On being married to an environmentalist
(The following is adapted from a speech given at Earth to L.A.,
an NRDC fund-raiser.)
Larry and Laurie David
Thirteen years ago I met a materialistic, narcissistic, superficial,
bosomy woman from Long Island. She was the girl of my dreams.
She read People magazine, watched hours of mindless television
and shopped like there was no tomorrow. Finally I'd met someone
as shallow as me. I was hopelessly in love. We got married in a
touching ceremony in Las Vegas. The cab driver who witnessed it
was deeply moved. But then after a few short months I began to sense
that something had changed. She started peppering her conversation
with words like ozone layer, sustainable forestry and toxic runoff.
The very mention of the word diesel would bring on back spasms.
I began to notice new people hanging around the house, people who
were not in show business and wore a lot of tweed. Clearly something
was amiss. She was growing. How hideous. But what was now all too
painfully obvious was that I, Larry David, the shallowest man in
the world, had married an environmentalist.
Who is responsible for this odious transformation? I blame
it all on the Natural Resources Defense Council. Specifically
one Robert F. Kennedy Jr. One day my wife heard him speak, and for
all intents and purposes, that was the end of my marriage as I knew
it. He poisoned her mind with all his talk of clean air and clean
water. My advice to you: Watch out. He's tricky. Very, very, tricky.
Because I can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that the woman
who lives in my house and occasionally sleeps in my bed is not the
woman I married. The woman I married would not interrupt me after
30 seconds in the shower and tell me, "That's enough. Get out!
You're wasting the water." The woman I married would not scream
at gardeners and threaten to call the police if they didn't turn
off their leaf blowers. The woman I married would not chastise me
for flushing a toilet. That's right, flushing a toilet. This is
where I draw the line. I said, "I can take shorter showers,
I'll even shampoo and condition without the water on, but you'll
never get me to stop flushing. I was raised to flush. I enjoy flushing.
It is one of my few pleasures. You will not take that away from
Once I came home from playing golf. "What are you doing?!"
she screamed. "Don't you dare come in here. You've got pesticides
on your shoes. Those golf shoes cause cancer. I don't want them
in my house!" But the worst of
it was the night I got a call at work. It was 10 o'clock at night.
I was doing a rewrite. "Your wife is on the phone!"
"Mitsubishi's building a salt mine in San Ignacio."
"Honey, I've got a show tomorrow."
"Didn't you hear a word I said? They're endangering the gray
For the next two years I couldn't have one conversation
without hearing the word Mitsubishi. "Mitsubishi, Mitsubishi!"
She was obsessed with Mitsubishi. She'd go up to strangers on the
street. "Don't buy anything from Mitsubishi. They're killing
the whales!" Then she dragged me down to San Ignacio to see
the whales. For three days I slept in a tent, drank from a canteen
and conducted my business in an outhouse. She actually got to touch
a whale, and had her first orgasm in six years.
Last year a friend of mine hit on hard times. No job, in
debt, had nothing, about to get kicked out of his apartment. I loaned
him $5,000. "How dare you loan him money. You could've given
that money to the NRDC."
"But he has nothing. He's starving."
"I don't care! Let him starve."
I thought I hit pay dirt with Seinfeld. I wasn't the one
who hit pay dirt. The NRDC hit pay dirt. No sooner do the residual
checks come in than they go out to the NRDC. I gave them so much
money one year that lawyers were calling me up "Mr.
David, we're thinking about suing Dow Chemical. Do we have your
"Sure, go ahead, we're about to sell third cycle."
So please, ladies and gentlemen, I implore you. Do what
you can to help clean up this planet so I can get my wife back.
I don't have that much more time. Thank you.