I just saw Frank Rich and Fran Lebowitz at the Strathmore Music Hall in a lecture sort of event. They sat in two chairs and talked about the State of the Nation. That was the show. Both their political stripes run bright blue. It was a Republican bashing boldly playing to the dangerous and hostile environment of Montgomery County, Maryland. Ha. They were both very funny. But what impressed me about both of them was their ability to speak in complete sentences. Even their short, pithy comebacks had a subject and a predicate. Frank Rich is from DC (Wilson HS) but is now a New Yorker and has been since he was the chief theater critic for the Times in the ’80s. Fran Lebowitz was not born in New York either. But I cannot imagine anyone being a more complete Manhattanite. Their comfort with language is astonishing. They both make their livings with the English language, yes. But how they manage to keep their thoughts so far ahead of their mouths and construct such elegant verbal masterpieces is beyond me. Their conversation is publishable. I can only think of a handful of raconteurs like this. Oscar Wilde. Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Johnny Carson, Carl Sagan, Hubert Humphrey… Ok, the list is actually very large. It certainly does not include me. I can’t get a full thought out of my mouth without a string of “ums” and “ahs”. Last night’s conversation was a virtual jam session of bon mots. There is no trick to it. Just be incredibly bright, know a lot and talk a lot. It is still impressive.