Funny Business with Jane Wells

A Different Sort Of Statement To The Madoffs

Bernard L. Madoff

Nancy Barrie-Chivian lost money to Bernard Madoff, and says she's part of a "Madoff Survivors Group".

While all the heartbreaking messages were read in court today, Barrie-Chivian decided to try to bring a little humor to the situation by writing the following "letter" to Ruth Madoff last night.

"We have so little to smile about", she wrote me.

Below is the full letter.

Dear Ruthie,

A group of crime victims from New Jersey plan to attend your husband's sentencing on Monday. Since morning traffic heading into the City is so unbearable, we thought it would be more convenient and less taxing to avoid the rush hour commute and stay in town Sunday night.

Hotel rates are now unmanageable for us, so I wonder, because your penthouse has 4 bedrooms, if you could accommodate 6 or 8 of us -- perhaps 10 if you have a pull-out sofa in the den. We can all dine together -- how's 7:30? You needn't fuss -- light fare is okay. I'm not sure who among us is kosher, so something in addition to lobster should be on the menu. Fresh organic baby greens and a variety of grains from Grace’s Marketplace will satisfy our vegetarians. And a well-chilled Puligny Montrachet would be splendid; I'll let you know if anybody drinks red.

After dinner we can retire to the leather bound library to enjoy a ceremonial sip of Bernie's fine cognac, light up a Davidoff from the mahogany humidor, and view the televised flurry of anticipation over the coming event. We'll have to agree beforehand on a suitable channel to watch, which I propose as dinner conversation. We can construct our own critique of key coverage, and would encourage your participation. (We like projects that provide distraction from our pain). Coffee service and a tray of petit fours would be a lovely gesture at this time, during which we may speculate on Judge Chin's wisdom and integrity, circulate a prepared grid sign-up sheet, and ante up for a betting pool. Though, given our recent streak, I imagine some will be skittish about gambling. Ruthie: a nice idea is for you to sweeten the pot with a few K -- or $2.5 million.

A small box of truffles from a Madison Avenue chocolatier, placed on each pillow, would be a thoughtful touch, the leftovers of which we will surely appreciate Monday if for any reason our energy lapses at The Rally. As a matter of fact, a truckload of assorted fine chocolates and bottled water to pass among all the demonstrators would be a generous act ... and possibly your last chance to spend our money. I'm sure I needn't advise you as to fresh fabulous bed linen and the requisite array of luxury toiletries; perhaps you'll provide a take-home goodie-bag to commemorate our little slumber party. Note: striped PJ’s for all.

The best part is that we won't have to get up early and schlep across the bridge or tunnels! We've endured enough hardship over this. The group requests a nourishing breakfast, please --(we'll need sustenance for the big day). Great recipe idea: a dollop of Beluga on the Eggs Benedict. We’d like a selection of pastries from Payard as well, and sufficient tin foil for the road. You remember the Catskills .... Oh, and we'll require champagne with our orange juice. Break out the Cristal we bought you.

So ... we'll be in good humor, bright-eyed and daisy-fresh when your driver takes us down to the courthouse. I hear you may not be joining us, but that’s okay – likely you’ll be tired, not having slept much Sunday night.

Thanks in advance for your hospitality. I know you have a lot of packing to do, so I won’t take more of your time. Sorry to have run on and on, but I’m fond of long sentences.

Looking forward--

Nancy Barrie-Chivian

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