One of the more hilarious exchanges I ever had with Virgil occurred when he told me about meeting Ivana Trump, the ex-wife of millionaire mogul Donald Trump.
Virgil wondered how much a beautiful bra had to cost to make Ivana think twice about buying it.
"I don't really look at the price," Ivana explained, taking the question quite seriously. "When I go to Bloomingdale's, to the fourth floor, I go there for two hours and I buy 2000 of the black, 2000 of the beige, 2000 of the white. And I ship them around between the homes and the boat, and that's the end of it for maybe half a year, when I have to do it all over again."
When I first heard this, I couldn't help wondering whether it might have been things like that that drove Islamic terrorists to bomb the World Trade Center?
A friend of mine calculated that with 6000 new bras every six months--that's a total of 12,000 bras a year--Ivana must be changing her underwear every hour.
What does she do with the old ones, I wondered? Take them to the Good Will? Send them to poor women in Afghanistan and Iraq? More than 800 million people in the world are hungry. Surely no one should be having 12,000 bras until world hunger has ended and everyone has enough to eat?
But another friend, skeptical of the whole story, checked it out on the website of the New York Times, and found that it was indeed listed in a special section of the paper, headed "Mistakes." As it turned out, the correct total of Ivana's purchases was a mere 72 bras, not the alleged 12,000. She actually buys a dozen of each, in three colors, twice a year.
When I confronted Virgil with this, he said with his usual papal certitude: "Oh well, everybody knows product information is notoriously unreliable these days." Virgil definitely loves breaking through the bullshit.