INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - David Letterman chose the Arby's on SW 41st Avenue in the city of his birth to reflect to a hastily-gathered, exclusive group of reporters about the charges of sexual impropriety that have recently plagued him.
Smells of the new $5.01 French Dip and Swiss Toasted Sub-Combo lingered in the anticipatory atmosphere as Mr. Letterman, host of Late Night with David Letterman, addressed the crowded restaurant, puffing on his signature cigar, his characteristic gap-toothed smile noticeably missing.
Earlier, Manager Joey Ringo, 47, had unsuccessfully attempted to get the beleaguered host to snuff the cigar out, citing anti-smoking laws. After Letterman ignored his feeble warnings, he finally gave up, posting "private party" signs at the main entrance and locking the doors. He then took up a position behind the reporters, hulking and looking quite green.
Mr. Letterman began with an apology to his wife, Regina Lasko, and son Harry. Then he looked long and hard at the mostly male reporters. [Dorothy Letterman, known for her occasional guest spots on her son's show, was the sole female, inconspicuous in the back of the room.] When he spoke again, Letterman's tone had shifted.
"Why is everyone so surprised?" he asked. "I mean, after all, I called my production company 'Worldwide Pants'. These trousers have dropped all over the world, folks!" he said, winking and tugging at his pants legs.
Taking a long pull off his cigar, he continued, "Until my show, it was a desert out there for me. High school?! I was the geek -- the gangly, knock-kneed, gap-toothed geek. Even the fat girls dissed me.
College was no better. I had lost the pimples, but I still couldn't score for the life of me," he chuckled. "I went to BALL STATE University for chrissakes, but it was no 'ball state' for me! It was more like 'blue ball state'!
No girl in her right mind would give me the time of day. In fact, I was so funny looking, they wouldn't let me near the camera - I had to do campus radio. No TV for this mug," he grinned widely, pointing to his own face.
"I'll admit it now - I was a virgin until I was 21, when I met my first wife. Michelle was the only one who ever even let me get past first base!"
He surveyed the reporters, shaking his head. "Look, you regular guys have no idea what it's like. It's not just me, it's the same with any guy who's got any kind of fame or power, especially in the entertainment industry. Look at Phil Spector. Ugly as sin, hair like a deep-fried Carrot Top, way too old to even get it up, but he has to beat hot women off with a baseball bat!
You have a show like mine and suddenly they're showing up in your dressing room with nothing on and holding a bottle of Glenfiddich 1937. Yeah fellas, Glenfiddich," he said, clutching his cigar between his front teeth, "That's one 'n', two 'd's' and a very good year"
"Never heard of it, have ya? It's mighty tasty, that Glen-n-n-n-fiddich! Especially when you're licking it off some woman's -"
Before he could finish, Letterman's mother quickly pushed her way from the back of the crowd and stood in front of her very surprised son, smacking him hard upside his head. "That's enough outta you, Mr. Fancy Pants!" she yelled. "You and your Glenfiddich! I'll Glenfiddich you!" she said, smacking him again.
"I have half a mind to raise that precious boy of yours myself, so he never has to grow up knowing his Daddy's such a boneheaded skank!"
She followed him as he made a quick exit, beating him about the head and shoulders with her handbag.
Repeated calls to Mr. Letterman's publicist following the interview were not returned.