Sunday, March 26, 2006

Howard Stern and Katie Couric in the Bathroom Together

Howard Stern faced the mirror that spread from wall to wall above seven bathroom sinks that were under mounted to black granite. The fixtures were brushed nickel. The floor tiles were tumbled marble. The stalls, though, were your standard issue aqua metal partitions with metal swinging doors. Howard was alone, so he felt comfortable fussing with his long hair. The formula he used that morning to cover the gray blended well, but he made sure that some silver strands remained, a device he did not really think worked to cover his hair vanity. He loved his hair. He stroked it, played with it, curled it in his fingers. It made Howard feel young. Afterall, it was a full head of hair. Not a chance he was going bald, and so he was going to flaunt it.

The door swung open and in walked Katie Couric.

"Howard," said Katie.


"Thank you for coming," Katie said in a business like manner.

"This is a little weird, meeting in a hotel bathroom. The ladies room, even. Kinky, but weird," said Howard.

"I'll get right to the point," said Katie.

"Let me cut you off there. You think I am stupid, like I don't know why you paid off someone at the Hilton to make this basement bathroom a safe house for you and I to clandestinely meet. You want me," Howard blurted this out in his usual style.

"Yes, Howard, I want you. I want to know what you really think of Les Moonves," said Katie.

"That's a cover. You want me, here, now, in this bathroom, in any way you can have me. Let me just say, Katie, that, well, that you are a little short and getting a little too plump for me, but I am game. I like the hair. I want to play with your hair. I like being in the ladies room. With you, Katie."

"Howard, we do not have much time. You and Moonves hate each other. But let me just ask you, did he do everything he said was going to do? Did he go back on his word? You know why I am asking?' said Katie.

"This is business? This is about business? Nope. I refuse to believe this. This has got to be about me," said Howard.

"I am being offered lots of money and lots of control over at CBS. Many promises are being made by Moonves. In your opinion, will he keep them?" asked Katie.

"Based on my experience with Moonves, you are asking? You want to know whether Moonves the dirtbag will keep his promises based on my experience with him?" Howard said this with a tone of seriousness.

"Yes. Based on your experience," said Katie.

"You're perky, Katie. You got that perky thing going on. And you are also transparent. You are here because Les Moonves has sent you on your first assignment. He wants the goods on me. He wants me to confess that he is a man of his word. And he sent his new perky little anchor to see if she can perform a simple journalistic assignment. Hey, this ain't a war zone, baby, this ain't Viet Nam, this ain't Iraq. You want to cut your teeth on hard journalism, and you think you can do it with Howard Stern in a hotel bathroom?"

"Howard, calm down. Someone will hear you. Les does not know I am here. I just want to know if I am making the right decision." Katie whispered this, loud enough for Howard to hear it across the several feet of space in this heavily tiled echo chamber.

"Les. We are calling him Les already? I'll tell you anything you want to hear, just let me see you in the nude," said Howard.

"Can you be serious about anything?" Katie was getting irritated.

"Sirius. I am Sirius. Howard Stern and Sirius Satellite Radio is one and the same. OK. OK. I am joshing you. I do want to see you naked, though. I suspect that you have sort of let things go, haven't you, Katie. Been concentrating too much on the hair and makeup and not the hard work that a hard body requires. But that's OK. Perky and plump. That will work over at CBS. Take the job. Prove to the world that all you need do is read a teleprompter, look good from the neck up, and have a little trust value to be a television news anchor. You are the future, Katie. I have always said a good woman with some good lighting is all you need to have a little fun." Howard could keep going, but he was starting to bore himself.

"I'll take that as an endorsement of Mr. Moonves," said Katie.

"You're a C cup, right?" Howard asked.

"You'll never know." Katie turned on her heal and walked out of the ladies room. Howard turned and looked at himself in the mirror. He smiled and stroked his long thick black hair.

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