OK, so the Iranian president is more dickhead than dictator.
But Abraham Lincoln he’s not. However you classify him, the fact that his lowly, bullying, anti-Semitic un-eminence is holed up in New York City at the moment, the fact that he is even there at all, is somewhere between outrageous and better-than-Broadway theater of the absurd.
The fact that he’s dispatching his minions to the nearest Duane Reade drugstore is either wildly inappropriate or hysterical, depending on your point of view.
Is there no bath soap in Tehran?
Obviously, Mahmoud’s flunkies would need to snap up an awful lot of Irish Spring just to clean up their prez’s dirty mouth, before he even gets near the shower.
But then maybe Mahmoud only favors plumbing powered by enriched uranium, in which case he’d be shunning his Warwick Hotel suite’s bathroom anyway. It might explain the “tieless tyrant’s” ongoing schlub-on-the-make style, the look that has become his trademark whether he was ever going for it or not.
But back to Duane Reade, as great a New York institution as any — even if it is being bought out by Walgreen’s. You can get anything there, from a frozen pizza to a fresh pair of underwear from Hanes.
Duane Reade mixes it up just like New York, a veritable Times Square of merchandising, pure and heady retail freedom, and one of the reasons why someone like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is probably both repulsed and spellbound by it.
Another great thing about Manhattan is that for all its greatness, it’s relatively compact. On their next Duane Reade run, Mahmoud might send his minions downtown to check out the World Trade Center Memorial — it’s pretty big, and easy to find — and report back to him on their findings.
Maybe in the evening, after freshening up with all their Duane Reade man-doodads and looking spiffy in their new Payless shoes they could pop into a bar in Chelsea, say around West 24th and Seventh, mix it up with a drag queen and try their luck at not getting arrested for flinging hate speech at the bartender.
They say travel is education. Nobody goes to New York to take notes, but wouldn’t it be nice if A’jad & Co. did just that for a change?