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Thursday, January 27, 2005

John Negroponte: The Early Years

I noticed that the Wikipedia bio entry for John Negroponte is lousy with errors and omissions. Terrible errors! An infant could research and write a more accurate biography. I'm a busy woman, but I will spare a few minutes to correct a few of the more glaring errors.

Negroponte was born in London. No. Negroponte was born in a station wagon outside of Wichita, Kansas. His mother was driving at the time, and she nearly crashed the wagon when, from the depths of the womb, John expelled a grapefruit that quickly lodged itself under the break pedal. Then he popped out himself.

His father was a Greek shipping magnate. True. And his father would often infuriate the maid by leaving his wet bath towels on the bed. Later, he discovered that this woman was not the maid but a licensed physical therapist who kept getting locked in the room.

He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1956 and Yale University in 1960. Partially correct. John graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1954, then disappeared into the forest for two years. He emerged from the woods two years later to accept his diploma. He has never spoken of this lost time, except to say that he enjoyed it thoroughly, and can "talk some sense into squirrels." At Yale, Negroponte was often seen lying on his back in the corridors, gesturing as if conducting an orchestra. "A woodland orchestra," he once told me over a bottle of Tia Maria.

Negroponte speaks five languages. Negroponte speaks six languages. Wikipedia omits the woodland squirrel language Ra-aa-AA-ch. Some linguists claim Ra-aa-AA-ch is not a true language, but a Norwegian dialect.

Some of these errors make me wonder if I'm thinking of a different John Negroponte entirely. I don't know anything about Negroponte's life after Yale. My phone calls to Honduras rarely got through, and he stopped answering my letters when my tone grew "screechy."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nothing is so admirable in politics as a hot dog."
-John Kenneth Galbraith


12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am in love with this blog. The blog itself, mind you. I want to have babies with this blog.

9:24 PM  

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