You can imagine Jane Hambleton was pissed when she found booze under the front seat of her son Steven's car, and grounding did not seem like enough of a punishment. "I'll show that little bugger who's boss," she said to herself. And she put an ad in the local paper, the Iowa Register:
OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.
Well! She thought she would get a response but didn't think it would be from all the way in New York! First, Good Morning America flew the family out to appear on the show. Then Jane got a call from Today — apparently they were so charmed by the Hambletons, they were going to break their hard and fast don't–touch–it–if–it's–been–breathed–on–by–Diane Sawyer rule. But then Oprah called, and she wanted exclusivity. Then Ellen called, and she wanted exclusivity. Everyone wanted a piece of the Hambletons! What would they do? They threw up their hands. "These people are crazy!" they said to themselves. "Let's go back to Iowa to figure it out. Things are simpler there."
'Meanest Mom' Sells Son's Car, Family Gets Quite a Ride [WP]
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to a regulatory filing, Lehman CEO and chairman Richard Fuld, possessor of what is probably the most villainous face on Wall Street, received a nice little present this year: a stock grant valued at $35 million. This is way up from the $10 mil he made last year, basically because Lehman's losses from underwriting of mortgage-backed bonds were not as bad as analysts expected. You'd think he'd at least smile.
Lehman CEO Recieves Stock Grant of $35 Million [WSJ]
Peter Blake, New York's first architecture critic, died this week at the age of 86. An architect himself, Blake was known for his stylish, refined orthodox modernism (even though he hated "modernism" as a term). His writing for the magazine, as a columnist from 1968 to 1976 and then on and off for another twenty years, was similarly polished, a refined voice in an age too often given to unrefined buildings. Here's his witty conversation with the late Philip Johnson, published on June 9, 1996, shortly before Johnson's 90th birthday. —Christopher BonanosMagic Johnson [PDF]
Peter Blake, Architect, 86, Is Dead; Designed Houses in the Hamptons [NYT]