The Secret Life of Kitty Lyons: Ted Turner

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The Secret Life of Kitty Lyons by Maggie Cutler  


Turner Loose

No wonder comedy is harder to write than tragedy: Tragedy is so predictable! One minute you’re happily married; the next your husband cheats on you and you pretend to forgive him and the third minute you’re road trash the world drives by.


I say this because, of all the multi-billionaires the world now offers, Ted’s the one I’ve always wanted most. I know he’s sixty-one and I’m only thirty-two, but he’s so feisty and adolescent, and I get so excited by enormous wealth and power, I don’t think the father-daughter ratio matters much. And with his $6 billion — and 1.7 million acres of ecologically correct real estate — even if Jane bites off a big chunk of him in their divorce settlement, a girl could still do okay. Besides, moustache aside, Ted has the bearing and moves of a real Item — the sort of man you might want to straddle even if he hadn’t given $1 billion to the UN.


So imagine my shock when I read in the Daily News that Ted is dating Karen Rosenfeld — a “brainy brunette” of twenty-eight — someone even younger than I! Am I too old for this sexagenarian? That’s harsh.


But I’m like Ted: it’s not in me to accept either defeat or the obvious. Just as he invested in cable “before cable was cool,” (as he says) I boldly invest in a few harmless fictions that will woo Ted away from this underaged interloper.


After cornering him at an art gallery, I maneuver him into a back room right away, where I drop a Viagra into his spritzer. Then I undo all our buttons while flaunting my superior intellectual credentials:


Karen says that she taught “Sex and Gender”? I tell him I teach Sex and Sports. That gets his jacket off. She spoke to Clinton about adultery and oral sex? I spoke to His Holiness the Pope about bondage and hair shirts, the details of which gets me down to my push-up bra and lace panties. She’s working on her doctoral degree at Columbia? Well, funny thing, so am I! In fact, just like her, I want to interview him for my dissertation on the role of critical thinking in media. (I have the ingenuity to add that I’m twenty-seven.)


By now we’re stark nude and bulging in all of the appropriate places. We clear the gallery dealer’s Eames desk of a fortune in priceless paperwork with one wave of our tingling arms and fall into each other’s mouths as hungrily as a couple of supermodels on the Jane Fonda Diet.


I soon learn that Mr. Turner isn’t called the Mouth from the South for nothing. The man is more oral than Oral Roberts, and a lot more friendly. His tongue is quick and pointed, and everything he does with it makes my network hierarchy tremble and roil.


He rises up over me suddenly like a miraculous RCA satellite dish and starts broadcasting sexiness to all of my parts at once. I caress his surprisingly hard body — I especially like his shoulders — and compliment him on how he made television safe for wholesome, traditional family viewing by banning interesting movies from his network. Flattered, he lets me guide his vibrant signal into my little black box.


As his notoriously loose cannon pounds my wholesome traditional American target market, I can see myself frolicking with the buffalo on his 127,000-acre ranch, learning to fish for trout in his fourteen-acre, man-made lake, lounging around his Tara-like plantation. His lasting power prompts me to fantasize turning Jane’s workout room into a Tantric emporium where I spend sex-saturated hours distracting Ted from how he got out-maneuvered by Gerald Levin in the AOL-Time Warner merger. After three hours of slow, hyper-aware body work with me, his demotion to Time Warner’s Vice President in charge of Nothing Much seems like a damn good idea to Ted.


Squinting though the grey hairs on his chest, I tell him how he’s a great, gray lone wolf, sun-baked and weather-worn but ardent, his grizzled paws still powerful as his content-acquiring jaws. This gets him so excited he yells, “Fuck that corporate snake-in-the-grass, Levin!” Then he goes limp as a cashmere throw.


I, for my part, feel tremendously and uniquely clever about cooking up all of those phony credentials to get Ted into my arms, until I read, the very next day, that Karen Rosenberg’s academic achievements were nearly all embellished or fake, too. At that point I realize that Ted is just too gullible a mogul for me. Besides, Max is such a film snob, he’d die if I ran off with the guy who colorized Citizen Kane.