I’d been invited to cover a competition whereby three comics were going to roast cookbook author and Salman Rushdie’s ex, Padma Lakshmi, as if she were curried butternut squash and chickpeas.
My friend and I got there and sat around the foyer waiting for the roasting room to open up, but the publicist who invited me–whom I like a lot–told me he just found out that contractually, no writers were allowed into the roast, just photographers.
Apparently, the producer of the show had spotted me and gotten nervous.
Huh? Why do a press event and not want press? Were they afraid I’d make mean jokes about Padma? But doesn’t a roast consist of mean jokes?
And I’ve been a friend of the Friars and even put them in the last Best of NYC issue!
I was horrified, but when it turned out the same publicist (who was having his last day there) also handles the Russian Tea Room and offered us a dinner there, I immediately lightened up and said, “Sure. How about right now?”
Our waiter was named Vladmir, and by the third course, I’d forgotten all about my Padma pain.