebraska Press Association award for column writing (second place still counts, right?). Enjoy, and remember my promise for new stuff soon. Oh, and I can’t believe I got away with the hooker remark toward the end. Yikes!
Okay, I get it. There are some people who want to burn Martha Stewart at the stake.
If you don’t know the story by now, here’s a wrap-up: Congressional investigators are examining whether Martie (that’s what I call her; she calls me Davy) had inside information when she sold nearly 4000 shares of ImClone stock.
Sure, Martie is the chairwoman of the NSA–the regulatory department for this very kind of illegal activity–and the sale of said stock came but a day before the FDA announced that it decided not to consider ImClone’s application of their experimental drug, intended to combat colorectal cancer.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
You really delude yourself enough to think Martha Stewart–who could fashion a kicky, tasteful sweater jacket out of the hide of a roadkilled skunk–hasn’t already invented her own cure for colorectal cancer?
She has. It’s called Martha’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Prune Bomb Casserole (episode 548).
Anyhootie, because of her scandalous stock sale–which she maintains had nothing to do with insider trading–people would give the soil from their daffodil gardens to see America’s sweetheart in an orange jumpsuit.
You know, that’s NOT a good thing.
I don’t like Mothra (sometimes I call her that too, but only in private) a whole lot.
I didn’t like her Daisy Petal Tossed Salad (episode 64), I hate the way her beady eyes barely mask a woman on the very verge of homicide, and I would rather give her a wooden stake through the heart than see that mop of hair on my television.
But, I think she’s fallen victim to something I find myself struggling with constantly.
She’s too perfect.
The woman is a stinkin’ genius, for the love of refrigerator magnets made from cow dung (episode 87). Can you name anyone else on Earth who can turn the world of homemaking upside-down, make it seem exciting, all the while behaving like she’s bored out of her ever-loving mind?
Do you know anyone–just off the top of your mullet–who can make an atom bomb out of dryer sheets and Palmolive (episode 007)? And your cousin Darrel doesn’t count!
Quick. Tell me the name of any other 1001-year-old woman who looks like she just turned 70? (Martha’s Age Inhibitor, episode 609.)
I think the world owes Marta (every now and then I call her that, but usually only as our safe word) a big, fat, stinky thank-you for all she’s done for the world of flowers, curtains and dishes.
Seriously, are you not thankful for the truth serum she taught you to make from Crest Whitening, Bacardi, Tetley tea and Drano (episode 440)?
If it weren’t for that serum, you’d still be hunting greedily for Aunt Edna’s last will and testament. And her dentures. (Great cleaning concoction made from Clorox, hydrochloric acid and mothballs, episode 2.)
So get off your soapbox, Hilda Homemaker! Quit complaining. Because Martha made it glamorous for you to do exactly what you’re doing right now: Sitting around the house acting like it’s a full-time job to make it pretty. Hint: It is.
Think about it. What did Maggie (every now and then I use this one, but only if Madonna’s around and things get complicated) actually go wrong?
Here’s where she went wrong: She was smart.
And that just curdles your yogurt (excellent recipe, episode 8878).
Let’s say you were Martha Stewart (which is just sacrelige if you ask me, but play along here) and CEO Sam Waskal–whom you may or may not have shared an intimate evening or two with in the dressing room at K-Mart–calls you to tell you to sell, sell, sell. Sell like hell.
What do you do? That’s right. You get on your phone with the shoulder rest you created from denim scraps from your ancestors’ pants (episode 452) and you sell.
You sell like a two-dollar Hungarian hooker who hasn’t eaten in three weeks and has to pay the pimp. That’s how it works.
That’s smart business, and unfortunately for Martha, her life is her business.
Some people say they buy her sheets, but they don’t buy her story. You know what I say to those people? I say ‘good choice of words’ (I’m a sucker for a mixed metaphor).
Martha Stewart sold her $200,000 worth of stock to avoid losing what amounts to pocket change among her ilk, and wound up losing millions for it.
Shouldn’t that be punishment enough? I mean the woman spends $200,000 a day on shampoo and conditioner for that ragamuffin haircut of hers.
For the love of everything pretty and neat, Martha literally burns $200,000 a night. (Recycled paper, lighter fluid and anthrax, episode 17.)
Plus, those beady little eyes are hiding something utterly sinister.
So get off her back.
Otherwise, I’m pointing my stubby fingers at you when she finally snaps and goes ‘homemaker’ on all of us.