Tragicomedy

Ad Week’s profile of Virginia Heffernan opens, apropos of nothing, with the following anecdote:

“She said, ‘Fix yourself a drink; I’m going to get into something more comfortable.’ Just like that. She left me with a decanter of scotch and reappeared wearing a see-through baby-doll thing with furry balls. It was amazing.”
Things progressed, then took a turn.
“She stops me and she says, ‘Before we go any further, I need to know something. I need to know if King Lear is a comedy or a tragedy.’”
Rellie protested: “‘You’re kidding.’”
“‘No, really, I need to know.’”
He paused, then ventured: “‘It’s obviously a tragicomedy.’”
“‘I’m going to need you to leave,’” Heffernan said, as Rellie recalls. “‘Please leave now. It’s not your fault. It’s my fault. You’re going to have to leave.’ I pulled my trousers up and walked out into the street.”

Tragicomedy indeed.

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