Ricki Does the Heights
by Mark Goldblatt


The news that Ricki Lake was at work on her first novel, tentatively titled SOPHIE'S REVENGE, called to mind an obvious question: would this sudden literary turn affect her afternoon talk show? So I tuned in last week, and there, sure enough, sat the four principal characters of Emily Bronte's 1847 classic WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Dressed in period attire, they were seated in canvas-backed chairs lined up across the stage: Isabella, Heathcliff, Cathy and Edgar. Off to the side, just in view of the camera, sat a woman in a business outfit whom I did not recognize.

"Heathcliff narrowed his eyes..."

I hit the volume just in time to hear Edgar declare: "The man is no gentleman, Ricki. He will not bow out gracefully."

"BOW OUT GRACEFULLY!" Heathcliff shouted. "Can the earth bow out of its orbit? The morning out of its day? How, therefore, can a soul bow out of its flesh?"

"She is married to ME," Edgar shouted back. "You abandoned her!"

Heathcliff narrowed his eyes. "I was with her always."

"He was, Edgar," Cathy said, emotionless. "Always."

"Even as she lay beside you, I was with her!"

Edgar rose from his chair and began to storm off stage, but Cathy caught him by the arm. "Oh do sit down, Edgar!"

"I didn't come to be subjected to such . . . insinuations. I won't abide them."

"Let the poor fellow leave, Cathy," Heathcliff said, his voice liquid with sarcasm. "It's all too much, I fear, for his constitution."

"No, I'll remain. I won't give you the satisfaction--"

Heathcliff and Cathy erupted, simultaneously, with laughter.

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